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Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years ago
     The Roman Colosseum was a massive structure made of stone. The architects wanted the Colosseum to be attractive and a symbol of pride for Rome, so they used many ornamental stones for the outside. Marble and limestone were used as decorative stone for the outside walls. The supportive materials used included concrete, brick, and other types of stone. These materials were more supportive and could hold the immense building up better than the decorative stones.
     People would enter the Colosseum by walking through one of 80 arched doorways. People would match their ticket number with the gate number. Most of the gates were for public use, but the emperor had his own group of gates. Each of the exterior levels had 80 arches. The first level was the only level that would be used for entering and exiting. The arches on the second and third levels were used for support and decoration. Arches were a Roman invention; arches were a strong shape that could hold the large weight of the Colosseum. Arches were used throughout Rome; the Flavian Amphitheater was only one of the places where the arch was used. Arches were also used in the famous aqueducts which carried water from the mountains into the cities. The Colosseum was constructed using arches and columns. This combination allowed for weight to be channeled down to the ground without causing any damage to the amphitheater itself.
     From the outside of the building the Colosseum was a magnificent structure. In each of the empty arches on the second and third layers there were statues of divinities and gods. The statues were made of metal and marble, some had gold on the outer layer. Every arch on the third tier had very large statues. Romans also put banners and torches made of paraffin on the outside walls. The torches would light the Colosseum’s facade for night events. The architects put half-columns on every level. Half-columns are decorative columns that are attached to the wall behind it and only show the front, decorative side. On the first floor the architects had Doric columns installed. Doric columns are simple columns that have a plain square base. On the second level of the Colosseum ionic columns were put in place. Ionic columns are slightly fancier than Doric columns. Ionic columns have a simple carving through the mid-section of the column with a curved pinnacle. The most decorative type of column is the Corinthian column. Like the other types of columns; Corinthian columns have very simple bases, but the top of the column was extremely intricate. Corinthian columns are usually decorated with vines and flowers. These elaborate columns and were specifically used for the third layer of the Colosseum. The fourth tier of the Colosseum did not have any decorative columns instead it had square columns called pilasters. Each pilaster was separated by one of forty windows.
     The pilasters were 45 feet tall each. The pilasters were lightweight so as not to impose any extra weight on the levels below. The final achievements of the Colosseum were the valeria and the chandelier. The valeria was a silk awning that would shade viewers from the sun. The valeria was held on 250 masts which were on the top of the stone pilasters. It would take over 1,000 sailors to put the awning up. For nighttime events the Romans installed a grand chandelier. The chandelier was very large because it had to light the 6 acre Flavian Amphitheatre.
     The Romans wanted to show their wealth, power, and pride by building the now famous Flavian Amphitheatre. This was an engineering marvel of the time and is showed all the power that Rome had by having beautiful, large statues. The Romans also had an assortment of acts that were presented in the Colosseum. The Flavian Amphitheatre is a great spectacle and an icon of Rome.

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