Construction began in 72 AD under the emperor Vespasian.
Titus, Vespasian’s son and successor completed the construction in 80 AD. It took only 8 years to build.
It is the largest amphitheatre in the world and considered to be one of the greatest Roman architecture and engineering works.
Colosseum is an elliptical building measuring 189 meters (620 feet) long and 156 meters (510 feet) wide with a base area of 24,000 m² (258,333 ft²) with a height of more than 48 meter (157 feet).
The Colosseum has about 80 entrances and can accommodate about 50,000 spectators.It was used for a variety of events.
The Colosseum was built for 3 reasons. As a gift to the Roman Citizens from the Flavian Dynasty to increase their popularity, to stage various forms of entertainment, and to showcase Roman engineering techniques to the world.
It wasn’t the Romans who built the Colosseum. It was actually the Jews that Rome took as slaves from Judea about 30 years after the crucifixion of Jesus.
Where people sat in the Colosseum was determined by Roman law. The best seats were reserved for the Senators. Behind them were the equestrians or ranking government officials. A bit higher up sat the ordinary Roman citizens (men) and the soldiers. Finally, at the top of the stadium sat the slaves and the women.
The best seat in the house belonged to the emperor who sat in the Emperor’s Box.
The West Exit was called the Gate of Death because this was the exit that dead gladiators were carried out from.
The very first games at the Colosseum, held in 80 AD by Emperor Titus, lasted for 100 days and there were over 3000 gladiator fights during them. The very last gladiatorial games were held in 435 AD.
There were also re-enactments of famous battles and executions held in the amphitheatre. The amphitheatre was used for entertainment. During this time more than 400,000 people died inside the Colosseum. It’s also estimated that about million animals died in the Colosseum as well.
Below the Colosseum was a labyrinth of underground passages called the hypogeum. These passages allowed for animals, actors, and gladiators to suddenly appear in the middle of the arena. They would use trap doors to add in special effects such as scenery.
All Ancient Romans had free entry to the Colosseum for events, and were also fed throughout the spectacles.
Colosseum was built near the giant statue of Colossus which was part of the Nero’s Park. The current name was derived from the statue of Colossus.
Certain classes of people were banned from attending the Colosseum. They included former gladiators,
actors, and gravediggers.
The southern side of the Colosseum collapsed in a massive earthquake in 847.
In 2007, Colosseum was chosen as one of the New 7 wonders of the world.
The Colosseum has around 4 million tourists per year.