The Flavian Amphitheatre was first occupied by some civilian houses carved into the compartments of the annular corridors on the ground floor, and then, in the twelfth century, it was incorporated into the fortress of the Frangipane powerful aristocratic family.
It was a very extensive fortified structure, which brought together the Circus Maximus, Palatine Hill and thirteen arches of the Colosseum of the side facing the Lateran. Of the medieval buildings today there remains no trace, but these were due to occupy the second floor of the Colosseum.
The occupation, however, was presumably only outside. The interior had suffered too much damage during the centuries before the fire, then the earthquakes: the 442, the 467 and above in 476, the year in which it seems that Rome trembled even for 40 consecutive days. The earthquakes were followed in subsequent centuries (for example, in the 739 and 780), although the first massive collapses seem attributable to the violent earthquake dell'801, when the columns of the upper porch sank into the arena.
With the earthquake of 1348 took part to the huge ruin of the Celio (and at that time there was a dispute between the City, the Frangipane and the pope over who should take possession of the fallen boulders).
Legends about the Coliseum
According to some medieval myths, for example, it seems that the Coliseum represents the entrance that leads directly to the underworld, where, at dusk, the souls of the departed err in search of eternal peace that perhaps will never find, because 'experts in a violent manner and early.