The Roman Colosseum and The Great Fire of Rome

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The Roman Colosseum is known by many as one of the most prominent traces of the Roman Empire, but it symbolizes more than an architectural feat. Vespasian, and his son, Titus, used the Colosseum as an appeasement to the Roman citizens after an era of private luxury and tyranny. The Colosseum, built in on the former gardens of Nero’s palace, stands as a symbol of a new era, as well as a gift from the new ruling family that had no physical ties to the previous family. The use of the Colosseum is obvious, but the purpose it served for late Vespasian is not clear, though it’s physical location, the symbolism behind it and the primary sources of the time period add to the significance of the monument. The Coloseum’s remains lie in modern day Rome, though its physical significance was much more obvious in the late hundred century of Vespasian’s rule. Before Vespasian had restored the area for public use, the land was used as a pond for Nero’s private garden at the Golden House. The Great fire of Rome, 64 C.E, had destroyed the previous amphitheater (Rome Reborn); Vespasian had nobly restored the land for public, instead of a private palace for a tyrant, or at least that is the view shown to the Roman citizens. The Colosseum, or Flavian amphitheater, is not at its full size today but the evidence of its massive structure can still be physically seen. The building is no longer stable after its many uses over the thousand years it survived, though the discussion over restoring the monument has reached the higher levels of the Roman city government, (Natason 2). The location of the monument, along with the Flavian cling to previous emperors like Augustus, and the attempts to further themselves from Nero, all seem to suggest that the Fla... ... middle of paper ... .... Web. 05 May 2014. Frontinus, Sextus I. "De Aquaeductu Urbis Romae." Trans. R. H. Rodgers. De Aquaeductu Urbis Romae. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. The University of Vermont. Web. 02 May 2014. Jones, William "Some Thoughts on the Propaganda of Vespasian and Domitian", The Classical Journal, p. 251 Lewis, Naphtali, and Meyer Reinhold. Roman Civilization. New York: Harper & Row, 1966. Print. M. P. Charleswroth, "Flaviana", Journal of Roman Studies 27 (1938) 54–62 Natason, Ann. "A Colossal Undertaking." Historical Abstracts. EBSCO, Oct. 2011. Web. 02 May 2014. Pepe, Andrea. "D E S C R I P T I O." N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2014. Tacitus, Cornelius, and Kenneth Wellesley. The Histories. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1972. Print. Tranquillus, Suetonis. "Life of Twelve Caesars." Penelope. Trans. Bill Thayer. Chicago University, n.d. Web. 02 May 2014.

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