Thursday, July 29, 2010

Final Day in Rome

On our last day of touring, we went to the Forum and the Colosseum. This first picture shows that the area we toured was rather centrally located. The Forum was the gathering place for the people. There were races and political courts that were held on this location. Each emperor built his own basilica there as well. You can see in this first picture (which we did not take, but because it shows the area so well I decided to use it) that there are several remains of aqueducts, amazing water transportation systems that Rome perfected throughout their empire. There are also many arches in this area, built by the various emperors to mark certain victories. As each arch was built, when an emperor would return to Rome victorious he would walk through the arches of the other emperors and end in the place that he would build his next arch.

This picture is inside of the Forum. It is said that Nero built a residence that spread from Palatine Hill to Capitaline Hill. These remains could be part of that residence.

This was Titus' arch. He had it erected after he ravished the Temple in Jerusalem and flattened the city in 70 A.D. On the inside of the arch is a picture of the looting of the Temple and in it, one of the characters is holding a menorah above his head. This is the earliest image of a menorah that is on record, and when Israel became a nation again, they used this image as part of their national symbols.

You can see the menorah in this picture.

This picture shows Titus' arch with the menorah with the Colosseum in the background. I threw this in for perspective.

On our way to the Colosseum, we passed Constantine's arch. As you can see, it is decidedly bigger than the other arches. Constantine, as I mentioned in a previous post, was a believer and the persecution that Christians endured under Nero all but disappeared under Constantine. I kind of wondered if all his buildings and statues and arches were bigger because God enlarged his wealth and his posterity because of his conversion...

The Colosseum was built by Titus about ten years after his victory in Israel. The Romans loved the games and whether they were man against man or man against animal, they were always to the death. It was kind of strange imagining the gathering in this spot with the sole purpose of watching someone be slaughtered. The games were free - a gift from the emperor to his people. There were open arched entries all the way around the building and it was said that it would only take 25 minutes for the place to fill or empty.

Here you can see straight ahead, the place where the emperor would sit (above the arch). We are on ground level but the ground is gone. These alleys and rooms were where the prisoners and animals would be held before the fights. Imagine how dark it would be down there, with no windows. Here the Christians would pray before being brought into the light to lay their lives down for Jesus Christ. Nero instituted the slaughter of believers. Before that, gladiators would be offered the right to fight for their lives. If they won 7 games they could win their freedom. Hardly any of them made it that far.

So that ends our trip to Rome. It is truly an amazing city. I think I may need to go back with my husband some day...

Thanks for sticking around for the tour!


  1. Kristen,
    I have loved this tour...thank you so much for sharing. I can't imagine what it must have been like to stand in the Colosseum knowing how many had given their lives there. The prideful arrogant spirit of the city is amazing to me as I read your words and look at the pictures...I can only imagine what you might have felt as you toured around.
    See you tomorrow for the move!

  2. Love the way you tell stories and also true accounts.

    I couldn't help but think of what the future holds for believers...

    This really was fascinating as well as fun, thanks! And the photographer did a great job too!

  3. Great tour, and very imformative, love how you can always bring back the true Bibical view and keep it all in perspective for believers.