Facts about the Colosseum
Fact 2: The name 'Colosseum' is derived from the Latin word 'colosseus' meaning colossal. This was in reference to the gigantic statue of the Emperor Nero which had been previously erected near the site of the Colosseum.
Fact 3: The great amphitheatre covers and area of 6 acres
Fact 4: Entrance to the games was free. The massive amphitheatre had a capacity estimated at between 50,000 and 80,000 Romans
Fact 5: The outer circumference measures 545 metres (1,788 ft). It is 50 metres high (187 ft), 189 metres (615 ft) long and 156 metres 510 ft wide. Dimensions of the Colosseum
Fact 6: The area beneath the Colosseum was called the Hypogeum (meaning underground). The hypogeum consisted of two-level subterranean network of tunnels and 32 animal pens. It had 80 vertical shafts which provided instant access to the arena for animals and scenery.
Fact 7: The Emperor Domitian, the younger son of Vespasian added the hypogeum and also a gallery at the top of the Colosseum to increase its seating capacity.
Fact 8: The Colosseum is located in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy (Piazzale del Colosseo, Rome). The absolute location is 41 degrees latitude and 12 degrees longitude.
Fact 9: There were 36 trap doors in Arena allowing for elaborate special effects
Fact 10: The animals displayed and killed at the theatre were transported from every corner of the Roman Empire reflecting the scale and scope of the Roman provinces. Wild Animals at the Colosseum
Fact 11: The wild and exotic animals which included lions, tigers, hyenas, hippos, rhino's, crocodiles, ostriches, antelopes, bears and zebras
Fact 12: There were over 20 different types of Gladiators
Fact 13: The Roman Colosseum was used for staging various events including gladiator fights, wild animal displays, theatrical entertainment, executions, religious ceremonies, mock sea battles and re-playing famous Roman victories.
Fact 14: The Colosseum was built for several reasons: As a gift to Roman Citizens, increasing the popularity of the Flavian dynasty *** Staging various forms of entertainment in a purpose built stone amphitheatre, creating a diversion for unemployed and unruly Plebs *** To utilize and showcase the latest Roman engineering techniques demonstrating to the world the power of Rome
Fact 15: The emperor took up a prominent position in the imperial box was called the pulvinar which was located on the podium (meaning place of honor) which was like a terrace and about 15ft wide astride the centre of the minor axis of the arena on the north side. Seating at the Colosseum
Fact 16: The Flavian Amphitheatre was built of travertine on the outside and tufa and brick in the interior. The main pedestals were built of marble blocks.
Fact 17: In the building of the Colosseum the slaves undertook the manual labor and teams of professional Roman builders, engineers and decorators undertook the skilled tasks.
Fact 18: The Colosseum consisted of four floors. The first three storeys had high, arched entrances designed with tiers of Ionic, Doric and Corinthian columns.
Fact 19: A Retractable Awning called the Velarium at the Roman Colosseum provided cover and shade. Brackets supported 240 wooden masts on which canvas awnings were hung.
Fact 20: There were 76 entrances which were numbered but there were an additional four grand entrances which were not numbered.Colosseum Entrances and Exits
Fact 21: Tickets were distributed for the shows, each one marked with a seat number, tier number and entrance number. The inaugural games at the Colosseum lasted more than 100 days.
Fact 22: At the end of the day the gladiators who had been killed were dragged through the Porta Libitinensis (Gate of Death) to the Spoliarium where the body was stripped and the weapons and armor given to the dead gladiatorís lanista.
Fact 23: The arena was 287 ft long and 180 ft wide. The arena was covered with 15cm of sand.
Fact 24: There were various entrances/ exits from the arena. The Porta Sanavivaria was the Gate of Life where those who had been defeated but spared would exit, the Porta Libitina was the Gate of Death or Executions and the Porta Triumphalis where the victors would exit the arena.
Fact 25: The bisellium was a richly ornamented seat of honor at the games. It was so called because there was room for two persons upon it, although only one sat there, usually the Emperor.
Fact 26: 42 Roman Emperors witnessed the carnage at the amphitheatre
Fact 27: An estimated 700,000 people died in the bloody arena
Fact 28: Executions of Christians or Criminals provided popular midday entertainment.
Fact 29: As many as 5000 animals were slaughtered in one day - wild animals were killed to the point of extinction. See Wild Animals at the Colosseum
Fact 30: The massive Flavian Amphitheatre took less than 10 years to build
Facts about the Colosseum
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