Flavian Amphitheater…

Better known as the Colosseum, is the most important monument of ancient Rome, a symbol of the eternal city. The start of work by the Emperor Vespasian, stands around 70 d.C. The chosen area was a Valley lying between the Velian Hill, the colle Oppio and the Caelian Hill, where there was an artificial lake (stagnum), built by Nerone for his Domus Aurea. The Lake, fed by sources that sprang from the foundations of the Temple of Divo Claudio on the Caelian Hill, was covered by Vespasian with a gesture “rectify” against the policy of “tyrant” Nerone who had usurped the land shall use public. Vespasian did hijack the aqueduct for civil use, cleared the water and there throw stronger foundations where you would have to be built up the cavea. The Emperor Vespasian, unfortunately, died in 79 d.C., seeing the realization of the first two floors. The imposing building, was the first great Amphitheater of Rome, it could accommodate approximately 60000 spectators. Expansion of Coliseum came about thanks to the son and successor of Vespasian, Titus, who in addition to commissioning the third and fourth order of seats, inaugurated the amphitheater with 100 days of games, in 80 d.C, during which about 2000 gladiators were killed and about 9000 animals were sacrificed. The finishing touches were made, the amphitheater by Domitian, Vespasian’s second child. The latter, he is likely to achieve decorative shields in gilded bronze, completing the work to “clipea”. He built the underground of the arena, adding perhaps the maenianum summum in ligneis “. Following the completion of the work was no longer possible to keep the naumachie, amphitheater (reproductions of historical battles that saw involved ships cured in every detail). After a period of great splendour, which lasted for almost 500 years, the Colosseum began a slow decline, in fact it were stealing stones for the construction of churches and palaces. The destruction ended in 1744, when Benedict XVI consecrated the structure to the memory of the martyrs and to install a cross at the center of the arena and 14 stations of the cross along the inside perimeter. Each year, the Holy Father, on the evening of good Friday, goes to the Colosseum to fulfill, along with thousands of pilgrims come from all over the world, the pious exercise of the Via Crucis. Even today, despite the “ailments” Colosseum attracts thousands of visitors…



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