The City of Rome

Colosseum 

The most famous architecture from the period of the Roman Empire is undoubtedly the Colosseum, also known as Flavian Amphitheater.

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The Colosseum at night.

 

The maximum number of people the Colosseum could hold is approximately 80,000, which can also indicate the massive population in the City of Rome at that time. The Colosseum was built for gladiatorial contests, animal hunts as well as other types of entertainment. 

The table below shows the dynasties during the Principate, which is the first phase of the Roman Empire.

31 BCE-68 CE The “Julio-Claudians”
69 CE Year of Four Emperors
69-96 CE The Flavian Dynasty
96-192 CE The “Adoptive” Emperors
192-235 CE The Severans

 

When the last emperor of the “Julio-Claudians”, which was started by Augustus, Nero was murdered, the military leaders of provinces all came to the City of Rome from many different parts of the massive Roman Empire. Eventually, Vespasian came to the top and started the new era of the Flavian Dynasty.

 

 

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The portrait of Vespasian.

 

So, why mention this emperor that nobody is familiar with? Actually, the construction of Colosseum was started by him and eventually finished by his successor Titus. 

But why he chose to build such a big structure in the center of Rome? The construction of the Colosseum is actually the technique Vespasian utilized to justify his own rule. During the period of “Julio-Claudians”, though adopted, all the successors had blood-relationship with Augustus, which is the so-called “royal bloodline” of the deified Julius Caesar.

 

 

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The family tree of “Julio-Claudians” family.

 

 

However, Vespasian had no connection with Julius’ family. Here’s the question:

How can he justify his rule?

The method he thought of was to prove that he was a much better ruler than Nero, who turned many public constructions of Rome into his personal spaces. On the opposite, Vespasian built the huge Colosseum as the public construction, which is convincible that he was actually better than Nero. He wanted to portray himself as the saver of Rome in this way.

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