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Saved by PBworks
on June 20, 2006 at 11:42:24 am

The Roman Colosseum was an amphitheatre. The Colosseum could hold up to 50,000 people, and could be emptied within 10 minutes. The 50,000 people were separated by social class. They were divided into three levels. The level that was closest to the arena floor was reserved for the senators and the emperor. All of the Patricians or rich people stayed here. The majority of people stayed in the second level. These were the Plebeians or middle class. Most of these men were farmers or artisans. The last level was at the top of the amphitheatre. The slaves and women stood up here.


The Colosseum was a massive structure. It covered over six acres of land. From, end to end the Colosseum was 620 feet long, 513 feet wide and over 160 feet tall. To fill and empty such a large building very quickly would be difficult. The architects came up with a system of arches and staircases inside the building. 1.1 million tons of stone and brick were used to build the four-story high Colosseum. Underneath the seats there was a labyrinth of corridors and stairs. The stairways from the first level rose to the second and third levels. People would enter through 1 of 76 arches. The other 4 were reserved for the emperor and his family to use. From there you would walk along the level that you were assigned. Then you would walk out and find a seat.


The Flavian Amphitheatre has a very distinct shape. Most buildings are rectangular of circular, but the Colosseum is an oval. The Colosseum was and oval because it would allow more people to watch the games. When the Colosseum was first built there was no floor. All the events would happen on the ground. Another theory is that there used to be a wooden floor and wooden support poles. Both of the theories allow for the possibility of a mock sea battle. The modern arena floor is made of stone poles and a wooden floor which has rotted away. When the Colosseum had this floor installed it was covered with sand to give the effect of the original floor. Under this there was a system of rooms and passageways where slaves would raise and lower animals and people up elevators. The lifts rose to trapdoors in the floor. The audience couldn’t see this happening so it gave the effect of animals and people coming from nowhere. There were thirty two trap doors, and each trapdoor has a lift. 250 men were needed to operate all of these lifts. The Colosseum was a large building with a system of corridors wherever you went.

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