Ancient Roman Colosseum Lesson

colosseum italy

Whereas the Greeks left behind a legacy of great thinkers, wonderful writers and artists, the Romans left behind a huge building with, by today’s standards, a grim and horrific past. In this Ancient Roman Colosseum lesson, we read all about the gladiators, executions, animal hunts and re-enactment of famous battles. There can be no doubt that the Romans were a blood lust society, and took pride in being that way.

colosseum rome italy
Photo by Davi Pimentel on

Facts about the Colosseum

  • Vespasian and his son Titus built the Colosseum (a huge amphitheatre) between 72AD and 80AD.
  • The family name of the emperors who had it built (Flavia) gave the Colosseum its nickname: Amphitheatre Flavium.
  • Titus opened the Colosseum with 100 days of gladiatorial combats and wild animal fights
  • Vespasian wanted to unite the people of Rome by entertaining them, so he built the Colosseum
  • Vespasian used limestone, volcanic rock and concrete to built the Colosseum
  • The Colosseum held an average of 65000 people and historians believe it contained both drinking fountains and latrines
  • The Colosseum is considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world
  • Whereas theatres in the ancient world were built into a hillside, the Colosseum was a completely free-standing building. However, it did steal some theatre qualities and is very similar to two theatres placed back to back.
  • The arena was 83 metres by 48 metres area and housed a hypogeum underneath:
colosseum italy
Photo by Chait Goli on
  • The hypogeum housed the gladiators and animals who were about to go out onto the arena, which they entered via tunnels

Ancient Roman Colosseum Lesson: Build It!

Ancient Roman Colosseum lesson

We read the Colosseum 3D during our morning meeting. The information is thorough and interesting. However, I did not buy this specifically to read. No, it was the model of the Colosseum which I knew would be perfect for Abigail to put together. And I was right! After we had read the book, Abs built the Colosseum completely on her own in one afternoon:

Girl building a model of the Colosseum for an ancient Roman Colosseum lesson

Best of all, she also learnt a lot about the actual building whilst constructing it:

Ancient Roman Colosseum Lesson


    1. Hi Joanne 👋🏻
      Thank you 😊, she did a great job and learnt loads in the process – the perfect activity!

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