Il Colosseo Marble Block

IL COLOSSEO MARBLE BLOCK

Amanda Claridge
It bears a long inscription referring to the restoration of various parts of the amphitheatre in the reign of Theodosius II and Valentinian III (AD 425–50) but is riddled with holes from the inlaid bronze letters of a previous inscription, which can be reconstructed as having read: IMP · CAES · VESPASIANUS · AUG | AMPHITHEATRUM · NOVUM | EX · MANUBIIS… FIERI · IUSSIT (The emperor Vespasian ordered this new amphitheatre to be erected from his general’s share of the booty…). It was not the principal dedicatory inscription, which will have run round the parapet of the arena, but a shorthand version which was probably repeated at various other significant points around the building. The block was found in 1813 at the arena end of the eastern entrance, where it could have formed the lintel of the doorway. The new reading not only confirms that the amphitheatre was essentially Vespasian’s project, but adds the information that he built it as a triumphal monument in the Roman tradition, from his spoils of war (presumably the Jewish triumph of AD 70, which brought some 50,000 kg of gold and silver from the Temple at Jerusalem).
Claridge, Amanda. Rome (Oxford Archaeological Guides) (p. 314). OUP Oxford. Kindle Edition.

 

 

 

AUTHOR(S) AND LAST UPDATE
Stephanie Sepúlveda & John William Bailly  19 April 2018
COPYRIGHT © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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