My holiday im Rome...

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07 Aug 2009 16:06 - 07 Aug 2009 16:07 #25310 by Jon
My holiday im Rome... was created by Jon
...and what me and my family can look forward to. For myself it is all old hat so to say, but a hat I will always love to wear until the end of my days.

COLOSSEUM

Games in The Roman Colosseum
The object of the games was to display power and prestige. Also to increased an emperor's popularity, especially after first coming to office. Emperor Titus marked its dedication with one hundred days of games during which over 9000 wild animals were killed. The games included; combat between gladiators, battles between men, battles between men and wild animals and other \"public entertainment\". There are even records of it being purposely flooded so as stage mock naval battles. One can only wonder at the ingenuity required for this and be utterly fascinated.

Nero and the Colosseum
Built on the site of an artificial lake that was part of Nero's huge park, which included the Domus Aurea (Golden House) and the Colossus statue of Nero. Appropriately, this statue is said to be how the name of the stadium came about.


Architecture
There are four levels inside. The first three are in the three classical styles of architecture: Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. The top level was particular in that it had square, window like openings to the outside. The whole building was constructed out of stone, concrete, brick (on the parts that could not be seen) and marble, Most of the marble (including the seating) was pilfered from the building in the middle ages. Some stone to was taken, it was used for the construction of St peter and other prominent buildings.

Seating and Shelter
The Colosseum had over 80 entrances and could seat over 50,000 people. In bright sun the spectators could, by means of a series of winches and pulleys, be sheltered by canvass. This technology was according to records, operated by sailors.

The Emperor sat in a podium, to the south west. Where anyone sat in the arena was according to their status and rank. Vestal Virgins and senators were on the Lower seats, while the masses were higher up.

The Arena
The arena, some 86 yards long and 50 yards wide, was wooden and covered in sand. All that can be seen today are the subterranean passages where prisoners, gladiators and animals were kept, immediately before their appearance in the Games. Gladiators were expected to fight to the death. Before each performance they would salute the Emperor with the famous saying:
\"Caesar those who are about to die salute you!\"

It's Time of Majesty Had Finally Come to and End
The last Gladiatorial displays were banned in AD 438 (gladiatorial fighting had been part of Roman culture since 264 BC) The last animal show was in AD 523 when the Empire had all but collapsed.
Much of the marble that made up was looted from here. It was only when the later Medieval Popes put classical buildings under their personal protection that the Colosseum was saved from total destruction.

Memorial to the Slain
There is a large cross which remembers the death of Christians during the many persecutions. The time of the Roman Empire was very trying for those who believed a christian god at the time. However, it is said that the vast majority were executed not here but, in the circus.

Trivia
· The thumbs up or down by the populace to indicate whether a gladiator should live or die is alas an invention of the silent movies.
· In later times it was used as a fortress by one of the powerful Roman Families.

The author of the TOTJO simple and solemn oath, the liturgy book, holy days, the FAQ and the Canon Law. Ordinant of GM Mark and Master Jestor.
Last edit: 07 Aug 2009 16:07 by Jon.

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07 Aug 2009 16:12 #25311 by Jon
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The Pantheon Rome

It has a colourful history, because the present building seemed to be the only one that was either able to remain intact or not suffer any natural catastrophes. Previous human dedications to the divine included a temple to Mars and Venus built in B.C. 27 by Marcus Agrippa, son-in-law to the emperor Augustus. It burnt down a hundred years later. The emperor Domitian rebuilt it but it was then struck by lightning in A.D. 110 and burnt down again. Both were based on a conservative T-shaped structure.

Some form of divine curse appeared to be on the site as no temple dedicated to one or some gods was allowed to exist there. Hadrian arrived and commissioned a new temple with a totally new design and ensured that it was dedicated to all the gods, thus its name, which comes from the Greek word pantheion, which means place for all gods.

