In the minds of the Romans, the amphitheater was a place of significant symbolic meaning. It was a place of civilized order where, from the Roman point of view, the victory of civilization over lawlessness, chaos, barbarism, and savagery was regularly enacted. It was also a place of justice: certain criminals were executed there by being given to the wild beasts or were forced to fight to the death as gladiators. It also represented the domination of Rome over its enemies: prisoners of war were either executed or forced to fight each other as gladiators. But for the professional gladiator it was also a place of redemption, in which one could overcome death by victory or by stoically accepting it.
“As long as the Colosseum stands, Rome will stand; when the Colosseum falls, Rome will fall; when Rome falls, the whole world will fall.” (Venerable Bede, VII th century AD) There was no roof on the Colosseum, but in the summer great canvas sheets were rigged to the top to form awnings that kept the sun off everyone inside. The bottom three stories have 80 arches each; the stories are separated by a thin architrave (a horizontal band running around the entire Colosseum).
The columns in one story line up exactly with those in the story above it. The bottom story has 80 entrance arches, each of which is separated by a Doric column (the columns are engaged, which means the column shafts are actually part of the wall making it impossible to walk behind the columns).
The Roman Empire was without a doubt the most powerful governing body in the Mediterranean ever. Why did Rome fall? There was not any single cause to the fall of Rome. It was many things occurring in succession to each other. After the Punic wars with Carthage, Rome acquired many new lands that it did not have before. During peace times it was easy to govern these areas but during war times it ...
The second story has engaged Ionic columns, and the third has Corinthian. The fourth story is a solid wall with thin Corinthian pilasters (rectangular columns that are also engaged).
The space between the pilasters is filled alternately with 40 small, rectangular windows and 40 bucklers (now lost).
The unique combination of strong support columns with airy arches and thin architraves makes the Colosseum look sturdy, yet open and soaring. The Doric column is the oldest type it is strong, simple, and even severe in appearance, making the first story appear to be a strong foundation. Moving up the building, the columns become progressively “newer” and more refined, lending a lightness to the upper stories.
Two phrases sum up the characteristics of Roman civilization in days of the Empire – heartless cruelty, and unfathomable corruption. Romans thought nothing of the death penalty, their justice was swift and ruthless, no mercy, no compassion, no liberality. Such are the scenes which we must witness, such are the sentiments with which we must become familiar, the very moment that we turn our eyes away from the spectacle of the little Christian churches, composed chiefly as yet of slaves and artisans, who had been taught to imitate a Divine example of humility and sincerity, of purity and love.