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Eight Days that Made Rome:

Why Romans Enjoyed Cruelty in the Colosseum

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»The Colosseum's Grand Opening

Why Romans Enjoyed Cruelty in the Colosseum

Short | 03:01

There was no doubt that the Roman Colosseum was a grand spectacle that drew crowds in the thousands. But it was also a horrifying splurge of violence - even by the standards of the day.


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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