Monday, July 12, 2010

Londinium


In 2006, I visited the amphitheater of Londinium or London. The above drawing gives a nice panoramic view over Londinium - fort and vicus - at around AD 200 with the river Thames in the background. The amphitheater is in the lower center, close to the rectangular form (the Roman fort). Currently, the remains are burried under the medieval Guildhall.

The discovery of the Guildhall amphitheater in 1988 was proclaimed on national and international television and radio. The Observer (28 February) described it as 'one of the most exciting archeological finds since the Second World War'. The Sunday Telegraph (6 March) called it 'one of the most important (finds) in Britain this century'. Historians and archeologists still agree with this view.
The amphitheatre may have seated more than 5000 spectators. The position of the amphitheater near to the Roman fort suggests that the arena would have been used for entertaining soldiers as well as the general public. The amphitheater was also the largest venue suitable for important religious activities.



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