Ludus Magnus

Rome, Italy

The Ludus Magnus is the largest of the gladiatorial arenas in Rome. It was built by the emperor Domitian (81-96 AD) in the valley between the Esquiline and the Caelian hills. The still visible ruins of the monument belong to a second building stage attributed to the emperor Trajan (98-117).

The Ludus Magnus was located in this area as it was built for the performances to be held at the Colosseum. To facilitate connections between these two buildings, an underground gallery linked the two buildings. The path, with an entrance 2.17 m wide, began underneath the amphitheatre and reached the Ludus at its southwestern corner.

At the centre of the Ludus Magnus, built on two levels, there was an ellipsoidal arena in which the gladiators practiced. It was circumscribed by the steps of a small cavea, probably reserved for a limited number of spectators. The cavea had a four-sided portico (of about 100m per side) with travertine columns. It led to a number of outside rooms, to be used by the gladiators and as services for the performances. Only a few ruins in Travertine remain of the colonnade which was raised in the place where the columns were probably located originally.

In the northwest corner of the portico, one of the four small, triangular fountains has been restored. It lies in the spaces between the curved wall of the cavea and the colonnade. A cement block remained between two brick walls, converging at an acute angle.

The entrances to the Ludus Magnus were built on the main axes. The one at via Labicana, at the center of the building's northern side, was probably reserved for important people, since a decorated place of honour was found on the cavea.

Ludus Magnus gradually fell out of use, along with the Flavian amphitheatre, when gladiatorial combat was outlawed in the 5th century. The building was abandoned in the sixth century when it housed a small cemetery. By the middle of the sixth century, the area was no longer cared for and numerous churches were built, as the population continued to decrease.

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Details

Founded: c. 100 AD
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Italy

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Lollipop Knight (8 months ago)
Beautiful museum.
Nathalie Issa (13 months ago)
This place is amazing ! If you like ruins and history this place is definitely where you have to go. Pros: everything ! Cons: can sometimes be crowded, go early.
Ron Mosocco (14 months ago)
Not to be missed while visiting the Roman Colosseum. It is directly across the street and is the Ancient Gladiator Arena and home of the gladiators. Known for their strength and daring to sacrifice their life, they were a different and legend has many of the wealthy and higher echelon married Roman women would slip away in the evening and visit these worshiped men.
Sam S. (14 months ago)
Great ancient history of Rome Empire is here, this area since 81–96 C.E.
Mahammad Alizada (15 months ago)
Seeing this places with my own eyes is amazing!!
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