Red Seat Numbers Found on Rome’s Colosseum

From Discovery News:

Traces of red painted numbers have been found on the arches of Rome’s Colosseum during the ongoing $33 million restoration work aimed at repairing damage suffered by the 2,000-year-old monument since the Middle Ages.

Similar to today’s stadium seating systems, the numbers — written according to the system used in ancient Rome, using letters of the Latin alphabet such as X, L, V, I — stood on the entrance gate arches, allowing an easier access to the seats.

image

Traces of red color in the Roman number X (10). Credit: Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma.

First carved in the travertine stones, the numbers were then painted in red, so that people could easily see them from a distance.

There were 76 public numbered entrances, plus four special un-numbered gates. Two were reserved to the emperor, senators, magistrates, wealthy patricians, and the Vestal Virgins, priestesses responsible for maintaining the sacred fire within the Temple of Vesta. A gate was used for the dead — gladiators and wild beasts — while another was used by gladiators parading prior to the beginning of the combats…….

Read the rest of the report and watch the video here:

http://news.discovery.com/history/archaeology/red-seat-numbers-found-on-romes-colosseum-150123.htm

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