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AMPHITHEATRUM.

latter ; indeed the amphitheatre itself is sometimes called circus. The shape of the circus, however, was much better fitted for the chariot races, for which it was at first designed, than for the gladiatorial com­bats, and the more wholesale slaughter of animals, which, in process of time, came to be the favourite amusements of the Romans. For these purposes, the circus was too long and too narrow, and the spina was a great impediment, so that a new form of building was required, which should accom­modate a multitude of spectators in such a manner as that all might have a good view of the space occupied by the combatants, which space too re­quired to be of quite a different shape from the circus, as the combatants were to be kept as much as possible in the same place. The idea of such a building1 was suggested, as the name (from a

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AMPHITHEATRUM.

one of the kind until the building of the Flavian amphitheatre. It did not satisfy Caligula, who commenced an amphitheatre near the Septa ; but the work was not continued by Claudius. (Dion Cass. lix. 10 ; Suet. Cal 18, 21.) Nero too, in his second consulship, a. d. 57, erected a vast am­phitheatre of wood, but this was only a temporary building. (Suet. Ner. 12 ; Tac. Ann. xiii. 31.) The amphitheatre of Taurus was destroyed in the burning of Rome, A. d. 64 (Dion Cass. Ixii. 18), and was probably never restored, as it is not again mentioned. It is still a question with the topo­graphers whether any traces of it are now visible. (Comp. Becker, Handb. d.Rom. Alter, vol.i. pp. 642, 643, and Urlichs, Beschreiburg Roms. pp. 53, 54.+) The erection of an amphitheatre in the midst of Rome, proportioned to the magnitude of the citv.

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