10 Surprising Facts You Didn’t Know About The Colosseum

When people think of the Colosseum, they picture gladiator battles and death, but few know that this grand structure was the center of ancient Roman culture and the most visited site in Rome during the peak of its empire. The Colosseum’s history dates back to around 70 B.C., when it was conceived by Emperor Vespasian as a gift to the Roman people following his victory over Judea during the First Jewish-Roman War.

1) Its name comes from the Latin words colosseus and Colossus

The Colosseum in Rome was built during the first century AD by the Roman emperor Vespasian. It was originally called the Flavian Amphitheatre. This amphitheater, which was used as an arena for public events such as mock sea battles, gladiator contests and animal hunts, is considered to be one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering.

2) Emperor Vespasian started building it in 72 AD

The Colosseum, or the Flavian Amphitheatre, is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome. It was built between 70 and 80 AD by Emperor Vespasian and his son Titus. They constructed it after the Great Fire of Rome that happened in 64 AD had destroyed much of the city.
The name comes from a colossal statue of Nero that stood nearby, called the Colossus Neronis. After its construction, it became one of the biggest amphitheatres ever to be used for entertainment purposes until it was surpassed by modern-day venues like Beijing National Stadium and Munich’s Olympic Stadium. And it is still used for performances to this day with around 500 events happening there every year!

3) It took ten years to build.

The construction of the Roman Colosseum began in 72 CE, and it took about ten years to build. It was completed in 80 CE and could hold 50,000 people at a time. They would watch as gladiators fought animals or other gladiators for entertainment. It is believed that around 5,000 slaves died during its construction.
It was used for another 500 years after its completion before being turned into a church by the Pope Gelasius I in 493 CE.

4) An archway connects it to the Flaminia, which lead to Rome.

The Colosseum originally was known as the Flavian Amphitheater, but it is now one of Rome’s most famous landmarks. It stands in a public space known as the Forum, which was once a bustling center of commerce and government.

5) Underneath are underground chambers where dead animals were stored.

  • There are underground chambers where dead animals were stored.
  • It was originally built as an open-air stadium that could accommodate 100,000 people in attendance.
  • It is still used today to host many events including concerts, conventions and trade shows.

6) In Ancient Rome, gladiators would fight animals in front of 50,000 people!

The Colosseum is a symbol of Ancient Rome and there are many facts about it that you may not know. For example, in Ancient Rome, gladiators would fight animals in front of 50,000 people! But don’t worry-there weren’t any lions or tigers fighting to the death back then. Instead, they fought against wild boars or bulls.

7) There was never any re-building after destruction – only repair.

The ancient Romans never re-built the Colosseum after it was destroyed. They only repaired the damage and put it back together. This is because these Romans were very good engineers who would use a building’s remains to figure out how the building was originally built, so they could recreate it with as few changes as possible. This doesn’t mean that they didn’t have plans to rebuild it–it just means that they never got around to doing so before Rome fell in 476 A.D.

8) In 410 AD, Alaric I attacked Rome with 40,000 soldiers. He didn’t destroy it though!

In 410 AD, Alaric I attacked Rome with 40,000 soldiers. He didn’t destroy it though! In fact, the Romans forced Alaric to sign a treaty promising not to attack Rome again and that he would be paid a subsidy of 6,000 pounds of gold annually for a decade.

9) Over time, it was damaged by earthquakes and fire, but was repaired again and again.

The first example of the Colosseum’s famed architecture can be found in the Roman Forum. It was built by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa as a gift to his friend and colleague, Emperor Augustus. After Agrippa’s death, Emperor Nero took on the project and completed it in AD 68.
The Colosseum was originally called the Flavian Amphitheater, or Amphitheatrum Flavium.

10) In 1935 Mussolini opened up a museum there – Roman citizens were not happy.

In 1935 Mussolini opened up a museum inside the Colosseum called the Museo Nazionale Romano. At this point, the building had not been restored and was still in ruins. Roman citizens were not happy with this decision, and they protested by marching on the area in large numbers. They also sent letters of complaint to fascist officials.


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