Learn about the history of the Colosseum in Rome with iMinds Travel's insightful fast knowledge series.
Two thousand years ago the mighty Roman Empire spanned most of Europe, Asia Minor and North Africa. At its heart was the capital city of Rome, the city to which ‘all roads led’. Inside this city, the great ruins of the Colosseum are a lasting reminder of the majesty of this great empire. But the gigantic sports arena that is the Colosseum also reveals a dark side of ancient Rome. For the arena’s purpose was as a ground for gladiatorial combat. And in its wildly popular four-hundred-year history, the Colosseum would witness the deaths of thousands of humans and animals.
The Colosseum was built by the Emperor Vespasian between 72 and 80AD. It was built from Travertine stone and its builders were brought to Rome from Judaea. After a revolt in Judaea was suppressed by the Roman government, a large amount of Jews were brought to Rome as slaves to construct the arena. Vespasian had it built in the grounds of the ‘Domus Aurea’, or ‘Golden House’. The Golden House was built by the emperor Nero in the first century. It was actually a collection of many buildings over a great area. The ruins of many of these can still be visited today on the Esquiline Hill next to the Colosseum. Vespasian belonged to the Flavian dynasty, and so the Colosseum was originally called the “Flavian Amphitheatre”.
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