Colosseum (the Coliseum) also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre is a symbol of the greatness of the Roman Empire and modern Italy. And indeed the Coliseum is the most significant architectural monument of the Ancient Rome.
Its construction began under the emperor Vespasian in 72 AD and was completed in 80 AD under his son and heir Titus. The amphitheatre could hold up to 70,000 thousand people. For the construction of such huge structure reaching the height of a modern 16-floor building Vespasian used over 100,000 slaves from the subjugated Judaea. However money was not enough so Vespasian was even forced to impose taxes on public toilets. The saying «money does not stink» is ascribed to this emperor.
And only 8 years later the Colosseum was already opened for the spectators of the games, which lasted for over 100 days. The giant size of the amphitheatre made it possible to arrange there not only gladiator fights but also horse and even see battles. During these first 100-day games there were killed over 2,000 gladiators and about 5,000 animals. These deadly games were conducted at the Coliseum for several centuries.
The most impressive games were conducted under the emperor Trajan. The games arranged in honor of the victories of Trajan in Dacia lasted for 123 days. Only during those games there were killed about 11,000 animals and several thousand gladiators. And totally in the reign of Trajan over 40,000 gladiators were killed on the arena of the Coliseum. Apart from battles, public executions were also held at the Coliseum. The condemned were most often torn to pieces by wild beasts.
The today Coliseum is but 30% of the ancient Colosseum. In 217 AD the Colosseum (Coliseum) was badly damaged by the big fire caused by lightning. The amphitheatre was repaired but lost its former grandeur. The bloody gladiator fights were prohibited in 405, after Christianity was made the official religion (in 370). And the last animal hunt was held at the Coliseum in 573. After that such entertainments were completely banned. Later, a section of the outside wall collapsed as a result of earthquakes. But actually, it was people who caused the greatest damage to the Coliseum dismantling it for building materials.