So for class today, we visited the Colosseum...the first and grandest amphitheater in Rome!
Construction began in about 72 A.D. ...and when it was finished there were 100 days ( i believe)
of Gladiatorial fights and games. something like 2000 animals died? and people as well. That is
what they did...fight people against people, man against man, man against animal. (let me
specify on animal..nothing cute, fuzzy, or declawed. Lions, tigers, alligators, rhinos, on special
occasions elephants...etc The more rare the animal, the more powerful the emperor's image.
After the animal was killed..they cooked the meat and sold it to the crowd. nothing like fresh
meat supply for the demand). It was really sad though, to think of how much killing happened
in the place. Thrilling fights of men against men, but ultimately ending in death. Gladiators
were lowest on the social hierarchy. Just slaves to die for entertainment. (and we say we are
It was not until Christianity started to take root in the Roman culture that people started to
become less enthused by the Gladiator fights. (this is because Christianity was a religion that
valued all people, and found worth in everyone. Radical dude. whatever happened to ancient
hard core rocking xians?)
I had a really hard time imagining what the colosseum would have looked like..with seats for
all the people to fill, and overhangs of cloth for shade. It is hard to imagine the large, stone,
stadium covered in white marble and filled with cheering people, riveted on the display of man's
strength and skill in a fight below. Hard to believe those passageways at the bottom being
covered in a floor, and under the gladiators preparing, or the animals being released onto the
Palatine Hill..where Caesar Augustus lived! We could visit the still colored frescas in his house
(though most is broken down from the years)
It was the prime real estate. The Beverly Hills. The Manhattan.. It was on a steep Hill that
was next to and part of the center of Rome....The Forum!
The forum served as a place for worship (the massive temples that we only see the ruins of...
yet suggest buildings of impressive height.) All along the roads markets once were. The
where the senate met still stands, the place where Rome's politics took place and
discussions/debates were held!!
Saw the Umbilicus Urbis...which is a stone monument of bricks (becky and me are posing
..heighlighting it) This marker is supposedly at the very center of Rome. And, since all roads
lead to Rome, and it is the Center of the world. This stone is, therefore, the center of the world!
*insert evil, world conquering laugh here*
Also saw Julius Caesar's tomb.. in a little arch behind a big stone..and some people had fresh
flowers on his grave...
We walked on the same streets that Paul walked, the same steps that Caesar Augustus
stood upon!!!! Saw the remains of a society from 2000 years ago that changed the direction
of history to where we are as a culture and structure today
and their structures and memorials still stand today.
It is taking some time for me to realize, deep down; I was there, I stood there, I got to
experience these sites!
(it is not under appreciated, i assure you!)