|Function / usage:||
|Other name(s):||Amphiteatrum Flavium|
|Built:||69 - 80|
Geographic Information & Related Structures
Rome, Roma, Lazio, Italy, Europe
|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.
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.
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.
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.
The substructures are backfilled as the water problem cannot be solved.
As the French occupation ends, Pope Pius VII continues the works with the same architects.
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.
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.
Currently there is no information available about persons or companies having participated in this project.
Relevant Web Sites
- Colosseum (Mary Ann Sullivan)
- Encyclopaedia Romana: Colosseum
- Giovanni Manieri Elia: Il Colosseo - Efficienza produttiva e qualità costruttiva. Problematiche tecnologiche, strutturali e di cantiere: l’esempio del Colosseo
- Great Buildings Online: Roman Colosseum
- New wooden structures with composite material reinforcements for historical buildings, presented at Innovative Wooden Structures and Bridges, IABSE Conference, Lahti, 2001.
- I sotterranei del Colosseo, presented at .
- Neue Forschungsergebnisse zu einem Aufzugssystem im Untergeschoß des Kolosseums, in "Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Römische Abteilung", 2002, n. 109
- Foundations and wall structures in the basement of the Colosseum in Rome, presented at First International Congress on Construction History, Madrid, 20-24.01.2003.
- The construction and phases of development of the wooden arena flooring of the Colosseum, in "Journal of Roman Archeology", 2000, n. 1 v. 13
- Qu'est-ce que l'architecture?, Editions Gründ, Paris (France), ISBN 2700012232, 2005; pp. 230-231
- Rom, von Zabern, Mainz (Germany), ISBN 3805326858, 2000; pp. 185-194
- Historical Static Analysis of the Coliseum, presented at Second International Congress on Construction History, Queens' College, Cambridge University; 29/03-02/04/2006.
- Structural History of the Colosseum, Rome, in "Structural Engineering International", February 1993, n. 1 v. 3
- Il Colosseo, Electa, Milan (Italy), ISBN 8843558730, 1999
- The Colosseum, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (USA), ISBN 0892366486, 2001
- Art et architecture: Rome et le Vatican, Könemann, Cologne (Germany), ISBN 3829031076, 2001
- Sangue e arena, Electa, Milan (Italy), ISBN 8843579819, 2001
- Opus Caementitium (4th edition), Beton-Verlag, Düsseldorf (Germany), ISBN 3764003103, 1993; pp. 189-
- Reconstructing the restorations of the Colosseum after the fire of 217, in "Journal of Roman Archeology", 1998 v. 11
- The Colosseum: Quality and efficiency of construction, presented at First International Congress on Construction History, Madrid, 20-24.01.2003.
- Studying the valley of the Colosseum (1970-2000), in "Journal of Roman Archeology", 2000, n. 1 v. 13
- Il cantiere del Colosseo, in "Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Römische Abteilung", 2002, n. 109
- A history of earlier excavations in the arena, in "Journal of Roman Archeology", 2000, n. 1 v. 13
- Die Geschichte der Bauingenieurkunst, Birkhäuser, Basel (Switzerland), ISBN 3764324414, 1992; pp. 370
- Roman Imperial Architecture, Yale University Press, New Haven (USA), ISBN 0300052928, 1981; pp. 67-70
- Das Obergeschoß des flavischen Amphitheaters, in "Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Römische Abteilung", 1925, n. 40