Culture and civilization of the colosseum research paper examples

In the current world, the Colosseum remains to be such a huge and impressive amphitheatre among the ancient Roman empire. It is a monument that reminds people of the old Roman empire and the cruelty, which occurred during the reign. During the reign of the ancient Roman empire, they killed people perceived to be criminals in the Colosseum. On the other hand, professional fighters also took part in the activities undertaken in the amphitheatre. Additionally, animal fights were also staged in the Colosseum with large crowds of spectators around the place (Hopkins, 2011). The Colosseum was renowned for its cruelty activities carried out inside the serried ranks of columns and arches.
The Colosseum was established just after the Nero’s extravagance and the Jews rebelled against the ancient Roman rule. In AD 64, after the outbreak of the vast fire in Rome, Nero had built the Golden House for himself in the middle of the city. Afterwards, he was faced with a myriad of military uprisings and instability in ruling the empire, which led him to commit suicide. Eventually, civil wars engulfed the Roman Empire and Vespasian emerged the winner of the civil wars and decided to build an amphitheatre for his regime. The Colosseum was very much significant with the ancient Roman Empire. In addition, it was the greatest and the biggest amphitheatre in the ancient Roman Empire capable of accommodating spectators up to 50, 000 . Generally, there were over 250 amphitheatres in the ancient Roman Empire. Therefore, it is clear that the amphitheatre was quite significant over the rest due to the activities and shows carried out.
The Colosseum was also referred to as the Flavian Amphitheatre. It came into completion in 80 AD under the rule of Vespasian successor, Titus. Additionally, further changes were carried out during the rule of Domitian. Therefore, the three emperors are said to have made a significant work in the establishment of the Colosseum. The construction of the Colosseum took place in a calculated and sequential manner as directed by Vespasian. Accordingly, the construction of the Flavian amphitheatre was funded by the spoils brought from the Jewish temple after Jerusalem was under siege. In this case, a suitable and convenient construction site was to be selected (Hopkins, 2011). The preferred construction site was a flat region on a low lying valley, which would provide a perfect ground for the amphitheatre. Therefore, the Flavian amphitheatre was established between the Caelian, Esquiline and Palatine hills.
The Colosseum was significantly built in order to embrace the victorious war fought during the civil wars in the ancient empire. It was strategically located in the middle of the city as in contrast with other amphitheatres in the Roman Empire. Vespasian had ordered the establishment of the Flavian amphitheatre from his overall share of the booty. Therefore, it meant that Vespasian had a sizeable amount of share derived from the seized treasure after their victory during the war. Accordingly, the Colosseum had been built up to the third story by the time Vespasian faced his death. In 79 AD after the death of Vespasian, his son took over the Roman emperor (Hopkins, 2011). Titus continued the work left by his father in the Colosseum and further re-established some parts of the Colosseum. In 80 AD, during the inaugural games of the Flavian Amphitheatre, around 9000 animals were killed.
In his regime, Emperor Titus used the amphitheatre to stage a myriad of professional gladiator fights and animal hunt. The Flavian amphitheatre became renowned for its cruelty and blood shedding fights in the Roman Empire. In this case, the Flavian amphitheatre formed the heart of the city since unlike the rest of the amphitheatres; it was centrally located in the city. After Emperor Titus regime, his son Domitian took over the Roman Empire. It was in his reign that the emperor Domitian made several manipulation and changes in the Flavian amphitheatre. For instance, he established underground tunnels used by animals and slaves in the amphitheatre. In addition, emperor Domitian is also renowned for adding up a gallery on top of the Colosseum in order to increase the carrying capacity of the amphitheatre.
However, in 217AD, there was a major fire in the amphitheatre, which destroyed the upper wooden parts of the Flavian amphitheatre and some crucial structures of the amphitheatre. However, the amphitheatre was not completely refurnished until 250AD when some construction of the amphitheatre was carried out. Despite the destructions, activities in the amphitheatre were still staged. In this perspective, gladiatorial fights were hosted in the amphitheatre as well as animal fights. In practice, recruitment of gladiators persisted during the years since they formed a crucial part in the activities of the amphitheatre. In addition, animal hunting for fighting in the amphitheatre also persisted until 523 AD.
