It was his excessive spendings that made Nero a highly unpopular Emperor. So, after his death, Emperor Vespasian, the new ruler, used this plot of land to win over the people of Rome. Hence, he “donated” it back to the city and its people and built an entertainment venue opened to all. The construction took only eight years. Still, Vespasian didn't live to see it. Instead, his son had the honors to inaugurate the Colosseum with games that lasted 100 days.
Why do they Call it Flavian Amphitheatre?
Though today the world knows the gladiator arena as the Colosseum. 'Amphiteatrum Flavium' was its original name. Why? Well, the reason is very straightforward. Emperor Vespasian who built it was of Flavian family. Hence, the grand arena used to bear his name.
The Games and Battles of Colosseum
The amphitheater served for entertainment purposes for long 390 years. Naturally, since it was a gift to the people of Rome, the admission and food were free for the attendees. Though, we doubt they served hot dogs and coke. It's more likely the food included fruit, bread and vegetables. During the years of violent games over 400,000 people died battling inside the Colosseum. Also, according to the estimates, around one million wild animals died in the Colosseum as well causing near-extinction of many beautiful species.
Luckily, by the middle ages, the popularity of the games faded. Eventually, the city used the spaces inside the amphitheater as workshops, housing or religious purposes. Moreover, after the earthquake when the Colosseum was partially destroyed, its rock and marble were used to build other important structures such as St Peter's Basilica.
The Colosseum Today
To make up for its gruesome history, the Colosseum has become a powerful symbol against capital punishment in 1948, when the death penalty was abolished in Italy. Today, any time someone in the world has their sentence overturned, the lights illuminate the monument at night illumination change from white to gold.
Besides all that, Colosseum has also become the most popular tourist attraction. Even half in ruin, the Colosseum is by all standards absolutely massive. Laying your eyes on it for the first time, the size overwhelms you both inside and out. The structure is safe enough for you to look at it closely, even on the interior. The basic Colosseum tickets include entry to the first and second levels of the amphitheater. However, the underground and 3rd level can be accessed only if you are accompanied by a licensed tour guide.