Picked up this book as I'm studying the Colosseum for a college course and what a find it is! Written in an engaging style without becoming too dry or academic, the book tells you not only about the structure itself and the incredible feat achieved in building it but also about the background of gladiatorial contests in the Roman empire and how the games fitted into Roman society. An effort has been made to include recent finds and theories about the Colosseum and many widely believed myths are "busted" too (Christians v Lions?), there is also some discussion about how this ruin has influenced later peoples (such as Byron and nineteenth century novelists).
The book is illustrated with some clear diagrams and pictures of paintings, graffito, and even an Asterix cartoon! One criticism is that sometimes some of the photographs are a little indistinct but this is only a very minor annoyance.
Also included are some tips on visiting the site.
All in all I found this book hugely enjoyable and have no reservation in recommending it to students or tourists alike!
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