How the Coliseum Got its Name

Erected by decree of Emperor Nero between AD 64 and 68 and standing over 100 feet tall, the bronze athletic statue, Colossus of Neronis was relocated by Emperor Hadrian (with the use of 24 elephants) in AD 128 from its original location to make way for the Temple of Venus and Rome (the ruins to the left) and next to the Flavian Amphitheatre (the rightmost ruins).  In time the Colossus lent its name to the 80+ acre amphitheatre, which is now known to the world as the Coliseum.

Lasting into the Middle Ages between the Arch of Constantine, here in the foreground and the Coliseum, it was once said, “As long as the Colossus stands, Rome will stand, when the Colossus falls, Rome will also fall.”  It is believed the great statue was hauled down during the Sack of Rome in AD 410 and its copper scavenged.

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