The Colosseum Livres audio Audible – Version intégrale
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The Colosseum was Imperial Rome's monument to warfare. Like a cathedral of death it towered over the city and invited its citizens, 50,000 at a time, to watch murderous gladiatorial games. It is now visited by two million visitors a year (Hitler was among them).
Award-winning classicist Mary Beard and Keith Hopkins tell the story of Rome's greatest arena: how it was built; the gladiatorial and other games that were held there; the training of the gladiators; the audiences who revelled in the games, the emperors who staged them and the critics. And the strange after story - the Colosseum has been fort, store, church, and glue factory.
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Détails sur le produit
|Durée||4 heures et 52 minutes|
|Auteur||Mary Beard, Keith Hopkins|
|Date de publication sur Audible.fr||14 mars 2019|
|Type de programme||Livre audio|
|Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon|| 99,317 en Livres et œuvres originales Audible (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres et œuvres originales Audible) |
78 en Architecture (Livres et œuvres originales Audible)
1,535 en Histoire européenne (Livres et œuvres originales Audible)
8,205 en Architecture de bâtiments
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This is the perfect overview of one of the most iconic buildings in the world. Mary Beard, renowned for her accessible and insightful views on world history, collaborated with Keith Hopkins to create an erudite but very readable history of a building that simply took my breath away the first time I saw it live a few years ago.
The Colosseum was recently named one of the 7 NEW Wonders of the World. It's eye-catching and iconic series of white stone arches, uniformly built into multilayered tiers that diagonally slope where the building has decayed over the course of almost 2000 years, exudes ancient history and immediately invokes images of toga-festooned senators cheering on blood-soaked gladiatorial battles. Beard and Hopkins write, "the Colosseum has become for us the defining symbol of ancient Rome..." driven by "a combination of admiration, repulsion and a measure of insidious smugness. For it is an extraordinarily bravura feat of architecture and a marker of the indelibility of ancient Rome from the modern landscape..."
The authors effectively combine over 30 pictures, drawings and maps with a blend of history, religion, architecture, opinionated analysis, and a fascinating look at the world of gladiators.
The building itself was placed on the remains of Emperor Nero's famed Golden House, a vast compound that he had built on the charred remains of a burned Rome. The Emperor Vespasian built the amphitheatre as a way to give something back to the people who'd suffered greatly under the rather unstable Nero. Originally known as The Flavian Amphitheatre (Flavian being the family name of Vespasian), the building opened under the reign of Vespasian's son Titus, two years after the popular Vespasian died.
The authors take great care to highlight the realities of the many myths surrounding the building. While it was likely that Christians were killed in the Colosseum, there exists no evidence that they were fed to the lions, nor evidence indicating they were killed en masse. Animal hunts were a highlight of the many multi-day events held in the building, but it's highly unlikely that over 5000 animals were killed during the 100-day opening ceremonies.
Following a 300-400 year run as the marquee sporting venue in the Roman empire, the building's purpose varied dramatically until the mid-19th century when it was finally recognized for its historic, archeological, and touristic value. Popes charged a fee to `quarry' its stone for use in other buildings throughout the city. Christian sects utilized the building off and on throughout the centuries, building a chapel, at one point, on the arena floor, and creating enough infrastructures in and around the building to support pilgrims traveling across Europe. The building had even become a botanists dream where it housed 418 different species of flora until the mid-19th century.
Ancient Emperors, modern world leaders, and even celebrities have all claimed a connection to the ancient building. One of the most impressive images in the book is of Benito Mussolini riding horseback, with the Colosseum as a backdrop, during the inauguration of the Via del Impero. The building has held modern concerts, though the acoustics are thought to not be very good.
Having visited the building personally, I also feel a connection to this world wonder. It feels a bit antiseptic. Tourists are corralled into queues and limited in where they can go. Gates, fences and other touches of modernity are subtle but preset and noticeable. But if you're a wanderer, you can find more. You'll find random assemblages of travertine stones - unclear whether they're from a more modern repair, an aborted renaissance "quarry", or simply ancient stone with no clear place in the archaeological puzzle. Look hard, and find ancient graffiti or inscriptions
I'm a bit of an "archaeophile" I'll admit. But a visit to The Colosseum is simply too monumental to go underprepared. "The Colosseum" is a must read. I've dog-eared the pages of this book that I'll read to my family during our upcoming trip to the Eternal city. The book has just over 200 pages, but it's cut smaller than the average trade paperback. The writing is clear and concise, and full of easily consumed information.
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This was such an interesting read, dealing with the origins of the colosseum, it’s uses, the famous gladiator events, even touching on the morals and ethics surrounding such a horrific and brutal sport.
Enjoyable if you are after a little slice of history with a little bit of humour and nostalgia thrown in!
I've used the word 'useful' advisedly instead of words like thrilling or hugely entertaining. The reason is the figures. Almost every chapter of the Colosseum's and the Roman Games' history is drowned in them and you really have to like figures and calculations a lot to be thrilled by this way of history-writing. The book's sleeve notes promise us that this tale will be at times 'hilarious', but that is only for those who are very easily tickled.
So, 5 stars for factual information and 3 for entertainment value make for a 4-star rating.
What more could you want? Essential reading for anyone interested in Ancient Rome, or about to visit the Colosseum.