Ancient Entertainment

The Flavian Amphitheater, better known as the Colosseum, stands in the heart of ancient Rome. Built by the emperors Vespasian and Titus between 70-80 AD, the amphitheater is 157 ft high. Only a small portion of the original outer wall remains. Ancient sources state that over 9,000 wild animals were killed during the inaugural games in the Colosseum. The venue held between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators depending on its configuration at the time

Italica, the ruins of a Roman City in Spain

Founded in the 2nd century BC by Scipio, Italica was the first Roman settlement in Spain. It’s amphitheater, which seated 25,000, has served as a quarry for later structures, with little of its original marble surface still in place. Many of the pillars in the mosque in Cordoba came from Italica.

Thursday’s Special: Traces of the Past

Roman Amphitheater


The Roman influence in Arles, France was significant. Both an amphitheater and a theater were constructed. Built in 90 AD, the amphitheater could seat over 20,000 spectators for chariot races and gladiator battles.  After the fall of Rome, it became a fortress, and the interior held over 200 housing units. In 1825, it was declared a national monument and was returned to its original use.  Today, it draws large crowds for bullfighting during the Feria d’Arles and plays and concerts in summer. The tower (one of three) is a medieval addition.

Thursday’s Special: Traces of the Past

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