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