- D. L. Bomgardner
The earliest surviving permanent amphitheatres are found in Campania, the well-preserved example at Pompeii (see figure 1), called spectacula (amphitheatre) by its builders (CIL 10. 852), being the only precisely datable example (c. 70bce). It is likely, however, that this construction replaced an earlier building. Golvin has now suggested that a pre-Roman lozenge-shaped monument preceded the Roman construction, postulating the later Roman addition of stone elliptical seating in the lowest zone of the cavea.1
Capua, a renowned centre for gladiatorial excellence in the late republic, had an early amphitheatre, datable to the republican period (Gracchan or at least the second half of 2nd century bce); this has recently been excavated (see figure 2).
Welch examines the earliest permanent amphitheatres, linking the majority closely with the foundation of Sullan veteran colonies.2 However, see also Hufschmid for important critiques of this survey and its methodology.
- Roman Material Culture
Updated in this version
Article and bibliography updated to reflect current scholarship. Images, keywords, and glossary added.