Rome the city of gladiators of popes of senators of dictator like Mussolini of Julius caesar of Cleopatra and Mark Antony needs no introduction.
Rome with the vatican city as its neighbour the smallest country in the world with 900 citizens and a most important religious leader of the world the pontificate of Roman catholics the holy pope himself .
Isnt these two enough to make this city intresting ?
We all have our impressions on this great city of a great country Italy
I too had
I knew it was the twins who were flown in a basket in the river Tiber who would later build Rome on its banks
I knew it was the powerful Romans whose Governor would crucify Jesus christ for his breaking their rules but later adopt the religion of their own crucified victim and a part of their city would become the high office of christianity .
But nothing prepared me for the day
It was a day I discovered this piece of history
A day i stumbled into a time machine that zipped me back to men of iron muscles and corded veins fight lions with brave hands of opulent emperors luxuriating in the orgies of food and excesses .of battles fought in the country and abroad of riches plundered beautiful women achieved and land conquered
The times when people let out yells of joy on seeing their gladiators drawing blood or lions crunching on their slaves skulls .
We reached Colloseo station from Bologna station by Metro .
We had bought a 15 Euro 48 hr unlimited Metro ticket each which was the best way to travel
Rome has two metro lines blue and red .
On reaching Colloseo station .we moved up to road bordering the towering ancient well known ruin itself .
Strangely the half destructed building by an earthquake ,numerous battles ,and later by stone thiefs had recently undergone massive reconstruction and restoration and achieved a very remarkable result .
The real name of the building was Flavium Amphitheatre as built by Flavic kings .
Just before its construction Rome was ruled by the narcissist megalomanic dictator famously known for playing fiddle when his country burned by name emperor Nero .
Nero had constructed a very huge opulent extravagant palace with a mammoth statue of himself alieniating to people .
This collasal self aggrandisement later came to be used for the amphiteatre in the place of his palace as an atonement to his arrogance
Hence it was collosal it became popularly called colloseum .
The colloseum for a long time was a state of art entertainment sports exhibition centre .
Its innermost and closest to performers was for the emperor and family ,royals ,and middle rows
For midlle class and top most rows were for the poor .
What did they come to see and how .
The bottom of the colloseum had a wooden floor but under it was a labyrinth of caves tunnels and gate for bringing in animals .
The said animals would at times be lifted in to a make shift elevator and appear on the wooden stage to fighting bouts of gryesome battles .there would be gladiator contests and the crowd would yell blood curdling whoops of murderous cries prisoners and slaves for public execution would be bought at lunch times for a public display
And scenes would rise from below using hydraulic pulleys to produce a perfect show .
The vestal virgins were the only women allowed close to gladiators as most Romans had no reason to encourage their women from setting eyes on handsome gladiators
Its said one kings wife confessed to her husband that she had amorous thoughts on a said gladiator
The king promptly ordered the gladiator killed and made the queen bath in his blood as adviced by a magic man but the queen was pregnant and later brought out a baby stunningly looking like the gladiator who had the final laugh .
The thumbs up and down sign also camr after peoples reaction to gladiators battles
Such were the games played in the colloseum .
After an exhaustive walking tour led by a Phd in Archeology as our groups guide we walked on to the famous Roman forum in palatine hill
Bordering on it was the arch of triumphmany Romsn ruins temples palaces royal houses in a huge area of hilly land
In the christian era the colloseum became a religious center with violent games put an end to
Even to this day his highness the Pope starts his way of cross duting easter from here .
72 AD completed in 80 AD under three kings callled Flavian kings and hence also called Flavian theatre .
It was meant for gladiator fights prisoners fighting raging lions duels to death and such gory spectacles
By the end of it we were back to metro on colloseo station to catch a metro to ottavia which was reached after switching to a red line at Termini station .
This was for our afternoon tour of the Vatican but thats another long story which I shall tell