Roman Colloseums Essay, Research PaperRoman Coliseums By: Tim Kolton Architecture of the ancient Roman Empire is considered one of the most impressive of all clip. The metropolis of Rome one time was place to more than one million occupants in the early centuries AD1. The Romans had a all right choice of edifice memorials in the metropolis of Rome including the forums for civic services, temples of worship, and amphitheatres for diversion and drama. The Romans made great usage and pioneered great architecture mechanisms including arches, columns, and even mechanical elements in blocks and early lifts. However, when one tends to believe of great edifices, one edifice stands out in Rome. This edifice is the Flavian Amphitheatre, or better known as the Colosseum. When discoursing such a great memorial such as the Colosseum, it is really of import to recognize the clip, topographic point, and civilization in wish it stood to to the full understand both its signifier and map.
In the beginnings, Rome was both influenced by the Etruscans of the North and Greeks of Italy and South but had its basic roots from a long clip of Samnite domination2. The Etruscans were that of an interesting type as described by Peter Quennell: The Etruscans & # 8230 ; combined a passionate devotedness to the ordinary pleasances of life with a stalking fright of decease. They were barbarous, excessively, and profoundly superstitious & # 8230 ; their victims were ordered to contend among themselves until the last had fallen. The Etruscans would hold a strong feeling in Roman life styles and doctrines. For illustration, the purple robe worn by leaders would be subsequently adopted by the Romans.
They besides were the influence which brought gladiatorial conflicts of forfeit into the Roman civilization. This was a clip of blood thirsty worlds who loved the site of conflict. Even an early Christian named Alypius proclaimed that he & # 8220 ; took away with him a mad passion which prodded him non merely to return ( to gladatior events ) with those by whom he had foremost been forced in, but even in front of them and dragging in others. & # 8221 ; 3 This was a clip of pagan religion, which meant forfeit and decease. Early Christians were persecuted for their beliefs in the first few centuries.
Clearly in Rome, the focal point was non merely on faith or the emporer, but we have a focal point on leisure and activities. It is said that of a three-hundred and 65 twenty-four hours twelvemonth that one-hundred and 50 yearss were celebrated as regular vacations, with over 90 yearss given up to games4. This type of life style would rule the metropoliss and architecture of the Romans for some clip to come. The people of Rome enjoyed theaters, conflicts, races, baths, amusing events, and of class the game of decease. There were many forums, temples, and many amphitheatres in the history of Rome, nevertheless merely a few base out even today. The Colosseum is the greatest standing edifice of Rome, and one of the most accepted world-wide architectural accomplishments to this twenty-four hours. The amphitheatre is a type of architecture that was without Grecian case in points. This makes sense since its primary intent was to keep gladitiator battles and brutal shows which were banned in Athens at the clip.
Such events held in Roman amphitheatres were horseracing, gymnastic exercises, mock horse conflicts, foot races, prizefighting, wrestle, battles between animate beings, between work forces, animate beings and work forces, and even naumachies, or mock sea battles5. One of the first amphitheatres was the Pompeian amphitheatre of Pompeii of 30 BC. Like the Colosseum, it was oval in program.
It was supported on great multitudes of solid Earth pierced by a wide corridor at each terminal. Stone seats were added at one clip but most witnesss sat on the Earth or wooden chairs. Although this amphitheatre was a great invention, it would be eclipsed by the Flavian Amphitheater, better known as the Colosseum. The great edifice although adjustment and field in design to its milieus of Rome still stood out due to its sheer freak and egg-shaped form.
