Rome: The Coliseum and the Forum
?Without having seen the Coliseum and the Forum, extended research has proved there is much more to these architectural marvels than partial ? standing remains that exist today.? These structures stood a bit taller more than 1,000 years ago, the same time Rome was launched into a dominant worldly influence militarily and politically.? At the time, ancient Roman Emperors were conquerors who preferred to keep order in their empire.? The Coliseum and Forum, over many years, characterized Roman Emperors? influential politics and need for order.
The Coliseum?s Design
The Roman Empire?s architectural opulence significantly changed after Emperor Nero?s reign beginning in 64 AD.? During his
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Construction of the Coliseum was ordered by Vespasian in 72 or 75 A.D., but following his death nine years later, his son Titus undertook his father?s project and dedicated it to Rome in 80 A.D.? Titus ruled for two years; his younger brother Domitian is responsible for finishing construction.[iii] Overall, it took nine years and thirty thousand Jewish slaves to build.[iv] Domitian named it the Flavian Amphitheater for his father.[v]? It later became known as the Coliseum, a Roman word for ?gigantic,? after the colossal statue of Nero which stood nearby.? The Coliseum was built on the drained Stagnum Neronis Lake near Nero?s Golden House, between the Caelian and Esquiline Hills - the center of Rome.? Because of the soft land, the foundation was laid forty feet deep and was cemented with three and a half million cubic feet of volcanic ash and lime.? The Coliseum stood six hundred and twenty feet by five hundred and seven feet wide, the outer walls standing one hundred and fifty-seven feet high with four stories, the largest structure of its time.[vi]? Each story had eighty window-like openings, or arches, where statues were placed.? To protect the audience from rain or sun, masts on the fourth story held up awnings which took one hundred sailors to lift into position.? The inner skeleton was made of travertine, a white, calcium carbonate substance, and the outer skeleton, not intact today, was made of