Did you know the historical Roman Colosseum was named “Flavian Amphitheatre ”[ Latin : Amphitheatrum Flavium Italian :” Anfiteatro Flavio”] after three emperors during the Flavian dynasty ?
In short, the Flavian dynasty ruled Rome Empire from AD 69 – 96 by Roman Emperor Vespasian and after his death, by his two sons, Titus and Domitian.
The Flavian Amphitheatre was built in order to distract Roman citizens from the financial burden imposed by the former psycho, Emperor Nero. In fact, Roman never really recovered from Nero’s footprint. The clever Vespasian outsmarted his revel’s more then once, and the Grand Flavian Amphitheatre wasn’t any different. He financially built the Amphitheatre with the Jewish War spoils and by using the wealth of his Senators. Under the careful eye of Vespasian, the Senators were sponsors. In other words, it was in the Senates best interest to offer their wealth to the people of Rome. As a sponsor, the Senators received cutbacks in taxes, plus other benefits. Such as, they’re families were spared from hardship. In turn, the Senators promoted their favourite Gladiators, whom the Roman people loved and honoured. It was a great way to get the peoples support to the Senate.
On the outside Emperor Vespasian seemed like a good emperor, however, he was just another good politician. In fact, he secretly stole his wife’s grandfather’s wealth by having him killed. He also renewed old taxes and created new ones, increasing taxes to each provinces, while keeping a watchful eye upon the treasury officials. Eventually his greed got the best of him, with his own people killing him on the streets. Politicians have followed his lead for centuries, even today, where there’s new taxes imposed on a yearly basis. When an economy is failing, imposing new taxes tricks everyone to believe the economy is growing, when its not.
Even though millions of slaves and Gladiators were killed during their fight-for-their-life performances, the sporting event was organized with Teams of Gladiators, similar to sport teams of today. Only difference, our teams aren’t butchered.
Thanks to the Romans, they incorporated an ingenious ticketing system; we use the same system today. Of course, in any sporting arena there must be food and drinks available. Interesting, their finger food consist of pork ribs and chicken wings, both dipped in tomato or a salty fish sauce. Again, much like today, except the fish sauce. However, the drinks were not beer (such a shame – lol ) simply because it was classified as a barbarian drink, such as the Germanic Tribes, who the Romans constantly fought with. The Roman drink was, of course, red wine 🍷. Unlike how we drink wine straight from the bottle to the glass, the Romans watered it down. As well, a generous portion of water was always available to prevent drunken riots and fights.
An unfortunate fact : women were only allowed to participate in the nose-bleed section of the Colosseum. Even the Emperor’s wife wasn’t allowed near her husband’s side. Thank goodness for modern times. Never did understand the division of men and women.
Believe it or not, the Flavian Amphitheatre had self flushing toilets ; not exactly like ours today, but a clever use of their engineered aqueducts. Aqueducts simply were buried conduits of stone, brick, or concrete, supplying water to the Colosseum with public baths, latrines and drinking fountains.
Public toilets were indeed public, seating all together in a row, without walls, taking a dump while talking to your neighbour. Oh my god — thank goodness for our modern bathrooms.
The Flavian Amphitheatre was another political ploy, allowing Roman citizens to feel like they’re rubbing shoulders with the elite, with the best part, tickets were free. The Roman Games would make our holiday events look like nothing, in comparison. Games would last as little as 100 days and as long as 1000 days.
Great times for the Romans, not so much for their slaves, animals and Gladiators. They spared no expense to have all kinds of exotic animals, such as tigers, lions, leopards, hippo’s, ostrich’s, bears and elephants. Unfortunately, over a million people and three times that, in animals were brutally slain.
With that being said, the Flavian Amphitheatre was an architectural wonder accommodating over 40,000 spectators. It was 170 ft high (52 m) with an overall perimeter of 1730 ft (527 m) covered in marble, travertine slab stone ( a strong light limestone material) , volcanic rock, Roman invented cement and bronze statues throughout its perimeter.
It’s quite amazing the Flavian Amphitheatre is still standing today, considering all the vandalism throughout history, including natural earthquakes. With its dark history, the Flavian Amphitheatre is a great ancient structure any tourist must see, when visiting Italy 🇮🇹.
PS — Did you know, Vespasian son, Titus reign had the most destructive natural disasters? Yes, it’s true — In 79 Mount Vesuvius volcano erupted upon Pompeii and Herculaneum. On top of that, a year later, Rome was on fire and had to deal with the Black Plague, at the same time. Go figure! Today, we have to deal with tsunamis, earthquakes and COVID.