Colosseum: Brilliance, Power, and Brutality

The Colosseum is a significant symbol of Rome. It is an impressive structure that will bring you back in time to learn the way of life in the Roman Empire. Recognized as the Flavian Amphitheater, the Roman Colosseum is one of Rome’s most remarkable masterpieces. Every year up 6 million people visit it. The Colosseum construction began in the year 72 and finished in the year 80. After completion, the Colosseum became the most incredible Roman amphitheater, measuring 156 meters in width, 57 meters in height, and 188 meters in length.

Price for combined ticket to visit the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine:

  • Adults: Ordinary ticket € 16,00 + € 2 booking fee
  • European Union members (18-24): 7.50€
  • Children (ages less than 17) and seniors (over 65) members of the EU: free entrance

Online website: COLOSSEUM ROMAN FORUM ONLINE TICKETS

Schedule

  • Every day: 8:30 am until one hour before sunset
  • 25 December and 1 January: closed

Location: Piazza del Colosseo, 00184 Roma

History and more about the Colosseum

November 11, 1786. In the evening we came upon the Coliseum, when it was already twilight. When one looks at it, all else seems little; the edifice is so vast, that one cannot hold the image of it in one’s soul – in memory we think it smaller, and then return to it again to find it every time greater than before.

J. W. Goethe – Italian Journey – Translation by Charles Nisbeth

Colosseo was titled after a nearby colossal statue of God of the Sun, “Nero as Helios.” Some archaeologists conclude it was made of bronze and that other rulers re-used it. According to this theory, elements of it are now on exhibit at Musei Capitolini. Flavian Amphitheater is a more appropriate name for the amphitheater because the Flavian dynasty’s rulers built it. Building started in 72 AD at Vespasian’s leadership; it was inaugurated in 80 by Titus.

Colosseum, Rome

Colosseum outside with semi-columns of the three orders and its attic with low Corinthian columns became a reference model for many architects during the Renaissance. Colosseo’s plan shows its architects’ skill in providing practical solutions to the many issues they faced because of its massive audience. Each of the eighty entrances was numbered, visible still today on the top of the arch, so spectators knew where to enter the building to reach their seats. A line of large inner staircases allowed easy entrance to the three tiers into which the amphitheater was divided. Colosseum is constructed and also decorated from an artistic viewpoint.

Colosseum Interior

The spectators gathered in Colosseo to see gladiatorial fights and wild animal hunts. Those gladiators who competed in the amphitheater did not have the same armaments: the retiarii fought with a net and a trident. They did not have body protection apart from a heavy bandage on their left arm. Those gladiators competing with a sword fell into different levels based on the other equipment they used.

Museo e Galleria Borghese: detail of an IVth century AD mosaic found in 1834 at Torrenova, along Via Casilina in Rome’s outskirts. It is one of the most dramatic depictions of Gladiatorial Fights.

Animal hunts preceded the gladiatorial battles with beasts or among beasts, which took a position at noon. They became very successful when the expansion of the Empire came to a halt and the number of slaves who were trained as gladiators declined.

Ludus Magnus next to the Colosseo

Ludus Magnus, area excavated in the 1960s

Smaller houses housed stables, barracks, and training areas were linked to Colosseo by underground passages. The large barracks are called Ludus Magnus. The gladiators practiced on a small scale replica of Colosseo. The sand was strewn on the ground to reduce the effects of falls and to absorb the blood. The word “Rena” eventually became a more superficial way to refer to the amphitheater.