The Colosseum Becomes a Wonder

July 7, 2007. In a dramatic ceremony featuring pop stars, fireworks, and smoke canons, the Colosseum is named one of the seven new wonders of the world. It’s an appropriately over-the-top blowout for an arena which, centuries before, was home to its own lavish events. How did spectacles once unfold on the floor of this ancient arena? And how did the Romans use games to entertain people, and to control them?

Special thanks to our guests, Alison Futrell, co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Sport and Spectacle in the Ancient World, and Barry Strauss, author of The War That Made the Roman Empire: Antony, Cleopatra, and Octavian at Actium.

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