The roman Colosseum is now one of the world’s most famous attractions, it is located in Rome, Italy. I’m sure people know briefly about what this stadium was built for… but do you know the whole story of how disturbing it was?
The Colosseum was commissioned around A.D. 70 to 72 but was not opened up as an amphitheater (or I would say an entertainment stadium) until A.D. 80 or in the early medieval era. This theater was where the romans came to watch a very disturbing kind of entertainment. It consists of gladiatorial combats, mock sea battles, wild animal fights and executions for instance.
The water battles took place for 2 years. This was where lots of real navy boats, real people and real wild animals would kill each other on water for public’s entertainment. If this wasn’t strange and a bit over the top I don’t know what is. This was stopped because the Hypogeum or the underground in Greek term was built into rooms, tunnels and passages like what is left to see today. Oh by the way it was changed because the sibling who took the throne from his brother decided to do that so water battles couldn’t happen anymore. Maybe he was scared of drowning when watching the battles. And I mean I can imagine how expensive it was to have navy boats inside a massive theater all the time! Or more like how spoiled the emperor was to spend all that money to have a ‘real’ battle to watch while letting servants feed him grapes… or was that in Egypt…
Does that mean people would stop killing each other for fun? Actually… the emperor just changed it so he could see everyone fight on land instead. And this is when animal cruelty comes to place even more so. The animals such as bears and lions would be locked up in the underground until it was time for them to fight.
I’m not going to show anything displaying animal cruelty so I’ll just talk about the gladiators.
In cartoons we have seen as kids that being gladiators was cool and the way they battled was amazing, but can you imagine being one? So being a gladiator actually wasn’t as glamorous as you think. Because they had to swear a legal agreement to be handed over to their masters or trainers and that if they didn’t end up doing this savage performance they would have to go through tortures or deaths. And almost everyone entering arenas would be expected to not come back alive. Even though they had a ‘turning thumb’ way of deciding whether the losing gladiator should live, that would still be up to the crowds and the judges.
The very cruel thing I find about this is that people watched this as if it was nothing. I mean lives were taken away in front of you and all you did was just watching and cheering as it happened??? These days anyone in this situation would either be traumatised or okay with it because they’re serial killers!
Fortunately all of these stopped and was built into a castle, churches and such. Right now the Colosseum is one of the symbols to show how much wealth and power the Romans possessed back in their glory time. It is also a symbol of how cruel human can be to other lives and hopefully the history won’t repeat itself.