Ms. Kern...little help with a fact check, please!

So you know that feeling when you think you know something factual, and then you find out you were wrong? Yeah, that feeling. During our free time this weekend I visited the Coliseum, er...I mean the Colosseum. So there's my first revelation, I didn't know there are two different spellings. The Colosseum is the ancient building in Rome, easily recognizable in pictures. It was built in the first century and was officially named "Flavian Amphitheater" for the three Emperors from the Flavian dynasty who oversaw the building project.

So even though the official name of the place was "Flavian Amphitheater" the Roman locals called it the Colosseum. You might think (like I did) that the Colosseum was called that because it was/is huge. You know, like "colossal." It was actually called that because there was a big huge statue of Nero nearby that was called "Colossus of Nero."

So what about the spelling? The word "coliseum" refers to big stadiums or sports arenas, basically a variation on spelling in reference to a generic version of the original Colosseum. Clear as mud?

The other thing that I thought I knew but was wrong, is that apparently there's no evidence that Christians were killed in the Colosseum. I always thought that it was one of the main places where early Christians were killed by lions that were released on them in the arena. There were gladiators (you know, like the Russell Crowe movie) and other types of spectacles but my tour guide said that the persecuted Christians were killed at another location.

Ms Kern, does this all sound right? I'm going off what my tour guide told me but I'm thinking I should fact check with our World History expert, Ms. Kern.

It was an interesting tour, especially the part about how our modern day sports arenas are basically the same fundamental layout as the first century Colosseum. The lower class people had to sit way up in the top, the cheap seats as we call them today, and their seats were made of wood. The wealthy class sat in the lower sections with suites and marble all around. There was even drinking fountains in ancient Rome, what I like to think of as modern day concession stands. The ancient drinking fountains came from water that flowed through the intricate aqueduct system in early Rome.

As we finished the Colosseum tour I looked over and saw the Arc de Triomphe! What? I thought that was in Paris and was created in the Napoleon era. Well you learn something new everyday.

Apparently the concept of a "triumphal arch" was invented in ancient Rome. They were built to celebrate great military victories or triumphs. I feel a little stupid now, but I thought the Arc de Triomphe in Paris was a one of a kind. That's far from the truth. I saw two just in the general area outside the Colosseum. The one in my pictures with three parts to the arch is the Arch of Constantine. The other one in the pictures is the Arch of Titus. Both were beautiful and I was so amazed that something so old could still be standing.

I learned a lot on this visit to the ruins of ancient Rome! It just goes to show that you are never too old to learn. It might be a little humbling at times, but it's worth the adventure!

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