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(both: kŏləsē`əm), Ital. Colosseo, common name of the Flavian Amphitheater in Rome, near the southeast end of the Forum, between the Palatine and Esquiline hills. Begun by Vespasian, c.A.D. 75, and completed by his son Titus in A.D. 80, it is the most imposing of Roman antiquities. The vast four-storied oval is 617 ft (188 m) by 512 ft (156 m), much of which is still standing; it had tier on tier of marble seats accommodating c.45,000 spectators. It encloses an arena measuring 250 ft (76 m) by 151 ft (46 m) where gladiatorial combats were held (see gladiatorsgladiators
[Lat.,=swordsmen], in ancient Rome, class of professional fighters, who performed for exhibition. Gladiatorial combats usually took place in amphitheaters. They probably were introduced from Etruria and originally were funeral games.
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) until 404. According to tradition, persecuted Christians were thrown there to beasts. The Colosseum has been damaged several times by earthquakes.


See J. Pearson, Arena: The Story of the Colosseum (1974).



(Amphitheatrum Flavium), a monument of ancient Roman architecture (A.D. 75–80).

The Colosseum is elliptical in plan, about 190 m long and 156 m wide. It includes an arena and four tiers of seats for spectators (about 50,000). The Colosseum was built for gladiatorial fights and other spectacles. Constructed of tufa, it had external walls faced with travertine. Inside, brick and concrete were used for the construction of the arched galleries, and the platforms were covered with marble. The statues and stucco decorations of the Colosseum have not been preserved. Outside, three tiers of arcades (Tuscan, Ionic, and Corinthian orders) and a crowning attic, articulated with flat pilasters, concealed the platforms and the labyrinth of the substructures of the arena. The majestic, grandiose Colosseum, with its powerfully rounded space and the rich plasticity of the arcades, is the most important of the Roman amphitheaters.


Tsires, A. G. Arkhitektura Kolizeia. Moscow, 1940.

colosseum, coliseum

colosseum, 1 showing seating and plan at various levels
1.(cap.) The Flavian amphitheater in Rome.
2. Any large Roman amphitheater.
3. Now, any large sports arena, open or roofed.
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Colosseum Combat and Hardrock MMA will begin operating immediately as part of the B2 Fighting Series with the Upcoming Colosseum Combat 42 on December 2nd and Hardrock MMA 95 on December 9.
Stations have had to be omitted from the route where archaeological sites are too sensitive to allow them, and plans for an archaeological museum at the Colosseum station have been scaled back for lack of funds.
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Mum Jane Watson with councillors Steve Nelson, second left and Bob Cook, hand a petition to Frank Cook MP outside The Colosseum
They included the Colosseum, which had fallen into disrepair when luxury shoemaker Tod's pledged 25 million euros ($28 mln) to restore it five years ago.
It was an event in which messages of light themed "Love to People, Love to the Earth" were projected onto the large ancient ruins of the Colosseum, with Panasonic providing nine super high brightness Digital Light Processing (DLP)(R) projectors (PTDZ21).
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The traces confirmed that while the Colosseum today is a fairly monochrome gray travertine rock, red brick and moss-covered marble, in its day its interior halls were a rich and expensive Technicolor.
The Colosseum has stood for nearly two thousand years at the centre of Rome.
In normally balmy Majorca, the palm trees turned white, while tourists had an extra cool reason to snap pics as snow hit the Colosseum in Rome.
ITALY'S culture ministry said that it is investigating reports that bits of rock have fallen from the Colosseum.