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Coliseum Trivia Quiz Questions With Answers

Trivia quiz questions with answers about the Roman Coliseum


Coliseum Trivia Quiz Questions With Answers

What is the “Coliseum”?
A: The Coliseum is an oval amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy.

Built of travertine, tuff, and brick-faced concrete, it is the largest what?
A: Amphitheatre ever built.

Where is the Coliseum situated?
A: Just east of the Roman Forum.

Construction began under what emperor?
A: The emperor Vespasian in AD 72, and was completed in AD 80 under his successor and heir Titus.

Further modifications were made during the reign of whom?
A: Domitian (81–96).

These three emperors are known as what?
A: The Flavian dynasty, and the amphitheatre was named in Latin for its association with their family name (Flavius).

When did the building cease to be used for entertainment?
A: In the early medieval era.

It was later reused for what purposes?
A: Housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine.

Although partially ruined because of damage caused by earthquakes and stone-robbers, the Coliseum is still what?
A: An iconic symbol of Imperial Rome and is listed as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.

The Coliseums is depicted on what coin?
A: The Italian version of the five-cent euro coin.

What was the Coliseum's original Latin name?
A: It was Amphitheatrum Flavium, often anglicized as Flavian Amphitheatre.

The building was constructed by whom?
A: Emperors of the Flavian dynasty, following the reign of Nero.

The name Coliseum is believed to be derived from what?
A: A colossal statue of Nero nearby.

This statue was later remodeled by Nero's successors into the likeness of whom?
A: Helios (Sol) or Apollo, the sun god, by adding the appropriate solar crown.

Nero's head was also replaced several times with the heads of whom?
A: Succeeding emperors.

By the year 1000 what name had been coined to refer to the amphitheatre?
A: "Coliseum".

The name further evolved to “what” during the Middle Ages?
A: Coliseum.

In Italy, the amphitheatre is still known as what?
A: Il Colosseo.

What site was chosen to build it on?
A: A site on the floor of a low valley between the Caelian, Esquiline and Palatine Hills, through which a canalised stream ran.

By the 2nd century BC the area was what?
A: Densely inhabited.

It was devastated by what in AD 64?
A: The Great Fire of Rome.

In contrast to many other amphitheatres, which were located on the outskirts of a city, the Coliseum was constructed where?
A: In the city centre; in effect, placing it both symbolically and precisely at the heart of Rome.

How was the construction funded?
A: By the opulent spoils taken from the Jewish Temple after the Great Jewish Revolt in 70 AD led to the Siege of Jerusalem.

What does a reconstructed inscription found on the site say?
A: "The emperor Vespasian ordered this new amphitheatre to be erected from his general's share of the booty."

Along with the spoils, how many Jewish prisoners were brought back to Rome after the war?
A: An estimated 100,000, and many contributed to the massive workforce needed for construction.

The slaves undertook manual labor such as what?
A: Working in the quarries at Tivoli where the travertine was quarried, along with lifting and transporting the quarried stones 20 miles from Tivoli to Rome.

Teams of professional Roman builders, engineers, artists, painters and decorators undertook what?
A: The more specialized tasks necessary for building the Coliseum.

The Coliseum was constructed with what materials?
A: Wood, limestone, tuff, tiles, cement, and mortar.

Dio Cassius recounts that how many wild animals were killed during the inaugural games of the amphitheatre?
A: Over 9,000.

The building was remodeled further under the newly designated Emperor Domitian, who constructed the hypogeum, a series of what?
A: Underground tunnels used to house animals and slaves.

Gladiatorial fights are last mentioned around when?
A: 435.

How long was the arena used for contests?
A: Well into the 6th century.

Around 1200 what family took over the Coliseum and fortified it, apparently using it as a castle?
A: The Frangipani.

Severe damage was inflicted on the Coliseum by the great earthquake in 1349, causing what damage?
A: Causing the outer south side, lying on a less stable alluvial terrain, to collapse.

Much of the tumbled stone was reused for what?
A: To build palaces, churches, hospitals and other buildings elsewhere in Rome.

A religious order moved into the northern third of the Coliseum in the mid-14th century and continued to inhabit it until when?
A: As late as the early 19th century.

The interior of the amphitheater was extensively stripped of stone, which was reused elsewhere, or (in the case of the marble façade) was what?
A: Burned to make quicklime.

The bronze clamps which held the stonework together were what?
A: Pried or hacked out of the walls, leaving numerous pockmarks which still scar the building today.

In 1671 Cardinal Altieri authorized its use for bullfights; a public outcry caused the idea to be what?
A: Hastily abandoned.

The effects of pollution and general deterioration over time prompted a major restoration program carried out when?
A: Between 1993 and 2000, at a cost of 40 billion Italian lire ($19.3m / €20.6m at 2000 prices).

In recent years the Coliseum has become a symbol of what?
A: The international campaign against capital punishment, which was abolished in Italy in 1948.

Since that time, as a gesture against the death penalty, the local authorities of Rome change the color of the Coliseum's night time illumination from white to gold whenever what happens?
A: A person condemned to the death penalty anywhere in the world gets their sentence commuted or is released, or if a jurisdiction abolishes the death penalty.

Most recently, the Coliseum was illuminated in gold in November 2012 following what?
A: The abolishment of capital punishment in the American state of Connecticut in April 2012.

Because of the ruined state of the interior, it is impractical to use the Coliseum for what?
A: To host large events; only a few hundred spectators can be accommodated in temporary seating.

However, much larger concerts have been held where?
A: Just outside, using the Coliseum as a backdrop.

Performers who have played at the Coliseum in recent years have included whom?
A: Ray Charles (May 2002), Paul McCartney (May 2003), Elton John (September 2005), and Billy Joel (July 2006).

Unlike earlier Greek theatres that were built into hillsides, the Coliseum is a what?
A: An entirely free-standing structure.

It is elliptical in shape and is 615 ft long and 510 ft wide, with a base area what?
A: 6 acres.

What is the height of the outer wall?
A: 157 ft.

The perimeter originally measured what?
A: 1,788 ft.

The central arena is an oval 87 287 ft. long and 180 ft. wide surrounded by a wall that is how high?
A: 15 ft. high.

The outer wall is estimated to have required how much travertine stone?
A: Over 3,531,467 cubic feet (100,000 cubic meters).

The stones were set without mortar; they were held together by what?
A: 300 tons of iron clamps.

However, it has suffered extensive damage over the centuries, with large segments having what?
A: Collapsed following earthquakes.

The north side of the perimeter wall is still what?
A: Standing; the distinctive triangular brick wedges at each end are modern additions, having been constructed in the early 19th century to shore up the wall.

The remainder of the present-day exterior of the Coliseum is in fact what?
A: The original interior wall.

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