external wall rose 157 feet and was divided into three stories, the first partly supported by Tuscan-Doric, the second by Ionic, the third by Corinthian, columns, with an arch in each intercolumnar space. The main corridors were roofed with barrel vaults, sometimes crossed in the style of medieval cloisters. The interior was also divided into three tiers, each upheld by arches, divided into concentric rings of boxes or seats, and cut by stairways into cunei, “wedges.” The aspect of the interior today is that of a mass of masonry into which some giant artisan has cut the arches, passages, and seats. Statues and other decorations adorned the whole, and many rows of seats were in marble. There were eighty entrances, two of them reserved for the emperor and his suite; these entrances and the exits ( vomitoria ) could empty the gigantic bowl in a few minutes. The arena, 287 by 180 feet, was surrounded by a fifteen-foot wall topped with an iron grating to protect brutes from beasts. The Colosseum is not a beautiful building, and its very immensity reveals a certain coarseness, as well as grandeur, in the Roman character. It is only the most imposing of all the ruins left by the classic world. The Romans built like giants; it would have been too much to ask that they should finish like jewelers.
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