Next morning, time to hit one of the timeless wonders of the world – The Colosseum – perhaps the most famous and enduring monuments of the culture and cruelty of the ancient Romans.
The construction started in 72 AD under the rule of the Emperor Vespasian of the Favian dynasty and hence was originally named Flavian Amphitheater. The construction was finally completed in 80 AD under Emperor Titus. It got the name Colosseum thanx to the colossal statue of Emperor Nero next to it - Statuas del Gigante Nerone. (The reconstruction of Colosseum with the Nero's Statue).
This huge amphitheater could hold about 60000 people who could enter through any of the 80 doors and occupy seats according to their social status. The inauguration of the Colosseum was marked with 100 days of games. The fights took place in the sandy arena. (Arena is the latin word for sand). It was used until 6th century after which it was abandoned till the middle ages. Amongst the beast fights and jugglers and magicians the most popular event was the the gladiatorial events (munera). ’Ave Caesar, morituri te salutant’ – (Hail Ceaser, We who are about to die salute you.) that’s what the gladiators used to say before starting the fight. The gladiators who fought were not only slaves and prisoners of wars but also free men who fought for wealth and fame. In view of their popularity these games were often supported by politicians seeking public support. The last gladiatorial game in the Colosseum is recorded in AD 438, when the games were abolished by the Emperor Valentinian III.
For €11 you can get an be a witness to this great historical wonder. Be there preferably early coz the crowds tend to swell with time.
Just outside the Colosseum is the Arco di Constantino. This arch was built after Emperor Constantin's victory on October 28 in 312AD against Massenzio in the Milvio Bridge battle.
From Colosseum we moved on next to the Roman Forum. The Forum is located in a valley that is between the Palatine hill and the Capitoline hill. It originally was a marsh, but the Romans drained the area and turned it into a center of political and social activity. The Forum was the marketplace of Rome and also the business district and civic center. It was expanded to include temples, a senate house and law courts. Much of the forum has been destroyed. Columns and stone blocks are all that remain of some temples.
triumphal arch that commemorates the victory of the emperors Vespasian and Titus in Judea in 70 AD, which lead to the conquest of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Jewish temple there. The inscription in Roman square capitals reads:
The Arch of Titus (Arcus Titi) is a
SENATVS POPVLVSQVE·ROMANVS DIVO·TITO·DIVI·VESPASIANI·F(ILIO) VESPASIANO·AVGVSTO
which means - "The Senate and People of Rome (dedicate this) to the divine Titus Vespasianus Augustus, son of the divine Vespasian."
The Basilica of Constantine (Basilica Constantini) was begun by Maxentius in 306-310 and completed by Constantine in 312-337. Today we can see three huge vaults from the original building. The basilica design later became a model for Christian architecture. For the Romans it was a center of justice and civic affairs.
Temple of Antoninus and Faustina (Templum Antonini et Faustinae). When the wife of emperor Antoninus Pius died in A.D. 141, he had this temple constructed in her honor, and twenty years later at his own death, the temple was rededicated to them both.
Temple of Castor and Pollux (Templum Castoris) was erected in honor of Castor and Pollux, the twin sons of Jupiter. Only three massive columns remain.
Temple of Saturn (Templum Saturni) - Legend has it that an altar was built at the foot of the Capitoline Hill for Saturn and that a temple was erected on the same site. In early times, the grateful inhabitants brought their wealth, grain, wool, and oil, to offer the first fruits to the god who had blest them, and to have him guard the remainder of their treasure.
Arch of Septimius Severus (Arcus Septimii Serveri)- This triumphal arch was erected in 203 A.D. to commemorate the Roman victory over the Parthians in honor of the Emperor Septimius Severus and his sons, Caracalla and Geta. Reportedly Napolean was so impressed by the Arch of Septimius Severus and the Arch of Titus, that he ordered his architects to reproduce these in Paris; the result is the Arc du Triomphe de Carrousel (a life-size imitation of the Arch of Septimius Severus) and the more famous Arc du Triomphe, which maintains the exact proportions of the Arch of Titus, though several times larger.
On top of the capitole hills after a long flight of steps is the La Lupa Capitolina. The legend says that Romulus and Remus were nursed by a She-Wolf. Romulus becoming the first king and founder of Rome!!