The Colosseum or Coliseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre (Latin:Amphitheatrum Flavium; Italian: Anfiteatro Flavio or Colosseo) is an ellipticalamphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy. Built of concrete and stone,it was largest amphitheatre of the Roman Empire, and is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering. It is the largest amphitheatre in the world.
The Colosseum is situated just east of the Roman Forum. Construction began under the emperor Vespasian in 70 AD and was completed in 80 AD under his successor and heir Titus.
Further modifications were made during the reign of Domitian (81–96). These three emperors are known as the Flavian dynasty, and the amphitheatre was named in Latin for its association with their family name (Flavius).
The Colosseum seated 50,000 spectators and was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology.
After romans defeated Dacia the emperor celebrated for 120 days at Colosseum, during this time 11000 people and 12000 animals were killed. The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. It was later reused for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine.
In the 8th century, a famous epigram attributed to the Venerable Bede celebrated the symbolic significance of the statue in a prophecy that is variously quoted: Quamdiu stat Colisæus, stat et Roma; quando cadet colisæus, cadet et Roma; quando cadet Roma, cadet et mundus (“as long as the Colossus stands, so shall Rome; when the Colossus falls, Rome shall fall; when Rome falls, so falls the world”).
Although in the 21st century it stays partially ruined because of damage caused by devastating earthquakes and stone-robbers, the Colosseum is an iconic symbol ofImperial Rome.
It is one of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions and still has close connections with the Roman Catholic Church, as each Good Friday the Pope leads a torchlit “Way of the Cross” procession that starts in the area around the Colosseum.
The Colosseum is also depicted on the Italian version of the five-cent euro coin.