Stories from the Colosseum. Epigraphy lessons: on the cavea, loca and the spectators

Online event

1 February 2021 - 15 February 2021



In the 1930’s, a portion of the Colosseum’s cavea was reconstructed on the monument’s eastern side, where the public once sat to take in long days of entertainment, from wild animal hunts to gladiatorial battles. Although the reconstruction is not perfectly accurate, it nevertheless succeeds in evoking the ways in which the public filled the Colosseum’s seating sections, rebuilt using the original fragments of marble ledges found over the course of various excavations.

Entry to the Colosseum was regulated through a sort of ticket which indicated the appropriate entrance arch and path to follow to reach the seats (loca) assigned to each family group.

In our second epigraphy lesson, once again led by Silvia Orlandi, professor of Latin epigraphy at Sapienza University of Rome, and accompanied by Federica Rinaldi, monument supervisor, we will discover the names of these families and even the size of their assigned seats. We will also find out how the public kept themselves busy in the stands between one show and the next, for example using ancient board games (tabulae lusoriae) carved in marble.

Tune in on Monday 1 February at 21:00 across our social media channels.