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L' immenso anfiteatro,nelle imponenti rovine permette di farsi un'idea del suo antico splendore. Iniziato da VESPASIANO nel 72 A.D. f terminato da suo figlio TITO nell' 80 costruito da prigionieri ebrei, il suo vero nome "Anfiteatro Flavio" ma, pi comunemente chiamato "Il Colosseo" forse per le sue proporzioni o per essere costruito molto vicino al colosso di Nerone.   E' diventato il simbolo della citt eterna della sua storia e della sua vita.     Il COLOSSEO come un gigantesco stadio dei nostri tempi, ma i spettacoli preferiti dai romani erano i giochi del circo (ludi circenses), giochi che furono certamente inventati verso la fine della Repubblica per alimentare lo spirito guerriero che li rese conquistatori del mondo, da qui anche la professione del "Gladiatore".     Cassio dice, in un suo rapporto, che furono uccisi ben 9000 animali durante i  100 giorni delle feste per l'inaugurazione dell'Anfiteatro, terminati i festeggiamenti f immediatamente ripulito dagli animali uccisi e riempito di acqua per le battaglie navali.

Il COLOSSEO a forma ellittica dai diametri di 187 metri il pi grande, ed il pi piccolo di 155, l'altezza di 50 metri. Conteneva circa 80.000 spettatori.   Esteriormente costruito in quattro ellissi, tre  di 80 archi adornati con colonne Doriche Ionichee e Corinzie, la quarta ellisse con pilastri Corinzi.  L'ellittica formata da 80 archi, 4 corrispondono ai 4 accessi dei quali uno era laccesso d'onore riservato agli imperatori.   Al centro del podio, chiamato "suggestum", c'era il posto dell'Imperatore, l'altra parte del podio era occupata dai senatori e i membri della corte, poi  venivano i posti dei tribuni, c'erano posti speciali per coniugi, ragazzi giovani accompagnati, famiglie e i loro servitori, per sole donne.   Il Colosseo normalmente era scoperto, ma in caso di pioggia  veniva coperto da un immenso velario che veniva manovrato da due squadre di marinai delle flotte di Ravenna e Capo Miseno.          Quando l'anfiteatro era nel suo massimo splendore significava la grandezza di Roma  e, come allora dopo secoli, il Colosseo rimane l'orgoglio della citt per meravigliare ancora quanti lo visitano.        La fine dell'Impero Romano fu segnata da due terribili terremoti (nel 442 e nel 508) che provocarono gravi danni al Colosseo.  Teodorico Re dei Goti, nel 523 ha autorizzato una rappresentazione venatoria della tradizionale caccia alle bestie feroci all'interno del Colosseo, e da allora il Colosseo f lasciato all'abbandono e f usato come cimitero, poi come fortezza, e alla fine, dopo il terremoto del 1349,  come cava di materiale edilizio, i meravigliosi marmi furono riutilizzati per costruire altri edifici.          Il  degrado del Colosseo f ostacolato da Papa Benedetto XIV (1740 - 1758), che per salvare quanto restava ha voluto consacrare il vecchio anfiteatro alla devota "VIA CRUCIS", e ha fatto innalzare una grande croce a nome di migliaia di martiri cristiani.

 

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     Colosseum      

 

This immense amphitheatre, whose imposing remains still allow us to admire its ancient splendour, was begun bay Vespasian in 72 A.D. and completed by his son Titus in 80 A.D. it was built by Jewish prisoners. It's true name is the "Flavian amphitheatre" though it was commonly called the Colosseum,. both for its proportions and its vicinity to the Colossus of Nero.    There is hardly a page of Roman history that is not in some way connected to the Colosseum, which became the symbol of the city and is life.

The Colosseum had the same function as a modern giant stadium, but the favourite spectacles in Roman times were the games of the Circus (ludi circenses), which probably had been invented in the late Republican era, with the intention of cultivating yhe war-like spirit that had made Romans the conquerors of the world. This was the origin of the professional gladiators, who were trained to fight to the death, while wild beasts of every sort increased the orror of the show.     Dion Cassius said that 9000 wild animals were killed in the one hundred days of celebrations which inaugurated the amphitheatre.  After the animals were killed and removed, the arena was often filled with wather in order to stage naval battles.     

The Emperor Constantine and his successors tried to put an end to the gladiatorial fights, but at the first the Romans did not want to give up their customary shows.   At the beginning of the 5th century, a monk called Telemachus came from the cast and one day entered the arena and tried to put himself between the gladiators. He appealed to the people to give up their horrid games.   The crowd hurled insults, sarcasm, and ultimately rocks, stoning the intruder to martyrdom.   But that day the games were brought to an end.

The Colosseum is elliptical in shape, 187 meters at is longest end and 155 meters at is shortest.    The height of the external ring reaches 50 meters from ground level.   It was designed to accomadate an estimated 80.000 spectators.   Around the exterior run thrrree orders of arches, respectively adorned with Doric, Ionian and  Corinthian columns, and a fourth floor with Corinthian pilasters. Of the 80 arches thath make up the elliptical ring, four correspond to the entrances at the four axes, of which only the entrance of honour reserved for the Emperor remains.

In the center of the podium, called the suggestum, was the Emperor's seat;  the rest of the podium was occupied by senators and members of the court.  Then came the sectios for the cavaliers and civil and military tribunes.  There were special place for married coupled, for young men accompanied by their tutors, for families and servants, for women, and for servants.

The Colosseum was usually uncovered, but in case od rain it was covered by an immense velarium, which was maneuvered by two squads of sailors belonging to the fleets of Ravenna and Cape Misenum.  These two squads also took part in the naval battles which were often staged in the amphitheatre.

When this amphitheatre was in its full glory, it must have been as stupendous site of Roman greatness.   But even today, after so many centuries, the Colosseum is the pride of Rome and a marvel to its visitors.   Nonetheless the history of the amphitheatre is not without long periods of abandon and neglect.   The end of the Roman Empire was marked by two earthquakes  (in 442 and 508), which caused great damage to the structure.  The Colosseum was nonetheless still in use under Theodoric, ruler of the Romano-Barbaric Kingdom of the Gots, who in 523 authorized the staging of the venationes, the traditional hunt of the wild beasts.   From that point began the total abandon that saw the Colosseum used as a cemetery, a fortress, and above all, after the earthquake of 1349, as a quarry for building materials.   The marble which once covered it almost entirely was reused in the busy period of construction during the renaissance.

In order to halt the serious decay of the Colosseum, Pope Benedict XIV (1740-1758) consecrated the old amphitheatre by setting up a "Way of the Cross" and raising a cross on the site, which has been connected to thousands of Christian martyrs.