Rome #2, The Colosseum, Italy 1/2014

March 2, 2014

Like the Vatican, there is only one. There are many sports arenas and coliseums in Italy, but there is only one “Colosseum”. Since the Middle Ages it has been a symbol of Rome, the Eternal City. It had been written, “While the Colosseum stands, Rome will stand but when the Colosseum falls, Rome shall fall, and when Rome falls, the World will end.”

Started in AD 72 on the grounds of Emperor Nero’s private Domus Aurea and inaugurated in AD 80, the multi-tiered complex could seat over 50,000 people. A wooden floor over the main arena was cover with sand to prevent the gladiators and wild animals from slipping and to absorb the blood. Animals from Africa and Asia including lions, bears, tigers, rhinos, and hippos were pitted against unarmed naked prisoners of war who were destined to be torn apart and eaten, just part of the show. Official numbers can be conflicting, but to be sure, thousands of animals, prisoners and gladiators fought to their death to entertain the cheering crowds.

While we rarely take guided tours, the one for the Colosseum gave us access to the many chambers under the main arena where prisoners and animals were held. Earthquakes and pollution have taken their toll, but one can still imagine the bloody history of this famous structure.

We might reflect on today’s professional football. Great receivers, tight ends and quarterbacks, like successful gladiators, are highly paid and become famous national heroes to fight again and again. The difference is, the loosing team gets to live another day.

To display more photos we added the photo gallery feature. Please click on the first thumbnail (which is not the entire picture) to enlarge it and then use the arrows below the photos to view others. Anytime you wish to return to the blog, just click on the photo. Captions will only display below the thumbnails.

Of course, we had to take a photo to prove we were there.

Of course, we had to take a photo to prove we were there.

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One Response to “Rome #2, The Colosseum, Italy 1/2014”

  1. Like the Vatican, there is only one. There are many sports arenas and coliseums in Italy, but there is only one… http://t.co/2i8Zvp3z4a

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