Colosseum Details > Basics
The medieval name "Colosseum" refers to the Flavian Amphitheater, built during the reigns of the Flavian emperors, in fulfillment of a goal of Augustus for a large theater right in Rome and designed for animal spectacles. The amphitheater / colosseum, was an improvement on the circus whose structure was designed for races: long and narrow with a spine down the center.
The name colosseum probably comes from the Colossus of Nero that stood near the Flavian Amphitheater.
The Colosseum was 160 feet high with 80 arches and could hold 50,000 spectators.