Ruins of the Colosseum, Rome, Italy

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
For centuries Rome was the mistress of the world. Other nations of the known world paid tribute to her. Her legions of soldiers conquered Europe from Scotland to Greece. Mighty Egypt was her vassal. The great nation of Carthage in northern Africa fell before her might. Faraway Persia knew her power, and trembled. Every civilized western nation was a colony of Rome when the Caesars ruled. Petty kings rendered unto Caesar that which was Caesar's; and Caesar's tribute was not light. It was fitting that these Caesars should have a place of amusement that was worthy of such rulers. Vespasian (vs-p´ zh-n) began the structure in 72 A. D. It was dedicated 8 years afterward, although the fourth story was not added till 150 years later. The great structure, now known as the Colosseum (kl´ -s´ m), is the largest theater ever built, and one of the finest structures. It is circular in shape but not quite round. It is 205 yards across the longest way, and 170 yards the shortest. It is 158 feet high. It lacks only a few yards of being one-third of a mile around on the outside. This great building was made of stone throughout. It was fitted up with stone seats for 50,000 people. There was standing room for 20,000 more. The Polo Grounds, the home of the New York "Giants" baseball team, will hold only half this number. Baseball was not known in these days. There were combats between men, between animals, and between animals and men. Many times great crowds of men, women, and children-all Christians-were brought into the arena of the Colosseum, and lions were turned loose to slaughter them. The building you are gazing on is a monument to wickedness as well as to glory. Keystone ID: 11234 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.