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Constructions of the Colosseum and Theatre at Leptis Magna

            The constructions of the Flavian amphitheatre or Colosseum, and the Theatre at Leptis Magna both demonstrate the importance of Roman construction methods and materials used, to accommodate for the use of each building, as is true for the shape, layout and architectural features of both buildings. We see that these features of the buildings overlap and interrelate to achieve success in all areas of usage, showing both the magnificence in each building as well as in some cases, Roman propaganda. .
             The materials used in each building have had a strong influence in the usage of them. The Colosseum demonstrates the use of lighter building materials in order to support the weight of the construction, as if materials were too heavy, the building would not be able to stand, particularly in the free standing tiered seating. Travertine stone, or limestone, is the main material used in the building of the Colosseum, as well as opus cementicium and brick as these are lighter than other materials and are resistant, an important feature in order to allow the Colosseum to be a success, and one which has allowed it to stand for so many years. The main body of the construction, and the columns and paved area around the Colosseum are made from travertine stone; however the top level was made from wood in order to reduce the weight. Most of the Colosseum was paved in marble, used for its aesthetic qualities. Because it is a heavier stone, it was simply veneered over the other stonework to allow less weight, and this was used on top cover most of the building including the seating. The use of marble also demonstrated propaganda to the people of Rome, as by using the handsome stone on public seating showed the crowds the goodness of the Emperor towards his people. The use of a wooden arena was particularly successful as it allowed the floor to be removed for "sea battles", in which the arena was flooded with water and gladiatorial boats were used for fighting, and then could be put back for the land based activities.

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