Dieser Dienst ist im Moment nur auf Italienisch und Englisch.
The Coliseum, also known as "Amphitheatre Flavio", built on the order of the Imperator Vespasiano in the honour of the grandiosity of his empire, was inaugurated by his son, Tito, in 80 after Christ with celebrations 100 days long.
The name Coliseum
probably comes from the big bronze statue of about 38 metres, known as the "Colosso" (giant), that Nerone wanted built on his image in the Domus Aurea. The work, representing the Imperator in the pants of the God Apollo, wanted to call back to the mind, with its extraordinary dimensions, the prestige and the fascination that another symbol of the Antiquity had had: the Colosso of Rhodes.
The statue was moved by the Imperator Adriano close to the Amphitheatre and afterwards modified in its lines in order to look like to various imperators on one hand, and then, on the other hand, with the addition of a "crown of sun rays", to the God Sun. However, it was only in the Middle Ages, with the oblivion of the imperial magnificence and of the aristocratic "gens", that the name Coliseum started to take the place, in the common diction, of the name of "Amphitheatre Flavio".
The Coliseum, projected by Rabirio or maybe Gaudenzio, was welcoming long combats between gladiators, executions and hunting spectacles. More or less 80000 spectators were following the combats that could go on from the sunrise to the sunset and also up to the deepest night when the gladiators were fighting illuminated by the light of the torches.
According to the chronicles of the time it looks like that the fights preferred by the public were the chaotic melange of tens of gladiators invented by the Imperator Claudio, called "sportule". All the religious celebrations, the recurrence and the military victories were celebrated, during the imperial era, with the combats of the gladiators. To defend the spectators from the ferocious animals they were installing a metallic fence, while during the most sunny days or the raining days, the public was protected by a big blue "velario" with yellow stars operated by a team of sailors of the fleet of Capo Miseno and of Ravenna.
In general, to the Coliseum are also associated the persecutions suffered by the Christian martyrs, also if, according to recent studies, there are not documented proofs demonstrating the effective existence of massacres and slaughters inside the walls of the Amphitheatre Flavio. In any case, in 313 after Christ, the Imperator Constantine proclaimed Christianity the official religion of the empire, obviously forbidding the executions of Christians but also the combats between gladiators and the hunting spectacles.
During the following centuries the Coliseum initially became a cemetery, and then a fortress called "Frangipane" and finally a sort of cava for the construction materials. The degradation of the structure due to fires, earthquakes and sacks was stopped by Pope Benedetto XIV who consecrated the Amphitheatre to the Via Crucis and forbade any ulterior spoliation.