Amphitheatre of Pompeii

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The Amphitheatre of Pompeii - exterior
Fresco - "The Amphitheatre at Pompeii, depicting the riot between the Nucerians and the Pompeians", Casa della Rissa nell'Anfiteatro, Pompeii, Italy
The Amphitheatre of Pompeii - interior

The Amphitheatre of Pompeii is the oldest surviving Roman amphitheatre. It is located in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, and was buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE, that also buried Pompeii itself and the neighboring town of Herculaneum.


Design and Construction[edit]

Built around 80 BCE, the current amphitheatre is the earliest Roman amphitheatre known to have been built of stone; previously, they had been built out of wood. The next Roman amphitheatre known to be built from stone is the Colosseum in Rome, which postdates it by over a century. Contemporarily, it was known as a spectacula rather than an amphitheatrum, since the latter term was not yet in use at the time. It was built with the private funds of Quinctius Valgus and Marcius Porcius.

The amphitheatre's design is seen by some modern crowd control specialists as near optimal. Its washroom, located in the neighboring palaestra has also been cited as an inspiration for better bathroom design in modern stadiums.

Gladiatorial Contests in the Amphitheatre[edit]

The famed preservation of Pompeii and its amphitheatre have given insights into the gladiatorial culture of Rome. Around 59 CE, a deadly brawl occurred between Pompeians and residents of Nuceria during games in the amphitheatre, resulting in a 10 year ban on such events.

Modern Uses[edit]

Aside from being a historical landmark and an object of archaeological study, the amphitheatre has been used for concerts and other public events in modern times.

In October 1971, over a 3-day period Pink Floyd made a concert film at the amphitheatre, titled Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii.

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°45′05″N 14°29′42″E / 40.751264°N 14.494970°E / 40.751264; 14.494970 (Pompeii)