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The Colosseum and Circus Maximus

The Roman emperor provided mass entertainment to avoid unrest. The vast amphitheatre at Rome, which we call the Colosseum, was an impressive feat of engineering. It provided a venue for gladiatorial combat and beast-fighting. Gladiators were the celebrities of their age but were viewed with ambivalence for they were also considered the lowest of the low in society.

Animals from all parts of the Roman world were imported on a prodigious scale to be killed in the amphitheatre. The Circus Maximus is also discussed. It hosted chariot-racing, another hugely popular form of entertainment. Some sense of this is given by the stadium's impressive capacity of 250,000 spectators.

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3 minutes