Caesar was ‘ere: name etchings at the Colosseum

by Craig Evans


Here is a photo of names etched into an interior wall of the Colosseum. I was there the other day while visiting Rome. Inside that ancient arena it is hard not to be drawn into musings about universal human truths. My own thoughts fixed on the idea of the spectacle and how societies, ancient and modern, are organised around staged performances. This is somewhat aided by the design of a circular, tiered structure which encourages a sense of belonging to a mass group with a common purpose while also marking social status differences. The presence of a ‘Royal Box’ for distinguished guests at Wimbledon suggests that this social function of the arena has survived into today’s world.

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