The building is a wonderful example of Roman architecture that combined regional characteristics with a unique style. Its uniqueness was that it was the first to fully utilize two structural forms, the arch and the vault. A vault is an arched ceiling of which the dome was the commonly used form. They both reduced or eliminated the need for columns to support the roof, because it could rest on the outer walls. Interestingly, the columns became mere sculptural decorations.

Most temples used to emphasize exterior size, so as to humble and reduce the human worshipper. The divine was always grander than the human. The Pantheon turned this thought around by emphasizing interior space rather than exterior form. The interior is beautifully and evenly lit. A large opening was created at the top of the dome known as the oculus or eye that measures 30 feet (9 meters) in diameter. Something of the gods looking in at the people and the humans looking out at the gods. It was to be the only source of light.

The use of dome and arches obliged the builders to create a harmonious space so that everything fits together beautifully. The best illustration is seen in the walls as they vary in thickness. At the bottom, they start off at 20 feet (6 meters) until they reach 7.5 feet (2.3 meters) near the oculus. Being circular, it measures about 142 feet (43 meters) in diameter. Its domed roof rises about 142 feet (43 meters) above the floor at its highest point.

The materials used were largely of brick and concrete. A rectangular portico or porch that has a triangular roof supported by a row of eight Corinthian columns extends from the entrance of the building. As with any Ancient edifice, some of the original pieces no longer exist, as they had to be replaced except for the bronze doors at the entrance and some of the marble used in the interior decoration.

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07 Aug 2009 16:16 #25312 by Jon
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The Roman Forum in Rome

A forum is the place where public meetings were held, so every city in the Roman Empire had one. Rome itself had more than one forum, but only the first forum was called Forum Romanum (Roman Forum). Romans went to the Forum to hear famous orators speak and to see the valuables seized after distant battles. It was not surprising that emperors would recognize their social symbolic importance and build new ones in their own honour.

They were open marketplaces. Its importance meant that many building and monuments were built in its shadow so as to increase their value. Ruins include the triumphal Arch of Septimius Severus built in A.D. 203, the Temple of Saturn, and the Basilica Julia, an assembly hall. The temples of Concord and Saturn, the temple of Vesta and the Basilica Aemilia can also be found here. Most streets of ancient Rome were narrow and crooked, but a few were wide and beautiful, with high arches and white marble buildings. The chief street, the Via Sacra (Sacred Way), crossed the Roman Forum. Victorious emperors and generals returning from war paraded over its lava pavement.

The city of Rome was founded in B.C. 753. Historically, the Forum area was a swamp used as a cemetery by the people of surrounding villages. During the 6th century B.C., the first kings of Rome, the Etruscans, unified all these villages into the city of Rome and drained the marshes. Shops and temples soon followed and were built around the edges of the Forum area. But, it was only during the 2nd century B.C. that the Forum became the civic and legal centre of Rome forcing the merchants to move their shops to other parts of the city.

The Barbarian invasions of the 5th century A.D., which resulted in the conquest of Rome, did not destroy the Forum, but ignored it instead. So, its buildings gradually crumbled and its desolation gave it the name of 'Cow Plain.'

Some of the rulers and emperors who built their own forums and whose ruins can be found today are Julius Caesar, Augustus, Vespasian, Nerva, and Trajan. The finest is Trajan's. Most of its buildings, including the Basilica Ulpia and the Temple of Trajan, are in ruins. But, Trajan's Column erected in A.D. 113. and standing over 100 feet (30 meters) tall, is almost whole. It has carvings of scenes from Trajan's victories in the Dacian wars. Nearby stand the Markets of Trajan, a large semicircle of three-storied shops. One of the shops has been rebuilt to show how it looked in ancient times.

The Roman Forum has witnessed some of the greatest Roman and possibly world events, such as Cicero's stirring speeches on the floor of the Curia in the 60's B.C. to save the Republic from Catiline's rebellion and the giving of imperial powers to Augustus in 27 B.C. making him the first emperor.

