Friday, October 24, 2014
Friday, October 12, 2012
- 16 B.C.E. as part of the rededication of the Temple of Quirinus.
- 12 B.C.E. as part of the Quinquatria, a festival in honor of the goddess Minerva, in the name of his grandsons Gaius and Lucius.
- 7 B.C.E. in memory of Agrippa, possibly in the name of Gaius and Lucius.
- 6 C.E. in memory of Drusus the Elder in the name of his grandsons Germanicus and Claudius.
Here's what Augustus has to say in Res Gestae 22:
Friday, May 25, 2012
|The Colosseum compared to Rice-Eccles Stadium and the Huntsman Center, via the BBC|
I dropped the Colosseum on the middle of the
|The Colosseum vs. Rice-Eccles Stadium (photos by author)|
First Game(s): 80 A.D.
Seating: 54,760, estimates vary from ca. 50,000 to 80,000
Overall Square footage: 258,334
Arena Dimensions in feet: 282.15 x 177.17
First Game(s): 12 September, 1998
Cost: ca. $50 million ($71.3 million in 2012 according to Wikipedia)
Overall Square footage: 234,350
Arena Dimensions in feet: 360 x 160 (NCAA regulation)
First Game(s): 30 November, 1969
Cost: $10,392,00 in 1969 ($65.9 million in 2012 according to Wikipedia)
Overall Square footage: Unknown
Arena Dimensions in feet: 94 x 50 (NCAA Men's Basketball regulation)
It's interesting to compare the seating arrangments of the three arenas. In the Colosseum, the best seats were front row seats. Bomgardner has calculated some numbers: for the tribunal, where the emperor and his guests sat, ca. 60 seats and ca. 2,190 seats for the podium, where senators and various priests and priestesses, like the Vestal Virgins, sat. These VIP's sat in portable folding chairs that they would have brought with them, while the rest of the audience sat in bleacher-style seating, packed in like sardines, if we extrapolate from Ovid's comments (Ars Amatoria I.139-142) about being compelled to sit glued to the side of one's neighbor in the Circus Maximus. (Of course, Ovid doesn't mind this as he thinks it's a great way to pick up girls!)
|Seating arrangments in the Colosseum (excerpted from A. Claridge (1998) Rome, p. 279)|
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
I started thinking about this Colosseum course four years ago, when we were in the midst of primary elections and political debates. I woke up one morning in February to a rehashing of the Obama-Clinton debate in
Monday, April 9, 2012
In 1749 Pope Benedict XIV (1740-1758) declared the Colosseum sacred ground and had a cross erected in the center of the arena and a series of fourteen crosses to mark the stages of the Passion of Christ around the perimeter of the arena. The crosses stood in the arena for a a century and a quarter, until they were taken down prior to excavation of the arena began in 1874. The Popes, however, have continued to mark the beginning of Passover with a procession to the Colosseum, often referred to as the "Via Crucis" or the "Way of the Cross."
Anyone who has been to Rome, has has almost certainly seen, if not been acosted by the "gladiators" who hire themselves out for tourist photos at the Colosseum and other major tourist venues such as the Trevi Fountain. In reality, most of the ones I have encountered seem to be costumed in military garb of some sort, rather than gladiator outfits. Last August, a number of these "gladiators" were arrested in an undercover sting, after it was revealed to the police that they were working as an organized and illegal gang to bilk tourists out of their euros. This past week the City of Rome issued notice that the "gladiators" would be prohibited from plying their trade at the Colosseum as of April 6th. They can, however, continue to line the streets leading up to the Colosseum and work in the vicinity of other tourist attractions; other, licensed vendors, were also asked to move away from the Colosseum. (The rogueclassicist has conveniently collected the pertinent news stories over at Rogueclassicism.)
It is interesting that this ban on "gladiators" at the Colosseum is happening now. As already mentioned, it may have something to do with last years arrests, but another possible reason for their removal may be tied to the conservation work that is just beginning on the Colosseum. Albert Prieto has written up "What's Wrong with the Colosseum" in a two part post over at the American Institute for Roman Culture (see here and here).
On Saturday, April 7th, a number of "gladiators" protested the ban by climbing the Colosseum and displaying banners supporting their cause. The banner I find most interesting is one that reads "30 famiglie romane da oggi senza pane. Diritto al lavoro." (30 Roman families are without bread today. Right to work.). Although probably unintentional, it reminds me of Juvenal's panem et circensem or "bread and circuses." Juvenal, in his tenth satire, is commenting on what gets the attention of the people in the first century B.C.E.; only free food and entertainment does the job. (For photos of the "gladiators" holding the Colosseum check out the series at La Reppublica).
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
- Excerpted from The Latin LibraryHic ubi sidereus propius uidet astra colossus
et crescunt media pegmata celsa uia,
inuidiosa feri radiabant atria regis
unaque iam tota stabat in urbe domus;
hic ubi conspicui uenerabilis Amphitheatri
erigitur moles, stagna Neronis erant;...
Reddita Roma sibi est et sunt te preside, Caesar,
deliciae populi, quae fuerant domini.
"Here where the starry colossus sees the constellations close at hand and a lofty framework rises in the middle of the road, the hated halls of a cruel king used to gleam and in the whole city there was only one house standing. Here where the awesome bulk of the amphitheatre soars before our eyes, once lay Nero's pools....Rome has been restored to herself, and with you in charge Caesar, what used to be the pleasure of a master is now the pleasure of the people."- Kathleen Coleman's translation, Martial: Liber Spectaculorum, Oxford University Press, 2006