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The Roman Colosseum

explanatory Essay
1882 words
1882 words
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Out of all the major sports stadiums in the world, one stands out above the rest. The Colosseum is known world wide as a visually stunning icon of ancient Rome. Having stood for almost 2000 years, this stadium has been a trailblazing symbol of innovation in architecture and engineering. This four-storey behemoth practically laid down the blueprints for thousands of subsequent stadiums by being the biggest, most functional and more importantly most technologically advanced building of its time. Nothing had even come close to matching the Colosseum’s grandeur until the 19th and 20th centuries. Before we start to discuss the Colosseum’s achievements, we first have to understand the historical context and background of the building. Construction of the building started in 72 AD, and was commissioned by the Emperor Vespasian who was the founder of the Flavian Dynasty. Unfortunately, Vespasian would not be able to see his complete vision of a glorious stadium. He died of natural causes only one year prior to the completion of construction in 80 AD (Pepe A, 2012). Vespasians son and successor Titus, would be the first emperor to rule after the Colosseum’s completion. He inaugurated the stadium by holding a massive celebration that lasted 100 days. The inaugural games were a time to celebrate the Colosseum’s completion by holding gladiatorial games everyday. By the end of the inaugural games Rome had bared witness to the slaughtering of 9000 exotic animals as well as the deaths of up to 2000 gladiators (Pepe A, 2012). The Colosseum was erected on the site of former Emperor Nero’s private palace called Domus Aurea,(Pepe A, 2012) which when translated means Golden House. Nero had the Domus Aurea built between the Esquiline and P... ... middle of paper ... ...njoy. Judging by the innovative timeless and solid technology used in this building, the Colosseum may even outlast the Great Pyramids of Giza. Works Cited Pepe A, Pepe D, McElwee C. The Colosseum c2012. [Online]. Available from: http://www.the-colosseum.net/idx-en.htm Accessed 2012 February 28. Hopkins K. 2011. The Colosseum: Emblem of Rome. [Online]. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/romans/colosseum_01.shtml Accessed 2012 March 2. Alchin L. Roman Colosseum. C2008. [Online]. Available from: http://www.roman-colosseum.info/roman-colosseum-copyright.htm Accessed 2012 March 2. Elia GM. 2002. The Colosseum: Quality and Efficientcy of Construction. [Online]. Available from: http://metodoetecniche.blogspot.com/p/articoli-dellautore.html Accesses 2012 March 4. Mueller T. Unearthing The Colosseum’s Secrets. Smithsonian. 2011 January. p.26

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the colosseum is a trailblazing symbol of innovation in architecture and engineering and laid down the blueprints for thousands of subsequent stadiums.
  • Explains that the colosseum's construction started in 72 ad, and was commissioned by the emperor vespasian who was the founder of the flavian dynasty.
  • Explains that the colosseum was erected on the site of former emperor nero's private palace called domus aurea.
  • Explains that the colosseum was interesting in the way it brought together members of society from all different castes to come and watch the games.
  • Describes the construction of the colosseum on the site of a former lake. the foundation was built by first excavating until the builders hit the layer of clay that made up the lakebed.
  • Explains that 100,000 slave workers were taken prisoners during the great revolt of 66 ad. they were responsible for transporting the stone from the quarry in tivoli to the building site in rome.
  • Explains that the flavian family wanted the colosseum completed as fast as possible. they used standardized components, such as pre-made seats and stairs.
  • Explains that the colosseum's most spectacular technological advances were hidden from the view of the spectators. underneath everything there was a maze of rooms, cells, cages, and tunnels spread out like the labyrinth.
  • Describes the capstan as a winch placed in the vertical position to move the cages of the wild animals up and down beneath the floor to make them appear out of thin air.
  • Explains that the colosseum is one of the most notable buildings in history with its unmistakable oval shape and sheer size.
  • Explains that the colosseum still inspires people. with enough money, one can take guided tours of the hypogeum and the upper levels. the movie gladiator depicts a roman general betrayed by the emperor.
  • Opines that the romans were masters of the applied sciences and created a masterpiece that has stood the test of time.
  • Describes the works of pepe and mcelwee. the colosseum: emblem of rome.
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