The Colosseum in Rome

The Colosseum in Rome

After the great spectacles of the chariot races of the Roman Empire who were even more dangerous than Formula 1 racing, comes the turn of heavy fighting between gladiators, and other beasts in the Coliseum in Rome - Italy.

One of the major cities in world history, being a symbol of European civilization, which according to tradition, was founded by one of the twins (Romulus and Remus), "Romulus" known as the "Father of his Country" in 753 BC .

Some authors believe that Rome was founded by the Etruscans, but the prevailing opinion, the city had been founded by the people of Latium.

Rome would have originated from a fort built by Latins and Sabines on the Capitoline Hill, the river Tiber. Still retains many ruins and monuments in the old part of town.

The city has about 3.6 million inhabitants. Among these ancient monuments is the Flavian amphitheater, known as the Colosseum (Coliseum in Latin) an exception from the amphitheaters of the day by volume and architectural importance, its construction had been begun by Vespasian in 70 AD and completed by his sons Domitian and Titus in 80 AD and inaugurated.

The Coliseum with more than 50 feet high, covered an area ellipsoid with 188 x 156 meters, three-story, later in the reign of Alexander Severus and Gordianus III was extended with a fourth floor, being able to support 70-90 thousand spectators.

It was built in marble, travertine stone, brick and tuff (limestone with large pores). The facade is composed of arches decorated with Doric columns, Ionic and Corinthian, according to the floor where they were. This division is due to the fact that an essentially vertical construction, thus creating a space diversity.

The seats are cavea and marble, stairs or bleachers, divided into three parts, corresponding to different social classes: the podium for the upper classes; the maeniana, sector for the middle class, and portici, or porticos, built wood, for the plebs and women. The tribunal found imperial or pulvinar is located on the podium and was buoyed by the seats reserved for senators and magistrates.

Ramps in the building facilitated access to the various areas where they could view the performance, being protected by a barrier and by a series of presses archers positioned in upper timber, in the event of an accident.

Above the walls are still visible the corbels, which supported the velarium, huge canvas cover to protect the spectators from the sun, and underground, were the cages of animals and cells and galleries all necessary services to the amphitheater. The building remained the headquarters of the spectacles of the city until the Roman period of Emperor Honorius, the fifth century

Damaged by an earthquake earlier this same century, has undergone an extensive restoration at the time of Valentinianus III. In the middle of the thirteenth century, the Frangipani family turns it into a fortress, and throughout the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, was sacked several times, losing much of the precious materials with which it was built.

It is believed that the Coliseum has been the scene of the early Christian martyrs, so in the seventeenth century, Pope Benedict XIV consecrated him to the Passion of Christ and declared the place sacred. The work of consolidation and partial restoration of the monument, has long been in ruins, were made primarily by Popes Gregory XVI and Pius IX, in the nineteenth century.

The grandeur of this monument witness the true power and splendor of Rome at the time of the Flavian. In February 2004 a report was released on BBC http://BRASIL.Com, with the Municipality of Rome plans to reshape the region`s old city to give a "better visual perspective of Ancient Rome", the plans provided for the reconstruction of missing parts outer wall of the Colosseum, which caused many protests in Italy.

Many academics say they are "disgusted" with the idea of transforming the center of Rome in what they fear will become a "theme park of archeology."

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