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The Roman Colosseum

            A massively built stone amphitheater, the Roman Colosseum, known as the Colosseum, is located on the eastern side of the Roman Forum (History.com Staff). The Colosseum, also referred to as the Flavian Amphitheatre, is a significant structure built in Rome. The Roman Colosseum was built as a site for magnificent celebrations, spectacular sporting events, and violent bloodshed. (History.com Staff). The arena also hosted other events of entertainment for the public such as the executions of humans, fights between gladiators, and hunts for wild animals (Cartwright). Built during the first century CE, the structure of the Colosseum, a magnificent ellipsoid amphitheater, was commissioned by Emperor Vespasian and completed under two other emperors who were of the Flavian dynasty: Titus and Domitian (Cartwright). As his first major undertaking as Rome's emperor, Vespasian commissioned the Colosseum around A.D. 70-72 as a gift to the people of Rome, although his decision to build it was politically motivated (Kleiner). His son, Titus, launched the opening of the Colosseum, formally named the Flavian Amphitheater, with competitions, festivals, and games that lasted for 100 days in A.D. 80. Lasting for four centuries, these competitions and games included pitting wild animals against each other and gladiatorial battles (History.com Staff).
             As the largest and most important amphitheater not only in Rome, but the world as well, the structure of the Colosseum is approximately 620 by 513 feet (i.e., 190 by 155 meters). The Colosseum was unlike many of the earlier amphitheaters. These earlier amphitheaters were built into the sides of a hill to provide the structure ample support. In contrast, the structure of the Colosseum was built as self-supporting structure using concrete and stone (History.com). The Colosseum was constructed on the Golden House site, which was once the location of Emperor Nero's lake and gardens.

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