Discover the origins of Rome’s storied Colosseum and watch as structural engineers model the mechanics behind an ingenious device that released caged animals into the arena, in this video from NOVA: Building Wonders: Colosseum. Emperor Vespasian Flavius built the Colosseum as a building for popular entertainment, primarily blood sports, which included gladiator combat. The entertainment often featured wild animals, which were released from cages into the arena through trap doors. To understand the mechanics behind the animal lifts, modern-day engineers attempt to build a model.
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