The History of the Building of the Coliseum in Rome

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The story of the Coliseum began in Rome, Italy in 80 AD. The Emperor at the time was a man by the name of Vaspacian, who decided to build the greatest attraction of the world.

The short film evolves around the story of the Gladiators who performed in the Coliseum. Slaves - a word derived from the captured people being known as Slavs', were auctioned off, many to cut rock for the building projects in central Rome. Thousands of slaves came into Rome and were sent to the rock cutting quarries and thousands more died under the harsh treatment they received. The main goal of Vaspacian was to gather 3 ½ million cubic stones in order to build an amphitheater large enough to seat up to 50,000 Roman citizens. During the Spacian Period, named after Emperor Vaspacian, the people of Rome were feeling disgruntled and disturbed due to the inactivity of Rome. Romans loved blood sports, and the newly built Coliseum would rejuvenate the Roman people.

One Gladiator in particular was the focus of the film. Verus was one of the first popular Gladiators and became immortalized by a poet who recorded his first duel blow by blow in the Coliseum on Inaugural day. Verus began his start as a slave working in the stone quarries much like many of the Gladiators of the time. One day a man by the name of Lanista came to the quarry to search for new men to train at his Gladiator school. Verus picked a fight with the slave standing next to him in order to be noticed by Lanista. Lanista took notice and Verus began training to be a Gladiator. Lanista owned one of the four principal Gladiator schools in Rome. Slaves heavily populated many Gladiator schools but there was also another type of Gladiator known as half Gladiators who were known as contract volunteers. Many free men gave up their freedom in order to pursue fame and fortune within the Coliseum walls, while others sold their freedom for up to five years to pay off debts.

By the Mid 70's AD, The Valvian Amphitheater named after the Emperor's family was under construction. Built next to a drained swamp and 40-feet deep, the Coliseum would take nine years to build. It wouldn't be until four hundred years later that the Coliseum would acquire its name.

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