This chapter concerns with the static behavior of the Colosseum, one of the most important monuments of the Roman architecture. After a description of the structure of the monument, the following topics are carried out:

a) static analysis of the original configuration

b) description of the damage heaped by the monument during its whole life and of the past restoration works

c) analysis of the two conjectures concerning if the past earthquakes or the past dismantlement works were responsible for the damage.

The study is developed according to the above common static approach, based on the limit analysis and, in some cases, with the use of suitable nonlinear programs. The static analysis of the original configuration of the monument shows that the lack of radial constraints on the ring walls partially weakened their static safety under vertical loads. This weakness was removed by the nineteenth century restoration works.

The monument suffers little from the seismic action. The huge mass of the vast building, together with the presence of underlying soft soils, produces a strong mitigation of the intensity of the seismic waves that propagate from the bedrock up to the surface. At the same time the monument has a seismic strength far in excess of the possible maximum seismic forces that reached the monument throughout the whole of its history. The second conjecture, that of the dismantlement, is also taken into account in this chapter and it is shown that the demolition of at least two adjacent outside piers can produce collapse of an entire vertical strip of the outer wall.


Ground Motion Outer Wall Dead Load External Wall Collapse Load 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of Rome TorvergataRomaItaly

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