The Coliseum

The Coliseum is an ancient stadium in the center of Rome. It is the largest of its kind. It is very old. They started building it in the year 70. It took ten years to build. It is still around today.


The Coliseum has been used in many ways. In ancient Rome, men fought each other in it. They fought against lions, tigers, and bears. Oh my! It was dreadful. But most of the people loved it. As many as 80,000 Romans would pack inside to watch. These gruesome events went on until 523.     


The Coliseum has been damaged many times over the years. It was struck by lightning in the year 217. This started a fire. Much of the Coliseum is made of stone. But the fire damaged the upper levels. They were made of wood. This damage took many years to repair. It was not finished until the year 240.


The worst damage happened in 1349. A mighty earthquake shook Rome and the Coliseum. The south side of the building collapsed.


  The ground. Many people took the fallen stones. Others took stones from the seating areas. They used them to repair houses and churches.


The Romans of those days were not connected to the Coliseum. It had last been used as a castle. Before that it was a graveyard. It has been hundreds of years since the games. The damage to the Coliseum was never repaired. It's a good thing the outer wall of it still stands strong.

Today the Coliseum is one of Rome's most popular attractions. People from all over the world come to Italy to see it. The Pope leads a big march around it every Good Friday. It is a symbol that many know. It has even appeared on the back of a coin. I guess that makes it a symbol that many people want too.


1.     Which happened first?


a. An earthquake damaged the Coliseum.

b. The Coliseum was struck by lightning.

c. The Coliseum appeared on the back of a coin.

d. The Coliseum was used as a castle.


2.     When did the Romans finish building the Coliseum?


a. The year 70                                                             b. The year 523

c. The year 80                                                             d. The year 240


3.     What caused the fire that damaged the upper levels of the Coliseum?


a. A bolt of lightning

b. Rowdy people who came to watch the events

c. An attacking army

d. An angry mob


4.     For which purpose was the Coliseum not used?


a. People fought other people in it.

b. It was a private castle.

c. People fought animals in it.

d. It was a meeting place for the government.


5.     Which caused the most damage to the Coliseum?


a. Fires                                                             b. Earthquakes

c. Wars                                                            d. Hurricanes


6.     What did the people do with the stones that they took from the Coliseum?


a. They repaired buildings.                             b. They sold them.

c. They used them as weapons.                      d. They used them as tomb stones.


7.     Which best defines the word gruesome as it is used in the second paragraph?


a. Exciting                                                        b. Funny

c. Horrifying                                                   d. Boring



8.     Which best describes the main idea in the last paragraph?


a. This is about all the things the Coliseum has been used for throughout history.

b. This is about how the Coliseum is a popular place to visit today.

c. This is about how the Coliseum is a symbol that many people know.

d. This is about how the Coliseum is used today.


9.     Which was not a way in which the Coliseum was damaged over the years?


a. Earthquake                                                  b. Tornado

c. Lightning                                                     d. Fire


10.Which statement would the author most likely agree with?


a. The Coliseum should be replaced with a building that is not damaged.

b. The Coliseum has its place in history but it is not useful today.

c. The Coliseum should be used for fighting once again.


d. The Coliseum is very old and has been used for many purposes.