The Colosseum was built by the so-called Flavian emperors. Construction was started under the rule of Vespasian in 72 and funded from the spoils of war from the plundering of Jerusalem in 70. After its completion in 80, it was inaugurated by Titus. The games at the inauguration lasted 100 days. The poet Martialis dedicated a collection of 33 epigrams to it. Titus' successor Domitian added another floor, in addition to a number of corridors and rooms under the arena, which are now visible. It was built on the site of the stagnum, an artificial lake, of Nero's Domus Aurea. The Flavian emperors tried to erase the memory of the hated Nero and regain the favour of the people. The construction of the Colosseum precisely on the site of the small lake, which they had managed to drain, fitted in with that aim. Moreover, choosing this location saved a lot of earth moving, as the immense structure required huge foundations. The lake covered five football fields and was drained using canals that ran to the river Tiber (just below Rome). Vespasian's amphitheatre was the most famous in the Roman world. It became known as Amphitheatrum Flavium - derived from Flavius, the surname of Vespasian, Titus and Domitian. Today, the theatre is better known as Colosseum. It probably derived its current name from the more than 35-metre-high statue, the Colossus of Nero, which stood next to the amphitheatre and not on the size
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