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|The Gardens Of The Coliseum
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|Autor:||andinia2 [ Sab Dic 31, 2011 12:38 pm ]|
|Asunto:||The Gardens Of The Coliseum|
For centuries, the magnificent structure built by the Romans was home to a lavish and strange vegetation.
The coliseum is as iconic for the city of Rome as the Eiffel tower is for Paris, but the coliseum is indeed much older, having being inaugurated on the first century A.D. in order to provide for a better service for Roman citizens who used to watch the games. Gladiators, beasts and prisoners were killed in big numbers in a variety of shows around the city, and it was only a matter of time until someone thought about putting all those together in one place.
The gigantic structure from which all modern stadiums descend was an engineering marvel: it had special effects to offer, it could be filled up with up to 50.000 people and emptied in just a matter of minutes, it provided great propaganda value for Roman leaders and politicians and fun for the people. Not everyone agreed on the value of such fun indeed: Seneca, for example, wrote very derogatory comments about what was going on inside the coliseum and in fact, he was the first to suggest that slavery was immoral, as well as the kind of games that took place there.
Animals of all kinds were brought from all across the empire to provide free entertainment for Romans; many of these animals were killed in the coliseum, but one thing that these beasts brought were seeds of all kinds of plants in their furs. Over time, and as the coliseum decayed alongside with the Roman Empire, these seeds began to germinate, grow into plants and then reproduce.
It was only during the beginning of the nineteenth century and after an earthquake that almost knocked the whole structure down that more recent Roman citizens began to really care for the coliseum again; up to then it was regarded as some sort of disgraced place due to the number of killings that took place in the arena, and many believed in specters and ghosts.
Whatever the case, nineteenth century Romans began stabilizing the remaining walls and cleaning the structure, and one of the things that they had to do was to weed out the place; there were trees, bushes and all sorts of plants growing in that peculiar ecosystem that grew over centuries of neglect. Even poets and painters used to depict that vegetation as something quite unfamiliar for the city and indeed, what grew there vas a very unusual cocktail of plants.
Those plants had to go because seemingly they were not only covering what the authorities intended to restore, but due to the fact that roots were really weakening the icon of the eternal city.
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