The Colosseum Essay Research Paper The ColosseumIn — страница 2

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used in between the piers and walls of the lower two levels. The top level, which was added after the initial construction, was originally made of wood. After a few years, the wood was taken out and replaced with brick faced concrete. This was also used for other parts of the lower levels, and the vaults. Combined these building materials created an amphitheater that covered six acres. The dimensions have changed slightly over the years, as wars and disasters have taken their tolls, but the basic foundation remains intact in all places. The elliptically shaped walls were 620 feet by 507 feet on their long and short axes. Each level of the Flavian Amphitheater was designed differently with varied architectural styles. To maintain a standard of consistency each level had 80 arches

that circled the exterior of the building, but opened into the interior seating levels. The first level was 34?5? high and 14? wide. Doric arches circled the outside. They were used on level one because they were the heaviest. The next level was 38?8? high, and had ionic arches that were 21?4 high and 14?wide. The third level is 37?10? high and has Corinthian arches 21? high and 14? wide. The Ionic and Corinthian levels, were used in upper levels, because they were much less heavy than their Doric counterpart. The fourth level, which was added at a later time, had a much more basic construction. It is decorated with Corinthian pilasters, which rose 45?6?, and small rectangular windows. This top level also had brackets that anchored over 240 timber poles that were used to support

a removable awning to protect spectators from the sun. When these three tiers were combined they rose over 150 feet into the air. The floor of this amphitheater started out as a simple oval, but as the years progressed so did the complication of the ?battle ground?. The floor of the arena had a base made of wooden planks. These planks were usually then covered in sand. Sand was used because it was the best material for absorption of the blood that was lost in the battles. It is also rumored that the floor had a complicated set of drains installed after completion under the reign of Domitian. These could be opened to allow for draining. Often not only the seas of blood had to be washed away, but also hundreds of gallons of water if the amphitheater was used for a mock naval

battle. The floor covered an area of 290 feet by 180 feet. It was surrounded by a 15-foot wall used to protect the spectators from the wild animals. The wall was made of a wire mesh that was carried on poles and spiked with elephant tusks. The top of the mesh was then covered with ivory rollers that curved outward so that the animals could not get a foothold and then jump into the spectators. To be on the safe side, there were also always archers posted in the bottom tiers to shoot animals or men if needed. Underneath of the arena floor was a complicated set of mazes, rooms and passageways. On this ?basement? level were cages that stored the animals, gladiators, and prisoners. Fake scenery objects and other obstacles that may be needed in a battle were also kept here. A complex

system of man-operated elevators was created to get the men and animals to the arena floor above. Underneath the main arena several emperors also had secret entrances created so that they could flee the amphitheater if any unexpected disasters occurred. The Flavian Amphitheater was famed for it?s great organization. It had eighty entrances, and had a seating capacity that held 45,000 people. This, added to standing room, created an amphitheater that could accommodate up to 60,000 people. The Flavian Amphitheater was a microcosm to Roman society. The seating arrangements represented the social classes of the people. The emperor not only had a special box seat for himself, but he also had separate entrances that could only be used by his associates. Senators and other public

figures also had their own separate sections. The first level also held seats for the members of the general Equestrian order (the rich). The second and third levels were for the general citizens, and whichever seats the general public did not fill the poor used. The upper level, which usually was standing room only, was where women and the lowest class of citizens sat. Soldiers were separated from the civilians, married men were separated from bachelors, and boys were required to sit with their tutors. In the mind of a Roman the amphitheater in general was a place of great symbolic meaning. It was a place where the victory of human civilization prevailed over lawlessness, chaos, barbarism, and savagery. It was also a place of justice. Criminals, Christians and prisoners of war,