In 70 CE, the Emperor Vespasian broke ground on what would become, and still remains, the world’s largest amphitheatre. The Coliseum was completed by his successor Titus ten years later, and modified during the reign of Domitian (81-96). Because those three emperors were from the Flavius family, the arena was for centuries known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, with the name Coliseum coined around 1000 CE. The tallest and grandest structure in Rome, the amphitheatre could hold some 87,000 spectators.
Vespasian began his reign in Rome by conquering the numerous revolts which he had inherited from Nero. He is best remembered for having started construction of the “Flavian Amphitheatre”, better known as the Coliseum. Vespasian wanted a spectacular enhancement to the public forum which had become rundown as a city center under his predecessor’s reign. He then commissioned the Amphitheatre to be built. The name never caught on because the Romans referred to the new arena as the Coliseum. The name Coliseum was taken from the Latin word 'colossus' meaning colossal referring to a gigantic statue of Emperor Nero, upon which the arena was built. Vespasian died a year before the completion of the Coliseum. While the official inauguration occurred in 80 AD, construction continued well into the reign of Emperor Domitian-- Vespasian’s son.
Domitian won over the people of Rome with dramatic games at the Coliseum. He added the top tier of the Coliseum. Domitian built a vast network of rooms, cells, tunnels, and passages under the Coliseum called the hypogeum. The hypogeum was able to accommodate chambers used to house animals, stage props and the slaves who had to work there. Elevators and pulleys raised and lowered scenery and props, as well as lifting animals to the surface of the arena for release.
The entertainment from the Coliseum continued through the reigns of various emperors, the emergence of the Christian religion, the horrific deaths of Christian martyrs, the Gladiator fights and the killing of thousands of exotic wild animals in Ancient Rome. The madness of the mob and craving for this type of entertainment finally ended in the 6th century.
In the Roman currency system, the denarius (plural: denarii) was a small silver coin first minted in 211 BC. The word denarius is derived from the Latin dēnī "containing ten", as its value was 10 asses. The denarius continued to be the main coin of the Roman Empire until it was replaced by the antoninianus in the middle of the 3rd century.
Data- Im age shows typical coins, not to scale, listed from left to right: Vespasian- W: 2.7-3.3 g; D: 17.2-20 mm; Obverse: bust of Vespasian; Reverse: various pagan deities Domitian- 2.9-3.7 g; D: 17.5-19 mm; Obverse: bust of Domitian; Reverse: various pagan deities Box measures: 3.87” x 3.87” x 1.25”
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