The Coliseum

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Architecture of the ancient Roman Empire is considered one of the most impressive of all time. The city of Rome once was home to more than one million residents in the early centuries. The Romans had a fine selection of building monuments in the city of Rome including the forums for civic services, temples of worship, and amphitheaters for recreation and play. The Romans made great use and pioneered great architecture mechanisms including arches, columns, and even mechanical elements in pulleys and early elevators. However, when one tends to think of great buildings, one building stands out in Rome. This building is the Flavian Amphitheatre, or better Known as the Coliseum.

The Coliseum is the greatest standing building of Rome, and one of the most recognized worldwide architectural achievements to this day. The amphitheater is a type of architecture that was without Greek precedents. This makes sense since its primary purpose was to hold gladitiator fights and brutal shows which were banned in Athens at the time. Such events held in Roman amphitheaters were horseracing, gymnastics, mock cavalry battles, footraces, prizefighting, wrestling, fights between animals, between men, animals and men, and even naumachiae, or mock sea battles. The great building although fitting and plain in design to its surroundings of Rome still stood out due to its sheer monstrosity and oval shape. Although the site viewed today is still a marvel, back in the days of its prime it was a spectacular site that would be difficult to apprehend with only words.

The emperor given credit for the idea of the coliseum was Vespasian. Building commenced around 72 AD. But Vespian would not live to see his greatest accomplishment finished.

Titus, Vespasian's son, completed his fathers dream around 80 AD. The dedication of the Coliseum was a lavish gladiator show that lasted for exactly one hundred days in which over nine thousand animals were killed.

A typical day at the Coliseum show usually started with a bloodless comic relief battle, often times with dwarfs, women, or cripples battling with wooden objects. The gladiator fights were the most popular and prominent fights. These featured two highly trained men battling for courage, strength, and dignity. They would often rather take a blow and stand strong than whimper and run in defense. It is written that famous women would even leave their husbands for famous gladiators, which were known to be very scarred and ugly by Roman standards.

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