Overview
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The amphitheatre at Pompeii is the oldest known Roman amphitheatre and was built about 80 B.C. The building was situated at the edge of Pompeii near to the Nucerian Gate and Sarno Gate and was therefore conveniently placed for crowds coming from outside the city and was also well placed in Pompeii itself by being removed from the central area of the town. Entrance to the amphitheatre was from external staircases. The amphitheatre itself could hold 20,000 spectators.

Gladiatorial fights took place in the amphitheatre and they were a very popular form of entertainment at Pompeii.

After one show in 52 A.D. rival citizens from Pompeii and Nuceria became involved in a riot in which many people were killed. The reaction of the Emperor Nero was to ban gladiator shows for 10 years although this ban was lifted after the earthquake of 62 A.D.

See the city layout to find where the amphitheatre is located in Pompeii.