If walls could talk
Yesterday I was lucky enough to visit the Coloseum in Rome. It was stunning. The history poured out of it like the blood would have run out of the contestants who's fate once stood with emperor of Rome. It took mere seconds for my mind to awaken to an imagined cheering, an eerie fear and a cocky disposition of leaders who played God on a regular basis. The underground tunnels shocked me with the elaborate depths that were taken to create an 'entertainment' that's cost was human life. It was then that I became flooded with thoughts of what stories the walls, cells and corridors of the Coloseum holds- if only walls could talk.
I sat silently on marble stone paying attention to what my imagination dragged out. I could see the social stratification that was evident by where you sat and what you wore in the stadium. However I could also see that despite class and social structure this ancient ruin was once a place that united everyone by fear and a desire for good to conquer evil.
The stairs to many entrances of this epic place were difficult heights and angles, let alone walking these paths with solid armour and the unrest in your heart knowing your death was probably minutes away. The cells that held gladiators were minute, damp and cold- hardly comfortable quarters for anyone. If modern day prisoners had those conditions I daresay they go back begging for more time inside.
Then the floor, partially covered, the rest demolished with age, uncovered the secret passages and cells that held animals including giraffes and fighters who were holstered up into the arena for a continuation of 'the games'. I couldn't imagine what it would be like for a wife or a mother of someone fighting in the arena forced to watch the death of their loved ones. I can only imagine a burning rage and anger that fuelled deep hatred and anger for the ruler of the Roman Empire who's hand gestures determined the fate of those people you loved the most. How history doesn't recall it as great an atrocity as the War under Hitler's rule, I do not know.
Nevertheless this building is majestic and thought provoking and I cannot imagine tourists visiting it without them wondering about the silent voices of the Coloseum and the lost stories of their history untold.
*Please note this is a favourite post from readers of A Written Revolution (my previous website). Now sharing in memory of my European adventure in December 2014.