Day 16: Monday, April 26, 2005
Photos by Pat Tyler.
Walking to the Entrance
Oh, there's the Arch of Constantine with Palatine Hill in the background!
We'll come back to that later and take a closer look.
We were standing in the outer corridor connecting the stairs leading to the seats.
We're Waiting Again
Stairway Leading to First Tier Of Seats
The facility was equipped with drinking fountains supplied with lead pipes,
and public latrines with running water.
An earthquake-proof construction technique was introduced to firmly join the blocks securely together. Extraordinary for its time, the technique consisted of placing enormous iron clamps inside the stone blocks. The housing for the clamps is visible in blocks knocked down by earthquakes or other devastation. The holes on the outside and inside were made during the Middle Ages in order to remove and recycle the metal clamps. Some of these holes are seen in the arches behind Ugo, above.
Back Stage at the Colosseum
165 feet high, oval in shape, it axes measure 620 feet by 515. The auditorium consisted of tiers of seats, which climbed from the oval of the arena up to the balconies. It held over 50,000 spectators that could enter in a small amount of time because of the 76 public entryways that were numbered. Four main entryways did not have numbers. Seats were assigned according to social rank: elementary school teachers, Roman knights, public guests, etc. The only exception to this rule was the tiers of seats, which were constructed entirely of marble and reserved for the senatorial orders.
The arena was an oval space completely covered with a wooden floor, which has disappeared. The corridors underneath the arena housed all services necessary games, such as lifting mechanisms for raising the wild animals, cages for the animals, and stage sets. Actually the Romans, invented the elevator eons before Elisha Otis did. Of course these lifts only went one level, while Otis opened the way to the construction of skyscrapers.
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