Ietas was an ancient town in the modern comune of San Giuseppe Jato. Ietas was mentioned by Philistus as a fortress, and it is called by Thucydides a fortress of the Siculians, which was taken by Gylippus on his march from Himera through the interior of the island towards Syracuse. It first appears as an independent city in the time of Pyrrhus, and was attacked by that monarch on account of its strong position and the advantages it offered for operations against Panormus; but the inhabitants readily capitulated.
In the First Punic War it was occupied by a Carthaginian garrison, but after the fall of Panormus drove out these troops and opened its gates to the Romans. Under the Roman government it appears as a municipal town, but not one of much importance. The Ietini are only noticed in passing by Cicero among the towns whose lands had been utterly ruined by the exactions of Verres; and the Ietenses are enumerated by Pliny among the populi stipendiarii of the interior of Sicily. Many manuscripts of Cicero read 'Letini', and it is probable that the Λῆτον of Ptolemy is only a corruption of the same name. The town minted coins in antiquity, examples of which survive.
The position of Ietas is very obscurely intimated in ancient sources, but it appears from Diodorus that it was not very remote from Panormus, and that its site was one of great natural strength. Silius Italicus also alludes to its elevated situation. Fazello assures us that there was a mediaeval fortress called Iato on the summit of a lofty mountain, about 25 km from Palermo, and 20 km north of Entella, which was destroyed by Frederick II at the same time as the latter city; and this he identified as the site of Ietas. The mountain is still called Monte Iato, though formerly known as Monte di San Cosmano, from a church on its summit.References:
The two-tiered Roman amphitheatre is probably the most prominent tourist attraction in the city of Arles, which thrived in Roman times. Built in 90 AD, the amphitheatre was capable of seating over 20,000 spectators, and was built to provide entertainment in the form of chariot races and bloody hand-to-hand battles. Today, it draws large crowds for bullfighting as well as plays and concerts in summer.
The building measures 136 m in length and 109 m wide, and features 120 arches. It has an oval arena surrounded by terraces, arcades on two levels (60 in all), bleachers, a system of galleries, drainage system in many corridors of access and staircases for a quick exit from the crowd. It was obviously inspired by the Colosseum in Rome (in 72-80), being built slightly later (in 90).
With the fall of the Empire in the 5th century, the amphitheatre became a shelter for the population and was transformed into a fortress with four towers (the southern tower is not restored). The structure encircled more than 200 houses, becoming a real town, with its public square built in the centre of the arena and two chapels, one in the centre of the building, and another one at the base of the west tower.
This new residential role continued until the late 18th century, and in 1825 through the initiative of the writer Prosper Mérimée, the change to national historical monument began. In 1826, expropriation began of the houses built within the building, which ended by 1830 when the first event was organized in the arena - a race of the bulls to celebrate the taking of Algiers.
Arles Amphitheatre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, together with other Roman buildings of the city, as part of the Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments group.