Although the site viewed today is still a wonder, back in the yearss of its premier it was a dramatic site that would be hard to grok with lone words [ TVK1 ] . [ TVK2 ] The metropolis which held the great construction was full of great illustrations of the usage of arches, columns from every order, and of class sheer size. When going the metropolis to the Colosseum the whole country had been paved and railed off. The attack was taken by cobbled slabs of lava, and so one entered an country paved with travertine more than five 1000 pess broad and surrounded by immense boundary stones6. To a witness at the clip the Amphitheatrum flavium from the exterior is described by the romantic poet Johann Wolggang von Goethe: When one looks at it all else seems small ; the building is so huge, that one can non keep the image of it in one & # 8217 ; s soul- in memory we think it smaller, and so return to it once more to happen it every clip greater than earlier.
As one looked at it from the metropolis, there were many sights to lay eyes on, but the Colosseum stood out 19 centuries ago, and still does to this day of the month. At the terminal of the Emperor Nero and the victory of the Flavians every attempt was made to bury the times of the Julio-Claudians ( of which Julius Caesar & # 8217 ; s household ) and travel to newer times. The focal point of arhictecture and edifices shifted from the emperor & # 8217 ; s creative activities to the public & # 8217 ; s edifices.
The following outstanding emperor was Vespasian. His first part to the populace was an tremendous forum with a temple of Peace in it.7 His greatest effort was the beginning of the building of the Colosseum for & # 8220 ; games & # 8221 ; intents around 72 AD. Titus succeeded the ever-joking Vespasian and completed his male parents dream around 79-80 AD. The dedication of the Colesseum was a munificent gladiator show that lasted for precisely one-hundred yearss in which over nine 1000 animate beings were killed.8 A typical twenty-four hours at the Colesseum show normally started with a exsanguine amusing alleviation conflict, frequently times with midget, adult females, or cripples combating with wooden objects. A bass horn would sound and the chief events would get down.
The gladiator battles were the most popular and outstanding battles. These featured two extremely trained work forces combating for bravery, strength, and self-respect. They would frequently instead take a blow and base strong than wimper and run in defence.
The people were in love with gladiators much like today & # 8217 ; s athletics heroes. It is written that celebrated adult females would even go forth their hubbies for celebrated gladiators which were known to be really scarred and ugly by Roman standards.9 The gladiator battle was a pitiless blood-ridden spectacle which normally ended in decease by the also-ran who begged for clemency and was chosen to decease by the present emperor or crowd cheers of 45,000 hysterical fans. Even more dismaying than the gladiator battles may hold been the celebrated wild animal Hunts. Some animal killers fought king of beastss, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelams, bears, and bulls which brought many animate beings to approach extinction in the environing countries.
However, even worse than the wild animal Hunts was the violent deaths of instead harmless animate beings such as ostriches, camelopard, cervid, elephants, and even hippopotami all for the delectation of the crowd. The Colosseum utilised machinery to even raise animate beings to the conflict floor from beneath where the catacombs and transitions lay. The Colosseum would be decorated with trees, knolls, and other elements to imitate natural surroundings.
10 One such combatant was the crazed emperor Commodus who had such a passion for unequal combat he visited the Colesseum more than a 1000 times butchering at one clip one hundred bears, killed ostriches, and even guiltless fans if they laughed. It was clear to many that he was insane, and he was assinated by a celebrated jock. Possibly the most interesting of all events held was the mock sea conflicts. The Romans were celebrated for running H2O in their architecture, and this allowed them to deluge the conflict field and keep mock sea conflicts. Of class with all of this bloodshed, it was really controversal get downing in the 3rd to 4th centuries. The pagan religion of Rome had rooted from the Etruscans and was apparent at the Colosseum.
Christianity was besides distributing about, but most Roman emperors would non accept Christians. As Peter Quennell puts it in his Hagiographas: The Christians, like the Jews with whom they were sometimes confused, were reported to idolize an ass-headed God and were besides said to pattern incest, cannabalism, and other every bit flagitious offenses. The Christians were inflamed, said their heathen antagonists, by an odium generis humani, a downright abhorrence of the human race, and as public enemies they at one time received the incrimination for any catastrophe that might bechance the imperium. As one can state from the above descriptions, many Christians were persecuted by the Roman emperors. If one did non take to plight their trueness to the emperor by a sacrificial ceremonial and to deny their ain faith, they were executed. Some executings were in the Colosseum where the Christians were defenceless and killed by wild king of beastss. Others were burned alive at the interest, shooting with pointers, or stoned. The major alterations of attitude towards Christians came with the Constantine the Great.
