The Roman Coliseum is recognized as the most prominent monument to have endured through the classical world. The oval shaped construction made out of concrete and stone was the largest amphitheater built during that time and still holds that title to this day. The elaborated architecture has influenced the construction of numerous buildings around the globe, both past and present. The Coliseum held the capability of supporting the tens of thousands of spectators who witnessed gladiators and animals fighting for their lives in order to achieve glory.
Others, who lost their lives fighting, served as an entertainment for viewers who watched the blood filled battles from the amphitheater’s seats. The Coliseums’ architecture was what allowed many people to experience these famous gladiator games as its architectural designs towered over all the surrounding buildings and city. I will examine the interior structure and the construction, which was divided into three parts from bottom to top; podium, gradatio, and porticus. I will provide a detailed explanation on how the podium (the area reserved for the most important personas) was built and how the structure of the floor in that section was adapted according to what spectacle was taking place. I will then introduce the upper layers of the establishment and how this complex structure was built in order to allow spectators to enter and exit the Coliseum in a short amount of time. The upper layers were a challenging task for the engineers building this structure. I will explicate how these layers were carefully built in order for the Coliseum to remain standing even with the heavy weight of the materials used.
Through an understanding of the depth of skill, the amount of planning, and the versatility of the structure itself, it will be possible to see why not only is the Coliseum still standing to this day, but why it was such a central part of the culture and society at the time. The Coliseum is not simply a historical piece of architecture, but a building whose existence factored heavily into all aspects of life, from punishment to entertainment, and as a means of providing a centralized structure in which society was able to flourish.
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