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Roman Colosseum

             The Colosseum, which stands near the center of present-day Rome, is probably the finest surviving example of ancient Rome architecture and one of the most recognizable landmarks of history. .
             The Colosseum is shaped like a modern time football court and could seat as many as 50000 spectators. Built in the form of an ellipse, the Colosseum has a perimeter of 1729 feet and height of 161 feet (www.teachingtools.com). The oval-shaped, sand-covered floor of the arena originally could be flooded for water spectacles. Later, cages for animals and people were installed beneath the arena (www.teachingtools.com). The amphitheater was built on a concrete platform about 42 feet thick. On top this stood what was known as the subterranean area. It was here that the equipment and stage scenery used in the battle spectacles was held. The actual arena itself was made of wood, which is now gone. The edges of the arena were protected by high nets with spiked poles at their top to prevent to the wild animals from getting out. The completed Colosseum rose to four stories (www.allsands.com). The first three stories contained symmetrical arches, each of which was adorned with a statue. Also, the three tiers of arcades are faced by three-quarter columns and entablatures, Doric in the first story, Ionic in the second, and Corinthian in the third. Above them is a attic story with Corinthian pilaster and small square window openings in alternate bays (www.greatbuildings.com). Moreover, the construction utilized a careful combination of types: concrete for the foundations, travertine for the piers and arcades, tufa infill between piers for the walls of the lower two levels, and brick-faced concrete used for the upper levels and for most of the vaults. .
             The Colosseum was built to house the imperially sponsored games during the reign of Vespasian in 72 CE and was completed under Titus. The emperor Titus hosted a grand opening that lasted 100 days and featured gladiatorial combat, naval operations, animal hunts, and the executions of criminals (www-unix.

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