He last exchanged the pur ple pagan robes for the white robes of Christian faith. However paganism continued until 392, when Theodosius I and Valentinian II prohibited any form of pagan sacrifice. However it was Honorius who abolished the games of the Colosseum, but criminals were still persecuted there for more than one-hundred years. 11 After that it was generally used up until the end of the sixth century for concerts, sermons, and bullfights.
The structure itself of the Colloseum can be summarized as the symbol of Rome and it’s respect across the world: mammouth. The overall plan is a huge elliptical structure measuring about 617 by 512 feet: the measure of the actual arena are 280 by 180.12 Estimates of capacity range from 45,000 to 50,000 spectators. It is believed to be made of two half circles in order for the accoustics to be amplified. The building incorporates many Roman influences with some Greek past, and some of its own technologies that are some of the most wonderous creations of man.
The most important of aspects of this monument are in its arches, columns, vaulting, technological advances, and in its mere magnitude. The arches and barrel-vaulting are typical of Roman buildings and architecture, but should be given more thought. The Colosseum is built as four stories which was unprecedented in its day. The arch was a great Roman architecture innovation which allowed for great amounts of weight to be carried over long spans.
The arches allowed for the great load bearing required to support a monument such as the Colosseum. Arches are built by a series of stones or bricks placed side by side in such a manner that they can support one another and weight while bridging a wide space. A barrel-vault is a half cylinder created from the continuation of the arches.
The outermost walls of the structure sat on eighty piers connected by stone barrel-vaults. The four stories symbolized the basic Roman orders: Tuscan (variation of Doric), Ionic, Corinthian, and tall Corinthian pilasters on the fourth story. The outer walls on the bottom were faced in Doric columns faced with travertine with an Ionic entablature which ran all around the building. Inside the building the columns on the bottom were Doric and contained two parallel corridors barrel-vaulted in concrete which surrounded the building. The second level and third level were similar to the first, except the outer walls were separated by lined up columns of the Ionic order, and the third level outer wall was Corinthian. The fourth level is different than the first three and this had much to do with the covering of the Colosseum which will be discussed later. It consisted of a flatter surface with Corinthian pilistars and in alternating sections contained windows. The roof of the upper corridor seems to have formed a flat wooden platform below the top of the outer wall.
The sailors who operated the roof used this platform. The seating was sat at a 37 degree angle13, and had a stairway system to enter the three levels as shown by the cutouts of the four levels below. The building was not made all of travistine, but was made of lighter and porous pumice stone and also of brick and concrete. The seating on the bottom was covered in marble and brass, and higher levels were made of wood. Some of the technology employed at the time of this building is very similar to today’s buildings of similar uses for games. For instance there were 76 entrance gates of the 80 piers.
The latter four were used for emperors and gladiators (one of which was used to drag the bodies to an unmarked grave). The entrance gates were numbered and corresponded to numbers stamped on the fan’s tickets much like todays sporting events. With 80 gates one could easily maneuver to their correct gate. In the ground floor contained an intricate labyrinth of cells which housed the gladiators, animals, and workers. There were splendid uses of machinery in which to lift the gladiator or animal to the surface of the battle arena. But the most amazing construction at the Colosseum had nothing to do with the show. It was designed purely for the benefit of the audience, to keep them calm and content as the violent spectacle unfolded below.
