The Romans built the Colosseum as a place of gladiatorial combat in the years between 75 to 80 AD in Rome, Italy. What is today supposed to be a tourist attraction is in plain terms a historical venue of countless gruesome murders through bloody gladiatorial fights, games killing animals and public executions that were supposed to be the most sought after entertainment in Rome mainly reserved for the elites to watch .. yes, to watch humans and wild animals tearing up each other in a bid to survive. Nine thousand animals were killed in the Colosseum during the first year of its construction alone!
Unfortunately we are given very little details in journals, newspaper-articles and history books on this horrendous social culture because of which this venue should actually cease being a tourist attraction. It's hard to understand what tourists could enjoy such a vacation which took them to watch the spot of cruel bloodshed where human life and the life of all living beings were indeed so cheap? No wonder the 21st century is no different. Landmarks that serve as reminders of murderous sports are still sources of pleasure, carefully maintained, photographed and visited, providing the local government with plentiful money.
Commercialization is a huge hurdle that conceals the importance of promoting civilization. Travel agents and tour guides are all praise about the architecture of this place, often referring to it as the "stunning framework of Corinthian, Doric, and Ionic columns." Recently it was put up by the Yahoo website as among the 10 most visited places in the world, calling it "a gorgeous dichotomy hard to not want to capture it all."
But evil places have evil history. This colosseum was damaged by fire in the year 217 AD, almost destroyed by earthquakes in 443 AD and 1349 AD, converted into a cemetery in the 6th century, rented out as residential and commercial real estate in the 12th century and occupied as a castle in the 13th century. After that, it was used as a bull fighting ring for many years. Then, somehow, it it got transformed into a wool factory. It was around 1750 AD that it began getting restored as a colosseum and shockingly began being looked upon as something "sacred."
And again, evil history carries evil rumors. Stories about hauntings in the Colosseum have been passed down through generations. These rumors tell ghastly tales. Stories claim of unjustly slaughtered gladiators returning after dark to re-enact their final moments in combat and invisible chariots rattling across the arena. Visitors often claim they hear words being spoken in Latin, screams of slaves and criminals slaughtered at the whim of the watching crowd and painful cries of wounded animals. There are also many reports of seeing shadowy audience and Roman guards silhouetted against the darkness of the night. Only God Almighty would know to what extent these stories are true or not. However, such scenarios were commonplace within the Colosseum and to a reader, the distressing tales of this structure represent the ghost of the bloodthirsty Roman Empire itself.
I ask myself, how would the world react if there was a huge historical stucture built in Spain during the Muslim rule, or some splendid building in Persia constructed during the Safavid rule where humans and animals fought to their deaths at the pleasure of cheering elites? Would the West today look upon it as a "gorgeous" landmark, requesting tourists to crowd around it with awe and admiration or would it become an agenda for trumpeting our "cruel history?"
The souls of numerous dueling gladiators, tormented prisoners and animals mercilessly mutilated and butchered at this ancient site will probably cry out on the Day of Judgment, asking for what sin were they treated so brutally to become a source of pleasure for their audience.
Let us at least hope that the tourists visiting this ancient venue of mass murders are awakened by its horrific history to denounce killings perpetrated by the strong against the weak, and teach the same to their children.