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On Tuesday,  July 25, 2000,  the Commander of   Legion XXIV attempted to enter the  Coliseum  in  Rome, Italy;   with  "No Ticket"!!!   He was immediately arrested by two members of the Praetorian Guard.  After the payment of a suitable fine and toll, he was released unharmed.  Every day a number of these "hollywood" attired soldiers;  show-up at the Coliseum to provide "atmosphere" and solicit photographs with the thousands of tourists who come to visit this icon of ancient Rome.  The usual fee charged is 5,000 to 10,000 lira or $2.50 to $5.00 US.   These soldiers make a modest living posing with tourists for pictures.  Some of the attire is quite good and was obtained from movie studios or was made and assembled by their owners.


In actuality,  admission to the Coliseum was free.   The games and blood sports were provided by the Emperor to obtain and keep the favor of the people.   The Coliseum got its name from the colossus (statue) of Nero some 30 meters high which once stood near its western end.   It was originally known as the Flavian Amphitheater.   It was begun by Emperor Vespasian in 72 AD and completed by his son, Titus, in 80 AD.   It was inaugurated with 100 days of games and festivals.   The structure could seat up to 50,000 spectators on four levels of seating,  and like modern arenas,  these seating levels were reserved for a particular category or class.  The first level was for the Emperor, Senators and Vestals.  The upper classes sat on the second level.  Next came the professional and business classes;  while the top level was for the common people and women.


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