Rome Opening up Highest Level of Colosseum for First Time in Decades

The five levels of the Roman amphitheater reflected the ancient class system in place millennia ago.

The following article, written by Nick Squires, appears on The Telegraph

They may have been the lowliest of the low, but they had a stupendous view of ancient Rome.

For the first time in decades, visitors can have a plebeian’s eye view of the Colosseum, the oval amphitheatre where gladiators fought wild animals – and each other.

From November 1, tourists will be able to climb to the fifth and highest level of the arena, which was reserved for Rome’s plebeian classes.

The “plebs” sat on wooden benches, unlike the senators and imperial officials on lower levels, who parked their behinds on marble benches.

“The noise and the smell would have been hellish,” Rossella Rea, the director of the Colosseum, told The Telegraph from the top level of the Colosseum, which rises more than 120ft above the ground.

“The wild animals were kept in underground tunnels. They were not fed for days. So when they were hoisted up from the darkness to the arena in cages, they would have been terrified. The carnage was terrible.” Continue reading at The Telegraph. 

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