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According to Colin Cunningham in Unit 6, the form and function of a building "are inextricably linked" (Block 2, pg 50). Consider three ways in which this was so for the Colosseum. The Colosseum in Rome was built in around 80CE

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Part I short answer Question According to Colin Cunningham in Unit 6, the form and function of a building "are inextricably linked" (Block 2, pg 50). Consider three ways in which this was so for the Colosseum. The Colosseum in Rome was built in around 80CE. It was used to house spectacular performances such as gladiator fights. It also signified the power and prestige of the emperor. As such, the form and design of the building had to help fulfil the purpose of the Colosseum. As the Colosseuem was built to house games that people came to watch, visibility was an important consideration. There were no pillars blocking the view of the spectators so everyone would be able to see the action. There were five levels of tiered seating to accommodate the different hierarchy in the Roman society. Thus the dignitaries seated near the centre have a better view of the spectacle whereas the women and the slaves seated right at the top were further away. In addition, the emperor's box was visible to all the spectators. With a capacity of 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum must provide easy accessibility. There were a total of 76 numbered entrances leading inside. Each entrance led to a different level and seat. ...read more.


Martial even describes that the God and Goddess Mar and Venus serves the emperor. The Romans also considered the gladiator shows as good offerings to the people. Pliny expressed his approval of the gladiator shows that a man held as a funeral tribute to his wife. He praised the man's generosity in giving a lavish show. (Resource Book, C4, pp95-96) When the beasts did not arrive in time because of bad weather, he did not blame the man. The sentiment was that there was missed pleasure. Apuleius also reflected this type of sentiment. When a man prepared for a show, the bears that were brought in died from a sudden epidemic. He described it as a missed public pleasure that did not escape the eyes of envy. (Resource Book, C3, p95) This reaction showed that the games were a pleasure to people and was fully justified. He found that it was a pity that the bears died of the epidemic rather than fighting to death in the arena. To the Romans, holding gladiatorial shows were something to be proud of. The emperor Augustus felt proud when he held gladiatorial shows for the people. He boasted of the numerous shows that he held for himself and on behalf of his son or grandsons. ...read more.


The feelings of excitement overpowered him as he watched. This was probably the feelings that many Romans had when they watched these shows. Even if they found it wicked initially, they may be influenced by the mob tendency (Resource Book I, C10, pp100-101). Thomas Wiedemann added that 'these shows tended to engage the emotions of the onlookers to an extent that made them temporarily incapable of rational thought' and likened it to that of watching strip-tease shows. Somehow, the viewers will be hooked. However, there were still some Romans who did not approve of these shows. One of them, Cicero, wrote that there was no pleasure in these shows. (Resource Book I, C7, p97). Another person, Seneca, expressed his concern of the sheer butchery on a midday show. (Resource Book, C9, p99) Thus, the gladiatorial games and the wild-beasts shows were part of the Roman culture. The need to have a proper system of punishing crimes and the need to eradicate wild animals provided the basis for these spectacular games. The Roman people believed that these were done to benefit them. Furthermore, the mob tendency and feelings generated at these games attracted the people to the shows. Thus, they did not find that the shows were wicked. No of words : 904 Reference 1. Block 2 The Colosseum, The Open University (1997) 2. Resource Book 1, The Open University (1997) ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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