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Monday, 8 August 2011


An amphitheater is a freestanding building of round or, more often, oval shape with a central area, the arena, and seats placed concentrically around it. They were built by the Romans to house gladiatorial games, contests of beasts with one another, and combat between men and beasts.

The word amphitheater word is Greek, meaning "theater with seats on all sides."

The oldest surviving amphitheater is located in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii

The oldest permanent amphitheater of which remains exist is one from about 80 BC located in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. It is built of stone 445 by 341 feet (136 by 104 meters) with the arena sunk below the natural level of the surrounding ground. The amphitheater seated about 20,000 people. 

The best known ampitheater is The Colosseum in Rome, completed in 80 AD, which held 50,000 spectators.

Source Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1998 The Learning Company, Inc.

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