History Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

Why is the Colosseum round?

Expert Answers info

Greg Jackson, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

bookM.A. from University of Massachusetts-Boston

calendarEducator since 2018

write1,815 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Law and Politics

The Colosseum is round because it is an amphitheater. Simply stated, amphitheaters developed by taking the design of a traditional theater, with a semicircle of seats on one side, and doubling it to make a round or oval-shaped performance space. In fact, the word amphitheater literally means a two-sided theater. There were amphitheaters all over the Roman Empire, but the Colosseum was the largest and most well-known of them all.

The building's round shape allowed for a maximum number of spectators. It is thought that the Colosseum could hold up to 80,000 audience members. Unlike drama performances which were often staged in semi-circular theaters, the spectacles held in the Colosseum, animal and gladiator fights, were meant to be viewable from all sides. Therefore,...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 403 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Related Questions

kateanswers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write900 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

check Approved by eNotes Editorial