Architecture Of The Colosseum

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“Once the Colosseum had been built, it seems to have become the model for many, if not most, of those that followed” (Hopkins and Beard 2005, 24). The Colosseum stands proudly upon the villainous Emperor Nero’s once grand Valley of the Golden House, projecting the munificence of Imperial Roman Architecture. Its ultimate design could be said to be formed through purpose or function. However, this does not do justice to the importance of architecture within Roman society (Thornton and Thornton in Lyes 1999, 2). The functions, whether it be religious or otherwise, of the Colosseum were irrelevant to the ultimate design of the architecture, as the architectural features contained within the Colosseum’s ultimate design created an “instant archetype, a marker of ‘Romanness’ across the empire” (Hopkins and Beard 2005, 25). The clever use of the classical orders and façades, and adaptation of existing Roman architecture of the period allowed the Colosseum to become a model for many subsequent Roman amphitheatres, whilst showing the ingenuity of Roman architecture of the period.

The architectural vocabulary of the Colosseum saw the clever use of existing Roman design practices to create a final structure which became a precedent for all Amphitheatres which followed. Thus, highlighting the overriding importance of the aesthetics the ultimate design displayed. The importance of the appearance in the final design’s architecture begins with the conventions which were used for
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