Recents discovers suggests that the
building was financed by the countryside of Judaea, and in particular
by the plundering of the Temple of Jerusalem. And at the time one built
If the Colosseum is partly destroyed today, it is not by the
wear of time. Earthquakes damaged the building but it especially
finished by being given up and being plundered to be used for new
The Saint-Peter basilica thus inherited materials come
straight of the Colosseum.
Started with the Vespasien emperor into 70 after J.C., the Colosseum was finished by his son Titus.
The Colosseum takes its name from the Colossus, a giant statue of Néron, disappeared today.
In 80, the inauguration lasts 100 days. During these continual festivities, some 9 000 wild beasts are killed. Obviously, the many cats that you see there now do not suspect all this violence.
A great part of the history of Colosseum is often ignored. In the Middle Ages, the arena was transformed into castle, pertaining to the Frangipani family.
After the earthquakes, one installed a way of cross there: the building became place of pélerinage to remember it the Christian martyrs who would have perished there.
This vision of the ancient history today is discussed more and more by the historians: many think that the image of Epinal of the Christians devoured by the lions, is false. Other Christians were undoubtedly condemned to die in the arenas (damnatio AD bestia), but as well as the criminals and other troublemakers of the Empire. It is however thanks to this historical error that the Coliseum arrived to us, in ruin certainly but upright.
In 1744, the pope Benoit XIV, eager to preserve intact this image of the beginnings of Christendom, made classify the monument, which made it possible to safeguard the site. The true first restorations took place under Napoleon.
The external buttress that one sees at the end of the frontage still upright was built by Valadier. And at the beginning of the XVIIIème century, an architect named Fontana had the insane project to transform the amphitheatre into a gigantic basilica, project which remained in the paperboards. So that today the Coloseum allows us to become aware of the disproportion of the plays of the amphitheatre under the Empire: it is one of the sites most visited in the world.