No type of building is more closely associated with the Roman empire than the amphitheater. However, the most important of them, the giant Flavian Amphitheater, or Colosseum, built between AD70 and 80, was the first permanent construction of this type. The emperors Gaius Caligula and Nero had loved gladiatorial games: these had been performed in temporary if lavishly decorated timber structures which where destroyed in the great fire of AD64.

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The Colosseum is still the most impressive extant building in Rome and a massive testament to the enduring skills of Roman engineers. Its typically elliptical outer shape measures (615ft by 510ft), its big arena inside (282ft by 177), its outer wall once rose to 171ft, making it the tallest building in the city. It could accommodate an estimated 45-55.000 spectators. Read More

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