chapter  6
43 Pages

The Roman Amphitheatre and the Colosseum

Perhaps the oldest surviving permanent stone structure for the presentation of gladiators is the amphitheatre at Pompeii (c. 70 BC) (Figure 26).1

Other amphitheatres in Italy may be older but cannot be reliably dated. The following inscription reveals the details of its origin:

C. Quinctius Valgus, son of C. [and] M. Porcius, son of M., fifth-year dual magistrates [duoviri quinquennales] were responsible for the building of this structure for public entertainment [spectacula] at their own expense in honour of the colony [i.e., Pompeii, which was a Roman colony] and gave the place in perpetuity to the colonists.2