The Colosseum

The Colosseum

The Colosseum or Coliseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheater  or Colosseo, is an elliptical amphitheatre in the center of the city of Rome, Italy. Built of concrete and stone, it is the largest amphitheater ever built and is considered one of the greatest works of architecture and engineering.

The Colosseum could hold, it is estimated, between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators, and was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology. 

Of course, you can explore the neighborhood around the Coliseum, Rome itself and use that as your spark.The architecture, the people, the food, the history, the food…




    Standing beneath centuries of crumble
    and decay, to say it still wasn’t impressive
    would be highly deceptive. A stadium,
    an ancient arena remaining as a site
    to see on the Italian landscape.
    You cannot escape the importance
    of every circumstance that played out;
    decisions made by the thrust of a digit!
    Emperors and gladiators and “Gallia
    est omnis divisa in partes tres”.
    It’s one of those evasive days
    where I stray from decorum thinking,
    “Had I have gotten a down-turned thumb,
    would I have returned an upturned bird?”

    Liked by 3 people

  2. William Preston


    It’s odd,
    but some folks say
    an old rugged cross left
    the colossal Colosseum

    Liked by 3 people

  3. July 13 – The Coliseum

    Twisted History

    From television to the big screen
    One would believe that the Coliseum
    Was a circle of persecution and death
    A haven for the bloodthirsty populace
    To give the thumbs down to Christians
    And the thumbs up to their heroes
    But history has a different account

    Oh, the Gladiators did fight there
    And famous battles were reenacted
    Plenty of blood was spilled
    To the elation of the lustful crowd
    But only rumors of Christians dying
    Nothing written to back that up
    My guess is maybe, maybe not

    Nevertheless, the Coliseum is
    An amazingly historical structure
    Something that I would like to see
    If I ever get to Rome

    Liked by 2 people

  4. connielpeters

    Within the crumbling walls
    of the Roman Colosseum,
    voices of emperors,
    spectators and blood
    of gladiators, Christians,
    and Jews cry out.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. take me out to the contests
    let me sit with the crowds
    thumbs up or thumbs down – give ‘im the rack
    more gory the better or I wont come back
    then bring the horses and riders
    for chariot races and fame
    so its maim, shame, pain or, acclaim
    at the Roman games

    ( to the tune of Take Me Out to the Ballgame 😏)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. (Multi Prompted)

    When in Rome…
    (a haibun)

    The huge crumbling structure reminded me of a deserted chitin.
    We did not pay the admission to walk the inner flagstones.
    The gated entrances were enough of a breach to imagine the
    emanation of sickening cheers at the death of some animal or human.

    At what hour did the sluggish masses tiptoe home?
    After delivering their thumbs up or thumbs down messages.
    Attempting some distraction in the Roman summer heat.

    Constructed by mathematical wizards, sockets fit into gears ancient
    forerunners to binary coded computations.
    All those numbers just get wadded in my brain.

    Bullies. High ranking bullies to build such a monument to brutal theatrics.
    While so many suffered and only escaped life when the final curtain fell.

    Modern playgrounds are mini coliseums.
    The bullies are fed propaganda by their parents who
    think they have the rights to judge another person’s fate.
    Especially if they feel their own comfort zones threatened.

    Once… just once I played the role of a bully.
    I had been bullied so much that I learned the horrid skill.
    But after seeing the grief stricken face of the one I tormented –
    I vowed never to do so again. I became a defender of tolerance,
    acceptance and finding solutions that did not require violence.

    one does not have to
    follow the masses, but
    to pursue justice


    for those who wish to go to the post the link is here
    When in Rome…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. William Preston


    His thumb
    is pointing down,
    so now I have the chance
    to face the emperor and thumb
    my nose.

    Liked by 2 people

    • “The so-called “Roman” thumbs down (kill him) or thumbs up (let him live) gesture to gladiators is actually an invention of Hollywood. It is true that there were gestures used in the Coliseum that denoted these meanings, but nobody knows what those gestures actually were – it wasn’t recorded.

      By the way, Romans also used to nod up for “no”, down for “yes”. They did not shake their heads for “no”. Very confusing!” – Mark Gibbons @ Urban Dictionary.

      I found this while trying to find the definitive answer. Wiki does not state such though, but agrees that the symbols were not clearly identified. “The source of the gesture is obscure, but a number of origins have been proposed.”


  8. Bloodthirsty

    Dust settles
    over the husk
    of a departed soul

    as the cheers
    of thousands
    is poured

    like molten lava
    in an elliptical arc,
    drowning the victorious gladiator

    and all I can do is wonder
    are we only born warriors
    and spectators

    both filled with the desire
    for blood…
    is there anyone else I can be?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The Colosseum

    Walk through stone seats
    surrounding the arena,
    whose floor is made
    of sand. Stand and hear
    screaming hordes
    seated by class,
    all there to see
    gladiators fight
    to the death. You can
    almost smell the blood.




  11. […] by prompt at Phoenix Rising 13 July 2015 Colosseum image is copyright and restriction free: Swedish National Archive on Flickr Commons […]


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