Let the Games Begin Rome Coliseum


 “Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.” 2 Thessalonians 1:4 NIV

The Rome Coliseum is Rome’s Number 1 tourist destination and the changes since my last visit in 1988 were astounding.  There were lines waiting to buy tickets to visit the Coliseum.  Most tours required a guide where you had to check in at a certain time in order to limit the amount of visitors.  Many areas are now “off limit” to tourists that I visited in the past.  The bathrooms inside the grounds were no longer porta-potties, but to find toilets outside of the gates was nearly impossible. 

According to our guide, the Coliseum was built in 84 AD and the games were played before 75,000 people.  Women were only allowed on the very upper fourth level, which required much climbing. Gladiators had a separate training area and came to the arena through a tunnel. The games were man against man, man against animal, animal against man, and animal against animal.  It is an architectural wonder with people operated elevators and two stages.  

There were many different types of executions in the Coliseum. Christian Martyrs were executed as common criminals by crucifixion or “damnatio ad bestia” (thrown to the wild beasts). The vicious and cruel emperors and Romans delighted in even more novel ways of executing Christian Martyrs. The Emperor Nero introduced twilight executions where hapless Christians were nailed to the cross and burned alive as torches to light the arena of the Coliseum. Tribunesandtriumphsorg

The Roman Colosseum was illuminated by red lights February 24, 2018 to draw attention to the persecution of Christians around the world, and especially in Syria and Iraq.

The games were stopped when Constantine become the Emperor and converted to Christianity. He stopped persecution of Christians throughout the Roman Empire in 313 AD.

The once majestic Coliseum fell into ruin and throughout the middle ages, statuary, limestone, columns and stone were stolen and reused elsewhere. Repairs that occurred in the 1940s were done incorrectly, and all the scaffolding seen today is a repudiation of earlier repairs.  Dis

What famous thing have you wanted to visit and then been overwhelmed?  How do you include history in your vacation?  How do discuss difficult things such as the “games” in the Coliseum?Published July 20, 2019

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