|Christian Martyr's Last Prayer, 1864-84, Jean-Leon Gerome, only the artist could capture
what the Coliseum must have been like in its "gory" days.
|I was struck by the depth of the ruins that would
have been beneath the wooden floor of the
ancient arena. There was much within the
two-level guts of the Coliseum that didn't meet
|Though usually thought of as being constructed
of stone, the actual core of the structure was
good old-fashioned Roman brick, flat, irregular,
and held in place by the, then brand new,
invention of concrete.
|Much of two outer rings of arches were consumed for Renaissance building materials
before the Italians came to realize they were demolishing their number-one tourist attraction.
|Despite its tortured past, and ruinous state, the Coliseum still manages
to project a certain romantic beauty, especially at night.