(photos by Liz Weeden)
On April 4 we went to see the Roman Forum and Coliseum. After all, you cannot go to Italy without seeing these two unique sites. The Roman Forum is currently left in ruins. However, it used to be the site of the ancient Roman government buildings. It was the center of Roman public life for centuries. Elections, public speeches, gladiator matches, and criminal trials all took place here. There were also statues and monuments to honor men of that time. The Coliseum is the largest coliseum ever built in Roman history and is considered one of the greatest works of art and engineering in Roman history. It was built between 72 AD and 80AD under Emperor Vespasian. The Coliseum is able to hold 50,000 people and was used for many things. Gladiator contests, mock sea battles, executions, and animal hunts were some of the things held there. It stopped being used for entertainment in the early medieval era. The poorer people were able to get into the Coliseum for free, because the rich had paid for them. While we were there, some of us reenacted the gladiator battles of the past. It was truly amazing to think about all of the history that was in the Roman Forum and how hard it must have been to build the Coliseum in Ancient Rome.