Was the Colosseum a Perfect Amphitheatre?

900 words 4 pages
“The Colosseum was a perfect amphitheatre.” How far do you agree with this statement?
The Colosseum, located in Rome was built opened by the Emperor Titus in 80 AD. By many it is considered a “perfect amphitheatre” due to its décor, practicality and large structural layout. However, there are some features of the Colosseum which mean it is difficult to use, hence leading to some people disagreeing with the statement.
One of the main reasons why the Colosseum was and is so highly respected is the buildings durability. This is due to the use of travertine in places of critical importance such as the pillars supporting the seating. Travertine is a hard, strong local rock which when used with pozzolana concrete creates very stable
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The outside was equally aesthetically pleasing with a geometrical square and circle pattern around the top of the amphitheatre and arches equally spaced out in horizontal lines across the building. Each arch either had a statue situated underneath it or columns framing it to highlight the circular shape. The magnificent look of the colosseum could have led to it being considered the “perfect amphitheatre” as it was not only practical but also beautiful.
Overall, the colosseum had the required features of an amphitheatre such as herena (sand) to soak up blood. However, it also had additional features such as the Valerium, a structure to enable naumachia to occur and that allowed dramatic entrances of animals and gladiators. It was the combination of these additional features that made the Colosseum different to any other amphitheatre. Not only was this but the amphitheatre built on a great scale with many more entrances than other amphitheatres such as Pompeii meaning that the huge building was easily accessible. Moreover, good foundations of the building and the intricate detail on the Colosseum may also have added to peoples’ respect for it. Although it did have some negative features such as a thousand slaves to move the Valerium some people may argue that the benefits of these impracticalities outweigh the usefulness of them. Consequently due to the many additional features, décor, durability and the scale of the building I believe it would be regarded by many

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