Okay, we did the Colosseum today, partly because it was one of those “When in Rome” things. On reflection, we rather wish that we had done the Basilicas.
However, there is no way to grasp the sheer magnitude of the place without seeing it in real life.
The nearly 2000 year old structure was so solidly built that despite the depredations of earthquakes, fires, riots, war, and the plundering of its apparently inexhaustible supply of ready cut travertine blocks for St. Peter’s, the Barberini and Cancelleria palaces, and pollution and the vibrations of cars and the metro, it’s still relatively intact. “A noble wreck in ruinous perfection,” Byron called it.
Construction commenced in AD 72 with the booty from Vespasian’s brutal crushing of the Jewish revolt.
|Interior of the Coliseum, with a partially reconstructed arena floor in the foreground|
|Coliseum — interior archway leading to the arena.|
The Jewish historian Josephus who was present at the festivities and the display of the Jewish booty after the crushing of the Jewish revolt writes,
In Rome, The Arch of Titus
celebrating the Roman
victory over the Jews still stands
The sack of Jerusalem depicted
on the Arch of Titus
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