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The Coliseum -- Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?



The Coliseum -- Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.01

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    gladius, passageway, tier, element, demonstration, sickle, tiers, wealthy, worldwide, penalty, wounded, javelin, entrances, ordinary, emperor, slavery
     content words:    Ancient Rome


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The Coliseum -- Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     We can only imagine what it must have been like back in the first century A.D., the days of ancient Rome. On the day of a scheduled event, Roman citizens of all classes poured into the Coliseum.
 
2     There were so many people that they entered through eighty numbered entrances. The emperor arrived through a separate entrance and sat in a box seat on the main floor. The senators also sat on this floor and could bring their own comfortable chairs. The next tier above the senators was for other members of the noble class. Above that were two tiers for ordinary Roman citizens, one for wealthy citizens and one for poor citizens.
 
3     The architects who designed the Coliseum used a favorite element of Roman architecture - the arch - to build this massive stadium. We can still see the three tiers of arches and a few of the numbered entrances today.
 
4     Inside the stadium, the Romans often watched gladiator fights, a favorite sport of the day. Like modern day football heroes, the gladiators entered the stadium through an underground passage. They were welcomed by a roar from the crowd. Gladiators were very popular with both men and women.
 
5     Many of them were prisoners of war who had been captured by the Romans. These young men were given the choice of living in slavery or fighting in the arena. Often, they chose to fight.

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