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Design and Influence of the Roman Colosseum

             Located in Rome, Italy, the Colosseum (Figure 7-36) is one of the Roman Empire's greatest architectural structures (Gardner). The construction of the Colosseum began between 70 and 72 CE under the rule of the Flavian emperors. In 80 CE, the Colosseum was dedicated to Titus. This was done so through a ceremony that consisted of 100 days of games that included gladiator fights as well as wild animal fights. Most of the structure was completed in 80 CE, in 82 CE under Domitian the final upper story was added that completed the structure (Colosseum). Contrary to popular belief, the Colosseum was not given its name from its size but from where it resides, next to the Colossus of Nero (Gardner). During the Great Jewish Revolt in 70 AD, the Romans seized great amounts of treasures that allowed for the construction of the Colosseum, and is said that the structure is a form of symbolism of their victory and has been said to be a propaganda tool (Van Drew). .
             The Colosseum was construction on an artificial lake that was drained and then filled, originally the center of the palace, Golden House. Much planning went into the construction of this enormous structure. The design behind the Colosseum was done so meet the ideal ratio of 5:3 that resulted in much symmetry within the structure. The Colosseum was free standing, which was different than most amphitheaters at the time that were often constructed near hillsides for support. The structure measures at 620 feet by 513 feet and features Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian orders (Gardner). The exterior of the building has four tiers of arches what were supported by semicircular Greek columns, 80 arches overall. For each tier or story there was a different type of order. The first story featured the Doric order; second story had Ionic order, and the third and fourth had the opulent Corinthian order. The main materials used to construct the Colosseum was concrete and stone, and many believe that without the development of concrete the structure would not have stood for so long.

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