Touring in Italy
Beneath The Colosseum
On arrival in Rome the first historic site my children recognised was the Colosseum. As it flashed past the cab's windows they instantly came alive with excitement. Needless to say it was the first site on our tourist agenda.
This awesome shot, beneath what was the main arena, was taken way back in 1979 and the colours have faded somewhat but the detail is enough to show the immensity of the building that was the colosseum of Rome. Here two little kids, Karen 9 and Andrew 10, are awestruck as they walk around outside what appeared to be hundreds of cells that once housed men and animals who performed and died in the games that went on in the arena above. You could almost smell their sweat and blood after nearly two millennium of passing time.
The image demonstrates the power and might of an empire with capabilities to conquer the known world while their lack of human rights and animal welfare allowed obsession with blood sports that saw many torn to pieces, if the historic details of the events are accurate. These two little innocents knew nothing of the history of Rome and they arrived here as tourists to take it all in. What confronted them is a story worth telling.
A Roman Soldier's Uniform
This history stuff is all very well for a young bloke but the ice-cream came first. As in all historic tourist sites there are vendors and even beneath the Colosseum we managed to find one for a brief distraction for their young minds.
Andrew eyed the uniform that a soldier once wore but what kind of impression did it make? At his age he was unaware of war, empire or occupation and standing here in this setting demonstrates how the real thing must have impacted on children at the time. The body covering leather garment is as tall as Andrew so how big was the soldier who wore it?
We wondered that as we envisioned the troops standing before us in full regalia. Little kids like these must have been swooped quickly out of their path by anxious adults as we were sure the soldiers would not have cared too much if they were run over by their chariots or trodden on by passing battalions. It was something not worth contemplating for long.
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Have You Been to the Colosseum?
Views of the Colosseum
The Top of the Colosseum
Karen's little legs were burning after the long climb to the top. The step risers are about twice the height of the one's she was used to back home. So we wondered why that was and also why the bricks in the building were so lacking in depth. The amount of bricks used was amazing.
There was much to learn about this building that could have taken a lot longer to ponder over were it not for the exhaustion of just a couple of hours here caused. We were only in Rome for three days and there was a lot to see. Children of this age don't need to know all the details and what they experienced gave them a wonderful start to their education in ancient history.
One thing we did appreciate was the height above the ground and this was not even the very top.
A Bit of Amusement
There wasn't much to laugh about inside the Colosseum when one takes into account the purpose for which it was built and the number of people and animals that died here. But Andrew was bemused by what appeared to be a little entrance going nowhere. This wonderful piece of Roman architecture demonstrates the size of the bricks used throughout the building as well as the attention to detail in the construction of the arch.
With his little camera in hand it was worth taking a shot for the album. Was it a doorway for animals, he wondered? It was obviously too small for people to pass through so what was this intriguing part of the building used for? That's something we ponder to this day. We satisfied ourselves that iit was one of the many arches that supported the roof.
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© 2012 norma-holt