Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Anachronistic Colosseums

The Colosseum is iconic.  It is the symbol of ancient Rome.  And even though it was relatively late on the scene in terms of Roman history, (ca. 800 years late!, if one counts from the legendary founding in 753 B.C.E.), it still pops up from time to time in modern recreations of earlier Roman eras.  

Yesterday, I learned (thanks to a tweet from the rogueclassicist!) that Warner Brothers has purchased the rights to a time-travel story created on reddit in response to a post asking if the entire Roman empire, during the Augustan period (27 B.C.E.-14 C.E.), could be destroyed by a modern Marine battalion.  James Erwin responded with a series of posts that tell this tale, which he entitled Rome Sweet Rome.  The story itself has potential; The Final Countdown was pretty awesome 30 years ago.  Will Warner Brothers actually make the movie?  We'll have to wait and see.

The story now has its own reddit and facebook page, and there is some cool concept art as well.  The main poster (see the concept art here) depicts three togate men flanked by military standards overlooking a mass of Roman troops.  There are several temples in the background, helicopters in the sky, and looming over it all - the Colosseum.  It screams "ROMAN!" 

But Augustus never knew the Colosseum, despite the fact that Vespasian supposedly (according to Suetonius) began the work on the amphitheater after discovering that Augustus had favored such a project.  During Augustus' lifetime, the first permanent, stone amphitheater was built in Rome by Titus Statilius Taurus, one of Augustus' generals in the civil war and dedicated in 29 B.C.E.  It was destroyed by the great fire of 64 C.E. and Nero supposedly planned to rebuild it, but the Domus Aurea seems to have moved the amphitheater to the bottom of the emperor's to do list.

You can read more about Rome Sweet Rome here and here

What other anachronistic Colosseums are out there? 

No comments:

Post a Comment