The Colosseum (also known as the Coliseum) is an elliptical amphitheater in the center of the city of Rome, Italy. It is the largest arena built during the existence of the Roman Empire and is made of concrete and stone. It is considered to be one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering. In ancient times, people visited the Colosseum to watch gladiator matches.


The giant building was more than one hundred fifty feet tall and could seat approximately 50,000 people, who came to watch events such as gladiator matches (which was the main entertainment). The building's design was based on many arches and vaults, hallmarks of Roman techniques.

  • The Roman stadium has archways from the bottom to the top.
    • The arches on the outside of the building were decorated with statues of Roman gods.
  • People entered the Colosseum through eighty arched entrances, each with its own number.
  • Underneath the Colosseum floor was a system of animal cages, rooms, and tunnels.
    • Trap doors in the floor were opened to allow animals and gladiators to enter the arena.
  • By combining many arches, the Romans created long, vaulted passageways for the crowd to walk through.

The Heroes of Olympus

The Mark of Athena

The Colosseum is first seen from the deck of the Argo II as the seven demigods arrive in Rome. Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase use this landmark to guide them to the Tiber River where Annabeth begins her quest for Athena Parthenos. Later, Percy Jackson, Jason Grace, and Piper McLean travel to the Colosseum's hypogeum to save their friend, Nico di Angelo and confront the twin giants, Ephialtes and Otis. Bacchus arrives and tells the giants that their spectacle was rather cheesy, and that he could make it a real show. To prove his point, Bacchus forces the giants to fight Percy, and Jason in the rebuilt Colosseum. After Percy and Jason weaken the giants to the brink of death, the Argo II, boarded with more of their friends, arrives and stops the giants with Greek fire. Bacchus agrees to help the demigods and kills the twin giants with his thyrsus staff. Following the giants defeat, the Colosseum returns to its original state and the god informs the demigods where to locate Annabeth and wishes Percy good luck on his journey before vanishing into thin air.

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