The forum has suffered fire, barbarians, and pillaging builders during the Italian Renaissance, but 19th century excavations have since uncovered many of the ancient columns and arches. You can see it from the Piazza del Campidoglio.

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07 Aug 2009 16:19 #25313 by Jon
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The Spanish Steps Rome

They are in the shadow of the Spanish embassy to the Holy See. This proximity gave the steps as well as the square their name.

They are a long series of double steps designed and built between 1723 and 1726 to link the Trinita dei Monti with the Piazza di Spagna. They were modelled on the steps leading up the Basilica de Sacre Coeur on the Butte de Montmartre in Paris. At the top was the Trinita dei Monti, a French church in an Italian landscape, while Piazza di Spagna is at the bottom. The construction of a church or any other major public building on top of a hill is an old technique to place it at the centre of a city as well as to dominate it. The views from the top were spectacular and compensated for the arduous climb.

They were based on an idea first proposed in the 17th century, but politics and lack of funds delayed their construction. The French church dates as from the late 15th century and was commemorated during the reign of Louis XII. It is here where the aforementioned obelisk stands but it was only brought here upon the order of the pope Pius VI in 1788.

During the reign of Louis XIV, French power extended to parts of northern Italy and influenced the papacy. They wanted to build a statue of the Sun King on the hill as well, but papal opposition delayed the project until 1722 when the new pope Innocent XIII appointed a new architect, Francesco de Sanctis, who presented a compromise design.

The staircase consists of 137 double steps over twelve different flights and appears slightly irregular but from above symmetry develops before the naked eye.

A brief note on the Piazza di Spagna helps one understand more about the Spanish Steps. The Piazza di Spagna's purpose was to create a space uniting the Via Babuino with Via Felice, which was interestingly the first great street that was built during the papal reign of Sixtus V in the late 15th century. Its triangular shape contains two interesting monuments; firstly, the Fontana della Barcaccia, which is at the foot of the Spanish Steps and secondly, the Colonna dell'Immacolata or Column or the Immaculate Conception.

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08 Aug 2009 14:15 #25317 by
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If your interested in the gladiatorial games - get hold of the special edition of the movie 'Gladiator' (Russell Crowe et al) and watch the documentaries on the bonus DVD ;) - it clears up many misconceptions of the gladiators.

Ive heard that Rome can be a bit smelly in the summer - the main river is qu8ite polluted apparently - Id still like to visit though (id take my Dad but Id end up in churches all the time :D)

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18 Aug 2009 00:59 #25396 by Jon
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Well I survived 7 days of days around 35° and nights 30°. We had to take it easy because of our daughter. I never smelled anything from the river you mentioned GM Kana, except for several street corner which men use as urinals, so no fears there. The food is expensive (beer can cost upto 10 euros), and depending on how much you are prepared to pay the service and quality can be left a lot to be desired. Due to the Popes blunderings concerning Islam, he has out of fear intruduced \"Airport\" controlls of bags and person before getting into the Vatican; and half of the Basilica itself has been cornered off. The view from the coupola is worth it, just as the Crypt of the Popes and treasure room are worth it. Although Italian ice cream lives upto its reputation, the price doesn`t pull a punch either. Very often a scoop will cost you 2,50 Euros. There is however what I consider to be the biggest ice cream dealer I know of near the Pantheon (La Palma) with about 80 different flavours to choose from at a price of about 1,50 a scoop. For 1 euro and a roughly 45 min Metro/train ride you can enjoy the delights of the meditaranean sea. The best and most relaxing time to enjoy Rome are in the evenings, pure romantic (Trastevere, Spanish Steps, Piazza Narvona, Trevi Fountain...). Rome in the summer between 13-16 hrs is not to be recommended, try a sieasta instead. We had a great time!

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18 Aug 2009 11:51 #25405 by
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So as long as you steer clear of the beer and ice cream - Rome is good :D

as it happens I dont like either so im sorted :p

Glad they sorted the smell out (of the river) - pity about 'security' but I guess thats the world we live in currently.

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