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The Colosseum essay

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Ben Couchman The Colosseum The earliest gladiatorial shows originated from three pairs of gladiators in around 264bc this quickly escalated to 320 pairs in 65bc and heightened with a massive 10000 individuals in 107ad when Trajan celebrated his victory in the dacian wars. The coliseum was unlike many of the traditional amphitheatres like that at Pompeii. Pompeii was built from a solid base whereas the coliseum was built from rings of pillars. There were a few key developments that let the Romans build the great structures that they created, one of these was the arch, linked with the key stone , this let them brake away from the tradition right angle format of building and create more elaborate structures. The other was concrete, this brake through allowed the Romans to build under water and domes as well as extremely strong structures. All these developments would be a key part in the building of the coloseam. ...read more.


The order and method of construction is a very well planned and thought out one witch included every eventuality and problem. It started with a hollow oval of one metre thick concrete foundations which were laid over Nero's lake. in between the travertine blocks witch made the pillars , a spear head shapes iron spike was placed in between the blocks , this then filled in with lead and chalk mortar helped keep it all together and stop erosion. The basement of the Colosseum's arena that was later installed 44m wide and. wooden ramps lead down from the central corridor from which emerged the wild beasts when entering the arena. Barred cages were found in the five narrow and half open lateral corridors. Small bridges and lifts led to the 32ooden trapdoors inserted within the pavement of the arena; so that it seemed that the animals arrived by magic inside the arena. ...read more.


This brings in the concept of panis et cicenses , bread and circus . The Colosseum was free, tickets were given out, usually made of bone to direct you to the entrance of witch you were to use, and also free bread was given out. This method of free bread and entertainment was used to distract the plebs from the poverty that befell them. In all the Colosseum was a very effective in what it was designed for, it accommodated all the needs of the people and the gladiators with as many as four gladiatorial schools connected to the Colosseum directly with underground tunnels. With everything super organized and with a capacity of 70000 spectators every citizen would have had the opportunity to watch the games that were not only entertainment but propaganda from the emperors of the time. So the Colosseum was a well thought out design witch used pushed roman architectural skills to the limit and created a building and a trade mark that would show roman might till this day. ...read more.

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