How the Colosseum Was Built—and Why It Was an Architectural Marvel

The Flavian Amphitheatre, better known as the Colosseum, is one of the most spectacular architectural monuments of the ancient world. Built in the first century AD, it is widely known as the site of blood sports entertainment involving gladiators, wild animals and more. But as one of the best preserved and most iconic structures of ancient Rome, it remains an enduring monument to one of the Roman Empire’s most influential dynasties and a marvel of architecture and engineering. .

After Vespasian became Roman Emperor in AD 69, his Flavian dynasty – which included his sons, Titus and Domitian – began a massive building program to restore Rome, which had been ravaged by fire, plague and civil war. . During the 27-year reign of the Flavian dynasty, he renovated buildings, statues and monuments throughout the city. In AD 70, Vespasian ordered the construction of the new amphitheater in the city center, financed with spoils from the Roman siege of Jerusalem during the First Jewish-Roman War. The Colosseum, dedicated 10 years later, served as a dramatic political symbol of the city’s resurgence.

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