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Colosseum, Rome, Italy, c. 1890

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The Roman Colosseum, built to seat thousands of fans for sporting events, was a model for future sports stadiums.
Courtesy of Library of Congress, Colosseum, Rome, Italy


The Flavian Amphitheater, more commonly known as the Roman Colosseum was an engineering marvel when it was built. Since AD 79, the Colosseum has been the role model for sports stadiums that could be used for multiple types of events and seat thousands of fans. During the time of the Roman Empire, fans were given tickets which directed them to certain sections, rows and seat numbers showing how practices from the ancient world are still present today.

Source-Dependent Questions

  • Study this photograph for two minutes. What are three things that stand out in your mind? Describe why those stood out to you. 
  • Based on the other buildings you see around the Colosseum, what inference can you make about the importance of the Colosseum in the city of Rome?
  • Compare the Colosseum with the source Nationals Park. What connections do you observe between the early sports stadium, the Colosseum, and the modern sports stadium, Nationals Park?

Citation Information

Colosseum, Rome, Italy. [Between 1890 and 1930] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, Library of Congress