It was a roof. The roof of the Colleseum was one that was retractable and much like a sailor. So much in fact, sailors who lived in a nearby town managed the velarium, or colored awning. This was a remarkable feat considering that most stadiums now days are still not fully enclosed (such as the Cowboy’s stadium). The use of the corbels on the uppermost deck and the use of a pulley system brought about this feat of ingenious. Some archeologists thought that the roof was non-existent or was a web of ropes, but it is now believed to be made from masts and pulleys. The masts would hold horizontal masts on which to pull the awning over. It is believed that it did not cover the whole structure, but at least the most important seatings of the emperor for the whole day.
14 Hebrew prisoners and slaves of the time employed the building of the Colesseum. All the details of the actual construction are unknown, but it is based upon a barrel-vaulted scheme that circles around. The builders used tavertine blocks to construct a framework of piers, arches, and linked walls and vaults. The cement posts go deep into the ground to support the great weight.
The lower level vaults were constructed of tufa or pumice. On the upper floors the walls were built with brick and concrete (utilizing volcanic sand to dry). Travertine was used to surround the outside and was held in place by iron clamps. 15 The experience of being outside the Colosseum was plain except for the added statues.
The outside of the building was paved with boundaries and roads. One could make out the hundreds of semicircles and arches. The arches increased upwards from Truscan, Doric, and Corinthian columns to the Corinthian Pillars and wall of the fourth deck. The outside was a brilliant travertine that must have been a spectacular sight. Next to the building one would feel he is nothing but a little gnat compared to the great building.
To get inside one must enter their gate, and proceed up the stairway to the designated level much like a modern stadium. Since there were 80 entrances, many people could occupy the great Amphitheater. Inside the Coloseum the arena floor was wooden and covered with sand to soak the blood. There was a great podium made of marble on the sidelines housed the dignitaries. Above that were marble seats for distinguished private citizens. The second held the middle class, the third held slaves and foreigners, and the fourth levels were for women and the poor who sat on wooden seats.
16 The great velarium was multicolored and must have been a specticle on the inside of the Colosseum when raised. This would also shadow and protect the fans from nature. The arches allowed for great ventilation, stability, and passageways to keep the crowd comfortable all day. On a whole the Colosseum is symbolized by its size which represents the greatness of Rome. The name may be attributed to its size, or some believe to the colossal statue of Nero nicknamed the “crowned colossus” that was nearby.
With all of the circular motifs used by the arches, and of the building itself, some believe it symbolizes the sun. This also makes sense considering part of the Colosseum was built from the Golden House of Nero, also known as the solar statue, or sun statue. Many symbols used in the Colosseum were of Pagan descendent. This included the sacrifices, purple robes, battle-axes, and hammers of the Etruscan Pagans.
The cross was erected to commemorate the early Christians who are believed to have died here (although there is no evidence to support this belief). The great arch beside the Coliseum was erected in the third century in honor of Constantine, although much of its decoration was pilfered from monuments to other emperors. Since one of the symbols was of the sun, the arches created natural and splendid light and shadows as shown in the picture. Much poetry has been written of the light, shadows, and even smoke from the arches of the Colosseum. When it was not noon the light would create long shadows and yet have bright instances which accentuate the arches and columns in the bright light. It shows an alternating natural pattern of shadows.
One of the first natural changes of the Colosseum came in 320 when lightning struck and damaged the building. In 422 it was damaged by an earthquake. However Theodosius II and Valentitian III repaired it only to be again damaged by an earthquake in 508. After the sixth century the city of Rome and the Coleseum went downhill because of some devastating disasters. Towards the end of the sixth century grass was starting to grow rampant at the Colosseum, .
1 The colleseum, pg 52 2 history arch p 191 3 the colle p 60 4 the colleseum pf 52 5 history theatre p 61 6 colo pg 41 7 rome p 64 8 history theatre p61 9000! 9 P 48, colesseum 10 drama 11 cole p72 12 arc rom greece 13 hist arch p 208 14 nova 15 the colop 40 16 col the, p 39 [TVK1] [TVK2]PICTURE!!!