The Colosseum or Flavian Amphitheater

The Colosseum or Flavian Amphitheater

«As long as the Colossus stands, so shall Rome; when the Colossus falls, Rome shall fall; when Rome falls, so falls the world»  (Prophecy of the Venerable Bede, eighth century)

The Colosseum or Flavian Amphitheater is the largest amphitheater of the ancient world. Originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre or simply as the Amphitheatrum , it is located in the city center of Rome. It was built in bricks and covered with travertine. It is located in a valley between the Palatine, Esquiline and Caelian Hills, in place of a small lake that Nero used for the Domus Aurea.

 It was commissioned in 72 A.D. by Emperor Vespasian and it was able to hold up to 50,000 spectators. It is spread over 4 floors for a total of 52 meters of height. It has an extension that covers a elliptical area of about 19000 square meters. According to some theories its name is derived from the “Colossus of Nero,” an impressive gilded bronze statue depicting the Roman emperor in the guise of a god. It is assumed that it was close to the amphitheater.  It took the Emperor Hadrian twenty-four elephants to move the statue and to make way for the new temple of Venus and Rome. Today only the base of tuff on which the Colossus was placed remains.

According to another theory, the name Colosseum comes from “Colis Eum?”, “You worship him?”  (meaning the devil), which was the question that was put to those who approached to amphitheater since, in the fourteenth century, it had become the main pagan place of Rome, as well as the home to some seven mages and devil worshipers.

Certainly the The Colosseum or Flavian Amphitheater was built for the enjoyment of the inhabitants of Rome since inside fights between gladiators (” Magnus Publicum Gladiatorius” or “Munera” ) were organized, and ” Venationes” , a sort of hunting wild animals, which were brought to the center of the arena thanks to a series of lifts and access ramps. Also fantastic performances were held like the “naumachie” : true naval battles made ​​possible by filling the arena with water. The The Colosseum or Flavian Amphitheater is the most important Roman amphitheater. It is also the most imposing monument of ancient Rome that has lasted over the time. It is known worldwide as a symbol of the city of Rome and Italy.

For more information on how to book entrance tickets to the Colosseum, Palatino & Roman Forum, archaeological sites and the major museums of Rome visit the Rome Museum web site or call us at (+39) 055-713655.
Available Entrance TicketsGuided Group Tours , Private Guided Tours.

You may also be interested in: Colosseum Night Opening – Private Guided Colosseum Tour – Colosseum Tour: Third tier, Hypogeum, Porta Libitinaria

 

Schedule Open every day from 8:30 am to one hour before sunset
Address  Piazza del Colosseo, Rome.

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