The Colosseum, - sometimes, spelt as "Coliseum", - but, which was originally, called the Flavian Amphitheatre, - (from the Latin translation: "Amphitheatrum Flavium", or Italian, "Anfiteatro Flavio", or "Colosseo"), is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. It is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering.
Occupying a site just east of the Roman Forum, its construction started between 70 and 72 AD., under the emperor Vespasian and was completed in 80 AD under Titus, with further modifications being made during Domitian's reign (81–96). The name "Amphitheatrum Flavium" derives from both Vespasian's and Titus's family name (Flavius, from the gens Flavia).
Capable of seating as many as 50,000 spectators, at any one time, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests - such as those, you may have seen, in motion pictures, like "BEN HUR", - and, - more RECENTLY, the Ridley Scott epic, "GLADIATOR", - and for huge public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, public executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical Roman mythology. The building, however, actually, ceased to be used for entertainment purposes, at some point in the early medieval era.
It was later reused for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine.
Although in the 21st century it stays partially ruined because of damage caused by devastating earthquakes and stone-robbers, the Colosseum is an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome.
It is one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions and still has close connections with the Roman Catholic Church, as each Good Friday the Pope leads a torchlit "Way of the Cross" procession that starts in the area around the Colosseum.
The Colosseum is also depicted on the Italian version of the five-cent euro coin. I have SEEN these Euro coins, for myself, - a COUSIN of mine, brought me one, home, (as, I am a keen numismatist). Seeing it, for the first time, sent a shiver down my spine, I can tell you, - it retains a place of honour, in my collection, because, it SHOWS a picture of the Colosseum!
I am, actually, a "TRADITIONALIST", - and, I have a huge penchant, for doing "HONOUR", to the generations, who have gone BEFORE me!!!!!!!!