306 IH- Southern Quarters. ROME. b. The Colosseum.
the arches of the entrance next the Esquiline are seen traces of the
stucco-decorations, which were used as models by Giovanni da
Udine, the pupil of Raphael. The arcades of the lowest story
served as entrances for the spectators, and were furnished with
numbers up to lxxvi (Nos. xxiii-liv stili exist), in order to indicate
the staircases to the different seats.
The Interior had seats for 40-50,000 spectators (the common
estimate of 87,000 is an exaggeration). The tiers of seats are sup¬
ported on the outside by two rows of arcades, and on the inside
partly by a solid substructure. Every fourth arch contains a stair¬
case; while the tiers of seats are intersected by passages. The
foremost row of seats, called the Podium, was destined for the
emperor, the senators, and the Vestal Virgins. The emperor occu¬
pied a raised seat, called the Pulvinar, and the others had seats
of honour. Above the Podium rose two other divisions of marble
seats, beyond which was a girdle-wall pierced with doors and
Windows. This wall supported a colonnade in which were wooden
seats, while the humbler spectators ('pullati', i.e. those who were
without togas) stood on the roof of the colonnade. Quite at the
top of the wall, inside, are a series of consoles which originally
supported a narrow gallery, on which were stationed sailors of the
imperiai fleet for the purpose of stretching awnings over the spec¬
tators to exclude the giare of sun. Apertures are stili seen in the
external coping, with corbels below them, for the support of the
masts to which the necessary ropes were attached.
The arena is 94 yds. long by 59 yds. wide. Beneath it and ad¬
jacent to the foundations of the inner wall were chambers and
dens for the wild beasts. More towards the centre were found a
number of walls, pillars, and arches, partly required for the support
of the arena, and partly connected with the apparatus for hoisting
up from below the scenery, properties, etc, required in the combats
with beasts and other performances. The numerous fragments with
very large letters, on the edge of the arena, belonged to the dedi-
catory inscriptions set up by Theodosius II. and Valentinian III.
in 445 (p. 304).
Although two-thirds of the gigantic structure have disappeared,
the ruins are stili stupendously impressive. An architect of the
18th century estimated the value of the materials stili existing at
iy2 million scudi, which according to the present value of money
would be equivalent to at least half a million pounds sterling. The
Colosseum has ever been a symbol of the greatness of Rome, and
gave rise in the 7th cent, to aprophetic saying of the pilgrims: —
'While stands the Colosseum, Rome shall stand,
When falls the Colosseum, Rome shall fall,
And when Rome falls, with it shall fall the World.'