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Colosseum Facts

General Knowledge | 6-13 yrs | Animation, Video

15 Interesting Facts About The Roman Colosseum

  • The Colosseum is a huge open auditorium or amphitheater in the center of Rome, Italy.
  • It was built by Emperor Vespasian for his successor, Titus.
  • The word amphitheater is derived from the Greek word ‘ampi’ (open from both sides) and ‘theatron’ (public place of viewing).
  • The name Colosseum is said to be derived from the giant statue of Nero called ‘The Colossus of Nero’ which earlier stood before the stadium.
  • The Colosseum is an egg-shaped building that is about 620 feet long, 512 feet wide and 158 feet tall.
  • It covers a vast expanse of 6 acres.
  • More than 1.1 million tonnes of concrete, stone and bricks were used to erect this massive structure.
  • It has about 80 entrances and is large enough to accommodate 50,000 spectators.
  • In 847, the southern wall of the Colosseum collapsed because of an earthquake.
  • The Romans used the Colosseum for gladiator duels and public spectacles such as animal hunts, mock sea battles, re-enactments of famous battles, executions and dramas.
  • Certain classes of people like former gladiators and gravediggers were not permitted to enter the Colosseum.
  • The west exit was called the Gate of Death. This was where dead gladiators were carried out of the arena.
  • Historical data suggests that the games played in the Colosseum for hundreds of years have claimed the lives of about 500,000 people and more than a million wild animals.
  • The gladiatorial fights stopped in 435 CE and the animal hunts by the beginning of 23 CE.
  • Several popular singers like Elton John, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney and Ray Charles have performed at the Colosseum.