|Other name(s):||Amphiteatrum Flavium|
|Beginning of works:||69 A.D.|
|Function / usage:||
|stonework||100 000 m³|
The amphitheater of Taurus is destroyed by fire. It is replaced by Nero with a temporary wooden structure that was unsatisfactory for its intended uses.
|69 — 79||
Reign of Vespasian. Construction of the Coliseum begins in the first years of his reign, though no exact date is known. The amphitheater was actually inaugurated before it was completed and before Vespasian died.
The amphitheater is completed under Titus. For the final inauguration, a feast of 100 days is organized in which 5000 wild animals are killed.
On the Vulcanalia, the Coliseum is struck by lightning causing a large fire. Much of the arena is destroyed and rendered unusable for several years.
|218 — 223||
Possible period of reconstruction, perhaps works continue as late as 238 A.D.
Another severe fire damages the structure during the reign of Decius.
Again hit by lightning, but no specific damage is reported.
Inscriptions document the repair works necessitated by damage due to the earthquakes of 429 and 443.
The last recorded games are held in the Coliseum. The amphitheater is mostly abandoned afterwards and until the 11th century.
The Frangipane occupy the theater and convert it into a fortress.
Beginning of modern restoration works. The debris accumulated over centuries is removed in order to be able to make necessary repairs.
Work is suspended due to the political situation. Until then the outer ambulatories had been cleared, the passage of Commodus discovered, the drainage system was found and a large buttress constructed facing the Caelian.
|1810 — 1814||
Archeological works resume under French occupation. The excavations are overseen by M. Daru while restoration is the responsibility of the Accademia di San Luca under A. Canova. The architects are G. Valadier and G. Camporese.
Excavation of the arena reaches 3.5 meters deep but is halted as water seeps in and the drainage system cannot be cleared to cope with this.
As the French occupation ends, Pope Pius VII continues the works with the same architects.
The substructures are backfilled as the water problem cannot be solved.
Repair works resume as many parts are in grave need of repair.
Under Pope Leo XII, Valadier designs a buttress to support the dilapidated façade wall and ambulatories at the W entrance. The reconstructed part was to be built in brick for economical reasons.
Designs for the buttress are finally approved.
Completion and inauguration of the buttress at entrance W.
|1874 — 1875||
Another attempt at excavation of the arena under P. Rosa is made. The ancient ground level is reached, though water infiltration is still a problem. The arena is backfilled again.
The arena is finally excavated in its current state.
- Carl Stahl ARC GmbH (cable net)
Relevant Web Sites
- AI and virtual crowds: Populating the Colosseum. In: Journal of Cultural Heritage, v. 8, n. 2 (April 2007), pp. 176-185. (2007):
- Art et architecture: Rome et le Vatican. Könemann, Cologne (Germany), pp. 626. (2001):
- Basilius and his diptych again: career titles, seats in the Colosseum, and issues of stylistic dating. In: Journal of Roman Archeology, v. 25 ( 2012), pp. 513-530. (2012):
- Il cantiere del Colosseo. In: Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Römische Abteilung, n. 109 ( 2002), pp. 341-375. (2002):
- Collapse analysis of Colosseum arcades by seismic events. Presented at: ARCH’07 – 5th International Conference on Arch Bridges, Madeira, Portugal, 12-14 September 2007. :
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