In the 16th century, the amphitheatre went through numerous controversies from the church leaders. For instance, there was a proposition by Pope Sixtus V to turn the amphitheatre building into a wool factory, which would provide employment for prostitutes in the Roman Empire. This proposition did not bear fruits following his premature death after which Cardinal Altieri had authorized the use of the amphitheatre for bull fighting. However, the public rejected the idea and thus was abandoned and in 1749, Pope Benedict XIV came with the ideology that it was in the Colosseum where Christians were martyred and thus declared it a sacred place. Therefore, he was against the use of the amphitheatre as a quarry and thus dedicated the building to the lives of the Christians who lost their lives.
In the recent times, the Colosseum has formed one of the major tourist attraction sites in Rome. According to statistics, millions of tourists annually visit the Rome to view the great Flavian amphitheatre. However, the building has undergone severe wreckage and has deteriorated over the years. The government has enacted programs, which are aimed at renovating the building. In practice, the Colosseum has been used as a symbol of the campaign against capital punishment around the world. In general, Roman gladiators were slaves, criminals and prisoners of war were gathered together in the Flavian amphitheatre. Most of the gladiators were men though there were a few women gladiators. The amphitheatre used to undertake combats, which were attended by the Roman people. However, most of the combats were meant for the emperor himself. The Colosseum would be soaked and filled with a lot of blood and thus covered with sand layer. Therefore, nothing could ever stop the gladiators fight unless the emperor so wishes to stop them (Hopkins, 2011).
The Colosseum activities had a very strong religious element though it demonstrated family prestige and power to the emperor circle. Animal hunt was another type of show which took place in the Flavian amphitheatre. Animal hunt comprised of fights between different wild beasts mainly imported from Africa. For instance, creatures like elephants, rhinoceros, giraffes, leopards, bears and crocodiles were collected for animal hunt. Therefore, battles and hunts could take place in the amphitheatre staged with the natural environment scenery. Natural scenes could be reflected in the fighting arena in order to bring about a general environment. On the other hand, architects and painters would decorate the walls of the arena with images of real trees and bushes in order to bring a picture of a forest. The floor of the arena would also be painted, and the introduction of animals in the arena would follow.
The Colosseum was an arena where at times when heroes of a story were executed through some horrible methods. For instance, they could be burned to death or mauled by wild beasts to death. It was an arena where the participating parties were guaranteed of death after the show. The amphitheatre had a significant role in the ancient empire since it portrayed the victorious win of civil war by Vespasian. Therefore, the Colosseum is usually associated with the Vespasian family and their reign over Rome. Despite the continued criticism from church leaders in Rome, the Colosseum remained standing for what it signified. These activities presented an important part the Roman culture and the modern civilization of the community.
Today, even after thousands of years from its establishment, the Colosseum remains to be a vital building in Rome, it attracts a lot of tourists from all diverse ends of the world. Among other tourist attractions in Rome, the Colosseum receives millions of tourists annually. The government has acknowledged and appreciated the significance of the building in the region’s culture and civilization. As a result, the government has organized and created renovation and refurbishing programs for the amphitheatre. In this aspect, it ensures that the building remains firm and safe for people. The amphitheatre has a political and social significance among the Romans (Hopkins, 2011). The amphitheatre acts as an icon of remembrance for the reign of Vespasian emperor. Therefore, his victorious win over the civil war in Rome is always pictured by the Flavian Amphitheatre.
The Romans associated the amphitheatre with the cruelty and horrible acts used to be carried out by the Roman emperors. Generally, the Romans view the amphitheatre in different perspectives. The Christians perceive the amphitheatre as a sacred place where Christians were martyred. The emperor families perceive the amphitheatre as a place for recreation and entertainment. According to human welfare organizations, they view the acts by the emperors as a violation of human rights and dignity. Therefore, individuals perceive the amphitheatre in various ways according to their grounds and lines of judgment.
In conclusion, the Colosseum carries a lot of cultural, political and social meaning among the Roman people. In this case, renovation of the building is done regularly in order to bring forward its significance. The Colosseum remains to be an important icon not only to the Roman Empire but to the entire world. These activities have contributed significantly to the Roman empire culture and civilization, as well as providing a rich history of the Roman empire.


Hopkins, K. (2011). The Colosseum. London: Profile Books.
Hopkins, K. (2011, March 22). The Colosseum: Emblem of Rome. Retrieved October 6, 2013, from BBC: http://www. bbc. co. uk/history/ancient/romans/colosseum_01. shtml
Laurence, R. (2010). Roman Passions: A History of Pleasure in Imperial Rome. New York: Continuum.
Welch, K. E. (2007). The Roman Amphitheatre: From Its Origins to the Colosseum. New York: Cambridge University Press.