The Colosseum amphitheatre in Rome, built c. 70 – 80 AD, is considered one of the greatest works of architecture and engineering.

An amphitheatre or amphitheater ər/ [1] [2] is an open-air venue used for entertainment, performances, and sports. The term derives from the ancient Greek ἀμφιθέατρον (amphitheatron), [3] from ἀμφί (amphi), meaning "on both sides" or "around" [4] and θέατρον (théātron), meaning "place for viewing". [5] [6]

Ancient Roman amphitheatres were oval or circular in plan, with seating tiers that surrounded the central performance area, like a modern open-air stadium. In contrast both ancient Greek and ancient Roman theatres were built in a semicircle, with tiered seating rising on one side of the performance area. In modern usage, an "amphitheatre" may consist of theatre-style stages with spectator seating on only one side, theatres in the round, and stadia. Natural formations of similar shape are sometimes known as natural amphitheatres.

Interior of the Colosseum
Arles Amphitheatre, France: a Roman arena still used [7] for bullfighting, plays and summer concerts.

Roman amphitheatres

Ancient Roman amphitheatres were major public venues, circular or oval in plan, with perimeter seating tiers. They were used for events such as gladiator combats, chariot races, venationes (animal hunts) and executions. About 230 Roman amphitheatres have been found across the area of the Roman Empire. Their typical shape, functions and name distinguish them from Roman theatres, which are more or less semicircular in shape; from the circuses (similar to hippodromes) whose much longer circuits were designed mainly for horse or chariot racing events; and from the smaller stadia, which were primarily designed for athletics and footraces. [8]

The earliest Roman amphitheatres date from the middle of the 1st century BC, but most were built under Imperial rule, from the Augustan period (27 BC–14 AD) onwards. [9] Imperial amphitheatres were built throughout the Roman empire; the largest could accommodate 40,000–60,000 spectators. The most elaborate featured multi-storeyed, arcaded façades and were elaborately decorated with marble, stucco and statuary. [10] After the end of gladiatorial games in the 5th century and of staged animal hunts in the 6th, most amphitheatres fell into disrepair. Their materials were mined or recycled. Some were razed, and others were converted into fortifications. A few continued as convenient open meeting places; in some of these, churches were sited. [11]

Other Languages
العربية: مسرح روماني
azərbaycanca: Amfiteatr
беларуская: Амфітэатр
български: Амфитеатър
bosanski: Amfiteatar
brezhoneg: Amfiteatr
català: Amfiteatre
čeština: Amfiteátr
Cymraeg: Amffitheatr
dansk: Amfiteater
Deutsch: Amphitheater
eesti: Amfiteater
Ελληνικά: Αμφιθέατρο
español: Anfiteatro
Esperanto: Amfiteatro
euskara: Anfiteatro
فارسی: تماشاخانه
Frysk: Amfiteater
Gaeilge: Aimfitéatar
galego: Anfiteatro
한국어: 원형극장
Հայերեն: Ամֆիթատրոն
hrvatski: Amfiteatar
Bahasa Indonesia: Amfiteater
italiano: Anfiteatro
ქართული: ამფითეატრი
қазақша: Амфитеатр
Kurdî: Amfîtiyatro
latviešu: Amfiteātris
Lëtzebuergesch: Kategorie:Amphitheateren
lietuvių: Amfiteatras
magyar: Amfiteátrum
македонски: Амфитеатар
Bahasa Melayu: Perani
Nederlands: Amfitheater
norsk: Amfiteater
norsk nynorsk: Amfiteater
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Amfiteatr
polski: Amfiteatr
português: Anfiteatro
română: Amfiteatru
Runa Simi: Tumay aranwa
русский: Амфитеатр
Simple English: Amphitheatre
slovenščina: Amfiteater
ślůnski: Amfityjater
српски / srpski: Амфитеатар
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Amfiteatar
svenska: Amfiteater
Türkçe: Amfitiyatro
українська: Амфітеатр
中文: 圓形劇場