This page cannot be viewed in frames

Go to page

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Colosseum had giant roof

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)


Arena and the audience of the Colosseum were covered up with a giant sail (velarium), which was supposed to protect viewers from the sun and rain. It was attached to large columns on the Coliseum Mountain and anchored to the ground with large ropes.

On the third floor, remnants of mast openings located around the auditorium (cavea) and supporting sheets of thin sailing canvas (vela) were found. To unbutton this structure on the ropes, the natural skills of sailors from the fleet ships stationed in Misenum (now Miseno) were used. Although also known from preserved Gallic amphitheaters (Nimes, Arles), the velarium donation system is not fully understood.

Giant material obscured 2/3 of the arena.

  • Jérôme Carcopino, Życie codzienne w okresie rozkwitu cesarstwa, 1966

IMPERIUM ROMANUM needs your support!

If you like the content that I collect on the website and that I share on social media channels I will be grateful for the support. Even the smallest amounts will allow me to pay for further corrections, improvements on the site and pay the server.



Find out more!

Check your curiosity and learn something new about the ancient world of the Romans. By clicking on the link below, you will be redirected to a random entry.

Random curiosity

Random curiosity

Discover secrets of ancient Rome!

If you want to be up to date with newest articles on website and discoveries from the world of ancient Rome, subscribe to the newsletter, which is sent each Saturday.

Subscribe to newsletter!

Subscribe to newsletter

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: