15 Fascinating Facts About the Roman Colosseum

The Roman Colosseum needs no introduction. It is definitely one of the most beautiful examples of Roman architecture. Known as the Flavian amphitheater, this huge structure is a huge tourist attraction. Located in the heart of Rome, it happens to be an oval amphitheater which is the largest of its kind all across the globe. Its construction began in the year AD 72 during the reign of Emperor Vespasian, and was completed in the year AD 80, when Titus had ascended the throne. When Domitian came to power, further modifications were made to the structure. Since these three kings built the Roman Colosseum and they belonged to the Flavian dynasty, hence the amphitheater was named after them. The following are 15 interesting and fascinating Colosseum facts about the ancient Rome Colosseum.

1. It has a capacity of over 50 thousand people

Roman Colosseum

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The amphitheater took a little more than 10 years to be built, and has a capacity of over 50 thousand people. People from all walks of life were allowed inside the Colosseum though there were seating distinctions between nobles and the commoners. People used to flock the place to have a good look at the gladiator games, animal hunts and executions.

2. It was also called Rome’s theater of death

Roman Colosseum

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The Colosseum is often termed as the theater of death, because thousands of people were killed and executed for the sake of mob entertainment. Animal slaughter also took place in this amphitheater to please the crowd and provide them with entertainment at a time where drama and theater were pretty much non-existent.

3. Hierarchy was practiced in the seating arrangement

Colosseum facts

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The Roman hierarchy was reflected in the seating; while the noblemen and senators sat very close to the actual action in the lower tiers, slaves, poor men and women from different walks of life were made to sit right at the very end. Though almost everyone was welcome into the ancient Rome Colosseum, there were certain exceptions, grave diggers, former gladiators and actors were not allowed inside.

4. Around one million animals have died in the amphitheater

Colosseum facts

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If hearsay it be believed then around 1 million animals have been killed in the Roman Colosseum. While some animals had been slaughtered, others died during fighting with men, or other animals. Thousands of elephants, crocodiles, bulls, bears, hippos, rhinos and even lions have lost their life in this ancient architectural display of Rome. Though there are no official records of this statement, most Romans believe it to be a fact.

Also Read: 15 Famous Roman Emperors of Ancient Times

5. The tickets were made out of pottery

Colosseum facts

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Where there is theater, there are tickets. However, long before paper tickets came into existence, the Romans used tickets made out of pottery, to allow people inside the Roman Colosseum. There are around 76 gates to enter this ancient yet majestic space. The passageways into the Colosseum were known as vomitorias and because they were so many, the space would empty up in minutes even of days when it was packed to capacity.