Sunday, October 7, 2012

Dear Benjamin, Mason, Claire and Cate,

Good morning, my dears!

 I am thinking of you today as I sit in our hotel room, windows open, hearing the church bells ring all over Rome. It is a beautiful sound and as I listen I ponder if recording it would do it justice so that I could bring it home to you!

Yesterday was busy. There is so much to see in this ancient city so ripe with history. But I have to say when we left our hotel and this was one of the first things we saw, I got completely tickled! Ironic, right?

The internet access is not cooperating this morning -- although it is better than last night! So I could only upload a couple of the 300 plus photos I took yesterday. But I wanted you to see the coliseum....find the people, they will give you perspective on how enormous the structure is.

The floor has been reproduced on the far side to show you where the gladiators would have fought -- the original is long gone allowing us to see the labyrinth of rooms, hallways and such that was underneath the floor. 

It was overwhelming thinking of the Christians waiting to meet their deaths in that maze of rooms below the stage. The stands were filled with 75,000 onlookers who would come to see "justice" served to the prisoners.

Also, in the maze would have been surgeons waiting. Not to save the lives of those being fought but rather, in ancient Rome, it was illegal for dead bodies to be decimated in any way. So the only way surgeons could learn would be to take the almost dead and operate for knowledge -- not for mercy.

Can you even imagine?

The coliseum was built with intricate carvings, statuary, fountains. The columns were formed from limestone and grew more ornate as they went higher. Ironically, when Constantine converted to Christianity and his people began to follow, the games lost popularity. People began to take from the coliseum and "recycle" the beauty for their homes, for new buildings, etc. St. Peter's is one of the "recipients" of the recycling! Imagine, the stones once used in a place of persecution, now used in a place of worship! (We will see that tomorrow!!)

Perhaps, I can upload more photos later tonight. The city is beckoning us outside now -- I need to go see the Pantheon, the fountains and so much more.

I miss you dear ones!

I love you so,


charla said...

Love! And, I am loving the history lessons, too.

Greetings! said...

I love this. Thank you for sharing this, Argentina and the thought provoking history. May your walk be blessed as you walk on those streets. Xo

Claire's Calico Corner said...

I miss you so very much!! Thank you for this beautiful post!! Thanks to your eloquent writing, I feel as if I was there!! How amazing. Thank you for this sweet letter!!