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Curiosities you may not know about the Colosseum

The Colosseum in Rome, the ancient arena where jousts, gladiator fights and theatrical performances took place, is the most famous monument in Italy, the one that immediately comes to mind when talking about the Belpaese.

Its history and the legends surrounding this marvellous building, much changed over the centuries, are steeped in the soul of Italy, with its contradictions, its problems but also its beauty.

Despite being one of the world's most famous and well-known sights, without a doubt some things you will not know, and you will be surprised by the curiosities surrounding its stones.

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Curiosities you may not know about the Colosseum
Rome's Colosseum, the ancient arena where jousting, gladiator fights and theatrical performances took place, is the most famous monument in Italy, the one people immediately think of when talking about the Belpaese. Its history and the legends surrounding this wonderful building, much changed over the centuries, are steeped in the soul of Italy, with its contradictions, its problems but also its beauties. Despite the fact that it is one of the most famous and well-known places of interest in the world, no doubt some things you will not know, and you will be surprised by the curiosities surrounding its stones.
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It sounds strange, but it is not one of the oldest human constructions in the world
Although it seems to us that the Colosseum has been there forever (and is in fact the most impressive poster of Ancient Rome that has come down to us), it is not one of the oldest buildings that has come to our time. The Colosseum was built in Flavian times, begun by Vespasian and finished by Titus, who inaugurated it in 80 CE. So, this Colosseum is less than 2,000 years old, and it is not so impressive when we think of other man-made constructions, for example, the Pyramid of Giza (built, it is estimated, in 2,550 B.C.) or the Druid site of Stonehenge (which it is estimated could date back as far as 5,000 years).
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Julius Caesar never set foot in the Colosseum
Modern novels and filmography have accustomed us to imagine Gaius Julius Caesar, the most famous and the first Roman emperor in history, sipping wine while watching gladiator fights inside the Colosseum. However, and it is truly strange that this remains a false myth to this day, the great Roman leader and politician was never allowed to enter the Colosseum, simply because at the time of his death in 44 B.C., it was more than 100 years before its inauguration.
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"The Gladiator" is right: emperors used to descend into the arena.
Ridley Scott showed, in his famous film, the Emperor Commodus, son of Marcus Aurelius, personally descending into the arena of the Colosseum to fight against Maximus Decimus Meridius, played by Russell Crowe. This sounds absurd, but it actually happened that the Emperors themselves descended into the fray, mainly, however, to fight not with gladiators but against ferocious beasts. On the rare occasions when Emperors fought against gladiators, they had wooden swords, and very severe punishments were meted out to them if they ever dared to injure the ruler.
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Originally it wasn't even called Coliseum.
Absurd, isn't it! Accustomed as we are to calling it Colosseum, perhaps it is also difficult for people who do not speak a Latin language to understand that the word Colosseum derives from Colossus, and was taken to name the building, probably, because of its proximity to the statue called "The Colossus of Nero," 35 meters high and placed, at one time, outside the amphitheater. Moreover, the name "Colosseum" only became widespread in the Middle Ages and, in addition to the statue, may also derive from the popular deformation of the Latin adjective "colosseum" (translatable to "colossal," as it appeared in the early Middle Ages among the one- and two-story cottages). The Colosseum was originally known as the Flavian Amphitheater (Latin: Amphitheatrum Flavium) or simply Amphitheatrum (Italian: Amphitheater).
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The prophecy of Bede the Venerable
As long as the Colosseum exists, Rome will also exist; when the Colosseum falls, Rome will also fall; when Rome falls, the world will also fall'. This is the prophecy of Bede the Venerable, formulated in the 8th century AD. Will it be true?
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25/05/2024
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