Even today, in the interior wall of the Colosseum, the name of “H. Robert “and read the date” 1762 “.
Hubert Robert was a French painter who, like many other artists, came to Rome in the mid-eighteenth century to study antiquities. In 1754 he became a member of the French Academy of Artists, where he came into contact with important artists.
How did Robert see the Coliseum back then? This is shown and still today his Veduten, inspired by the famous paintings Giovanni Paolo Pannini show an abandoned ruined building.
The fact that the Colosseum was probably not an inviting place at the time is also found in Goethe, who was in Rome about 20 years later and wrote with horror: “But when I approached the sublime remnants of the Coliseum and looked into its closed interior through the lattice, may I do not deny that I was a shiver and accelerated my return. ”
The decline of the Colosseum began with the invasion of the Goths at the beginning of the 6th century. From that moment on, the games definitely ended in the Coliseum; many inhabitants left the city out of fear, because of the destruction of the aqueducts there was no longer any drinkable water in Rome. At the end of the 6th century Rome had only 150,000 inhabitants (in the 4th century there were still 1 million).
Although the Coliseum was partly used as a fortress of the Francipane family in the 13th century and a small chapel was built in the 16th century, the Flavian amphitheater was left to decay.
Only around 1800, when the ancient center of the imperial era was slowly brought to light under the “Cow Meadow” of the Roman Forum, the history of the Colosseum began to be revalued.
During our tour of the Coliseum and the Roman Forum, we will reconstruct for you the exciting story of the decline and excavation of these ancient sites.