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Roman amphitheater in Catania

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Roman amphitheater in Catania
Roman amphitheater in Catania

Roman amphitheatre in Catania (Sicily) was one of the largest of its kind in the Roman Empire. The building could accommodate up to 15,000 spectators, with a 32-step audience (cavea). The amphitheatre probably dates back to the 2nd century CE, the period between the rule of Hadrian and Antoninus Pius.

The object measured 125 by 105 meters. The amazing building available for viewing is only fragmentary in the very centre of the city; the rest of the structure is under the historic streets of Catania.

Scientists suspect that the naumachie may also have been held in the arena with a diameter of 70 meters; the water was probably supplied by an aqueduct.

On the street in front of the amphitheatre, Ionic-style columns were discovered at the beginning of the 20th century, bearing the inscription: AMPHITHEATRVM INSIGNE, meaning “Outstanding Amphitheatre”. After the fall of Rome in 476 CE, the city was gradually deteriorating, and the building material was used by the population and other ruling peoples in Sicily.

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