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Eight Days that Made Rome:

The Story Behind the Colosseum's Greatest Battle

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»The Colosseum's Grand Opening

The Story Behind the Colosseum's Greatest Battle

Short | 03:59

We owe the Roman poet Martial a debt of gratitude for recording so vividly the gladiatorial battle that took place on the opening day of the Colosseum. It was a battle for the ages - with an unexpected outcome.

More About This episode

Out of the carnage of Emperor Nero's death and the civil war that followed, a new imperial dynasty was born, one that looked to win over the hearts of the people by building the largest arena the world had ever seen: Rome's Colosseum. Examine the day in 80 A.D. when the Flavian Amphitheatre opened with a 100-day exhibition of animal and human slaughter. Visit the site, explore ancient artifacts, and see how the Colosseum remains a testament to Rome's reach and ambition and its thirst for blood and glory.

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