The Colosseum: Bread and GamesRome, Italy
The Roman emperors trusted a simple formula to generate public approval: Panem et circenses, bread and games. The crowds were fed and entertained with periodical distributions of grain and spectacular games held in the Colosseum. The Colosseum, a symbol of the Roman culture and way of life, invites us to discover its enchanting stories.
1. The Pope’s crossThe Colosseum is also regarded as a site of martyrdom for Christians. Let’s break some myths!
2. The daisesThe Roman Emperor was the most distinguished guest in the Colosseum. His seat was located on a raised platform offering the best view of the arena.
3. The Arch of ConstantineAfter the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, the course of history would change forever. Emperor Constantine became the sole ruler of the vast empire and paved the way for the establishment of Christianity.
The Pope’s crossPersecutions of Christians occurred in the Roman Empire over a period of more than two centuries. However, Christian executions took place in other amphitheatres. While today the idea that the Colosseum was the place where many early Christians were persecuted has been disputed and is no longer accepted by historians, during the Renaissance the amphitheatre started to become a memorial site for the Christians who had lost their lives in the early days of the faith. Pope Benedict XIV had a cross erected inside the Colosseum in 1744. The cross, which can still be seen today, was re-installed in 1926.
Best seats in the house
The daisesThe daises were two raised platforms situated at the northern and southern point of the arena. They offered the best view to the spectacles of the arena and from there, unlike the spectators seated in the cavea, one could enjoy the games without missing any detail.
God, who are you?
The Arch of ConstantineConstantine has gone down in history as the first Christian Emperor, but when the Arch was built he still maintained a neutral position between Christianity and the old pagan religion. An inscription on the Arch, suggesting that he won the Battle of the Milvian Bridge by "divine inspiration," has sparked great debate among scholars who argued on whether the epigraph refers to the Christian god or to the pagan gods. It seems, though, that his god was the power of reason and diplomacy, as Constantine was wise enough not to reveal his religious beliefs at the time and keep both sides happy.
Contributors and Bibliography
|Address||Colosseum - Piazza del Colosseo, 58, 00184 Roma RM, Italy|
|Starting point||Ιndividual visitors’ entrance gate|
|Finishing point||Piazza del Colosseo|
|Areas||Arena, Basements, Pope's Cross, Cavea, Daises, Colosseum Square, Arch of Constantine, Stern Abutment.|
|Opening hours||8.30-16.30 (January 2 through February 15) 8.30-17.00 (February 16 through March 15) 8.30-17.30 (March 15 through the last Saturday of the month) 8.30-19.15 (Last Sunday in March through 31 August) 8.30-19.00 (September 1 to September 30) 8.30-18.30 (October 1 to last Saturday of the month) 8.30-16.30 (Last Sunday in October through December 31)|
|Recommended visiting hours||The less crowded hours are from 8.30 to 10.00 and then from 17.00 until closing time, but the monument is still pretty much always crowded given it's one of the most important not only in the city but in the whole world. Spring and Summer are also, of course, a more popular visiting time than Autumn and Winter.|
|Additional admission||Ticket: 14 euro|
|Comments||Directions to Starting Point Bus: 75 - 81 - 673 - 175 - 204, stop in front of the monument Metro: from Termini Station line B to the Colosseum stop. Car: near the Colosseum, there is a car park, easily reachable from Via Fori Imperiali. Tram: Line 3|
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