The Colosseum

Overview


A place of grandeur and cruelty, the Colosseum has long excited the imagination of the West. As an example of architecture and public works, the Colosseum is one of imperial Rome's greatest achievements; as the site of gladiatorial battles and the humiliation of Rome's enemies, the magnificent arena reminds us of the worst excesses of the ancient world.
In this magisterial study, every aspect of the Colosseum is examined, including the demography of the city at the time of its ...
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Overview


A place of grandeur and cruelty, the Colosseum has long excited the imagination of the West. As an example of architecture and public works, the Colosseum is one of imperial Rome's greatest achievements; as the site of gladiatorial battles and the humiliation of Rome's enemies, the magnificent arena reminds us of the worst excesses of the ancient world.
In this magisterial study, every aspect of the Colosseum is examined, including the demography of the city at the time of its construction; the origins, administration, and staging of gladiatorial contests; the architecture of its interior and exterior, as well as its underground chambers; the amazing feats of scenery management and hydraulic engineering that allowed it to function; and the history of the Colosseum from the time of its inauguration in A. D. 80 until today.
More than two hundred illustrations--including ancient coins, contemporary photographs, oil paintings and watercolor sketches, diagrams, maps of the ancient city, and aerial views--show not only every aspect of the building as it exists today but how it has been seen or imagined through the ages. Texts by scholars in the fields of art, architecture, and antiquities--prepared under the direction of the Soprintendenza Archaeologica di Roma--provide the clearest and most complete account ever published of one of the Western world's greatest monuments.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Built approximately two thousand years ago, the Colosseum in Rome remains one of the ancient wonders of the world. Here, amidst what remain of this amazing edifice, tourists can gaze in wonder at a structure that must have struck awe in individuals who visited it when it was a functional amphitheater. Yet, despite the beauty of the Colosseum, it is an inescapable fact that perhaps more blood was spilled within its confines than any other "entertainment" venue in recorded history. There, prisoners of war were executed in the most horrific ways. Christians were martyred via crucifixion, burning or animal attack. Gladiators fought one another and often ended their lives in the Colosseum's dust. The story of the construction, design and functioning of the Colosseum is presented in this comprehensive illustrated history. The various authors, whose work has been complied by Ada Gabucci, trace not only the architectural history of the Colosseum but also the lives of the major participants who dotted its landscape. For example, significant space is dedicated to the life of the gladiators and the many individuals who worked to create the pageantry encompassed by the bloody spectacles they participated in. With a scholarly text and nearly three hundred illustrations, this is an exhaustive look at the Colosseum. However, given the depth of this work, it is more appropriate for an advanced student or a reader with a strong interest in the subject matter. 2002, Getty Publications, $75.00. Ages 15 up. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck
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