Our first real look at Rome’s ancient ruins, the image opposite is of “The Constantine Arch and the Colosseum” This is just awe inspiring I do not believe what we’re seeing, no JCBs or bulldozers, no big trucks to move unwanted rubbish, no cement mixers to prepare what must have been tons and tons of mortar, just people with hand tools, what trades men they were. All this built in and around 500BC to 500AD and the Arch built from an eclectic mix of the remains of old monuments to commemorate Constantine the 1ˢᵗ defeat of Maxentius at Ponte Milvio. He had already been proclaimed western emperor after his father’s death whilst in York England, in 306 creating a power struggle with Gallerias eastern Emperor who only granted him rank of Caesar, when after further battles becoming sole Emperor in 324 after which in 330 he moved his capital to Byzantium which he renamed Constantinople now Istanbul, capital of modern day Turkey. Constantine 1 born 17 February 285 Favoured the Christians who were constantly being put to death in the colosseum and rid the country of tyranny, he was Baptized a Christian on his death bed on 22 May 337. The Colosseum amphitheater was built by Jewish prisoners starting in 72ad and being completed in 80ad, the vast dimensions of this elliptical structure are 187 metres at one end and 155 at the other with the walls 50 metres high made up of 80 arches and columns, designed to accommodate 80,000 spectators.
From this point we made our way to the cobbled road lined with Cyprus trees on one side and ancient remains on the other, and entrance to the Roman Forum (Foro Romano) through the Titus arch, and there stretching out ahead of us the whole of the ancient forum in all it’s glory and circa 2500 years old. Strange feeling walking where our impressions and vision of Roman Soldiers, military men in Leather skirts and sandals, metal armour and short swords and plumed metal helmets walked 2000 plus years ago side by side with the regular people in Toga’s an exciting thought and experience. The Forum was an important part of life for the peoples of the time, and, after the fall of Roman empire in the West and in the year 851 a massive earthquake causing extensive damage lead to it’s decline. What remains of it and the work to bring it into modern day view is quite an achievement, and the whole thing an awe inspiring sight, to be able to view a mirror in time 2500 years old is truly amazing, a sight to behold and more, it’s clearly an Eternal City.