Rome, Italy
May 2011

The Flavian Amphitheatre, home of gladiatorial contests, is almost two thousand years old. There used to be a colossal statue of Nero nearby and so the ampitheatre became known as the Colosseum by proximity. Apparently, construction was funded by Emperor Vespasian's share of the spoils from the Jewish Temple in 70 AD. Nowadays the building is partially in ruins, but it was still a monumental sight to behold.


Triumphal Arches

The triumphal Arch of Constantine lies in the Via Triumphalis, right next to the Colosseum. The Roman Senate built the arch in 315 to commemorate Constantine I's victory at the Battle of Milvian Bridge, which also marked the Emperor's conversion to Christianity. As the largest Roman Triumphal arch, it crowns the pathway of victory. It inspired the Paris' Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel and many other constructions.


Along the Via Sacra lies the Arch of Titus. Emperor Domitian built it in 82 AD to commemorate his departed brother's victories. Most interestingly, the arch depicts the Siege of Jerusalem, which is the only surviving depiction of the Temple's menorah. Once again, this monument has inspired many others, including Paris' Arc de Triomphe.


Palatine Hill

The centermost of Rome's seven hills, Palatine Hill was the site of Imperial palaces. It overlooks the Roman Forum, the governmental center of the Empire and the city. I enjoyed walking along the ancient remains and imagining what they were like in the first century.