The Colosseum
"As long as the Colosseum, there will Rome when the Colosseum falls, Rome will also fall, but when Rome falls, the world will fall"

The Colosseum in the Middle Ages
During the Middle Ages, the Flavian Amphitheater was first occupied by some civilian houses taken in vain corridors ring the ground floor and then in the twelfth century, was incorporated in the fortifications of the powerful aristocratic family of Frangipane. Sienna was a fortified structure estesissima, bringing together the Circus Maximus, the Palatine and thirteen arches of the Colosseum Party faces the Lateran. Medieval structures of today no trace remains, but they also had to occupy the the second floor of the Coliseum.
The occupation was presumably only external. The interior had suffered too much damage over the centuries: the first fires, then earthquakes: in 442, the 467 and 476 in particular, when it seems that even shook Rome for 40 days consecutive. The earthquakes one another even in later centuries (for example in the 739 and 780), even if the first mass collapses seem attributable to the violent earthquake dell'801 when the columns of the portico above the arena sank. With the earthquake of 1348 was the huge ruin of the party to the Celio (and on that occasion there was a dispute between the municipality, the Frangipane and the pope over who should take the fallen rocks).


X dates back centuries to jobs inside the Coliseum by the calcine that adapted monument in its own homes and garages. The area was also called Calcarium. The lime was obtained by burning both pieces of marble and travertine from the monument itself (already collapsed) and marble from other sources. In the Middle Ages were also charged the famous holes to extract the metal grappe lead to double dovetail that united in the old blocks. There being concern on the part of any rebuild of where the collapse occurred, the parties collapsed, usually the highest and the arches of the bastions behind the arena, became material for examination and then real resources for housing entrepreneurs more cunning. It is true that what the Romans did medieval against the Coliseum is nothing compared to the damage perpetrated by the popes Renaissance: concrete of them are at the Coliseum tribune of S. Giovanni in Laterano (1439) to the Basilica of St. Peter (1451) in Palazzo San Marco (mid-century. XV), Ponte Emilio (1574). And finally go back to baroque the most energetic spoliation including the most salient episodes occur in 1644 (when Pope Urban VI uses a few blocks collapsed by three arches for the construction of Palazzo Barberini) and after the earthquake of 1703 (when the blocks are used for the construction of Port of Ripetta).


Unlike many ancient monuments, the Colosseum in the Middle Ages was not involved in the process Christiana renovatio of ancient monuments, such as happened to the Pantheon (transformed in the church of Santa Maria to Martyres), the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina (which was headed to St. Lorenzo), the Temple of Peace (part of which became Ss. Cosma e Damiano), and so forth. The Colosseum maintained its air and paganeggiante old, who justified the birth around it of a whole series of legends, of course unfounded, but that popular beliefs believed true.
A witness of this mechanism is found in a code manuscript of the Laurentian Library in Florence which is reported the work of Armannino from Bologna. Known also as Armannino Judge, notary in 1325 that compose the Fiorita, a collection of historic and legendary stories (in prose and verse), all enclosed in a frame moralistic. Now, Armannino, ignoring the Coliseo in Ancient had been a place of entertainment, claimed that it was a temple, even the principal pagan temples around the world. It would be encased many evil spirits who made great wonders, and priests, showing the main demon effigy of the people, accustomed to ask: The Veneri? that was said in Latin Prepaid international recorded parcel eum? " hence the name of ... The disease struck etymology easy deeply medieval culture.
But apart from the etymology, it is interesting that interpretation of the Coliseum as a demonic temple, it seems departure a wire that connects the precise Fiorita with other medieval texts (as a guide anonymous handwritten kept in Biblioteca Nazionale di Firenze the start of the century. XV) which states that the Coliseum would have been a temple of the Sun covered in golden bronze surface on which were represented all the stars.

Source: http://www.medioevo.roma.it

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