Giovanni Lattanzi

ON THE COVER: The Colosseum, a vast oval structure that has been a symbol of Rome for nearly 2,000 years, was conceived as an enormous theater for gladiatorial games and other spectacles enjoyed by the Roman emperors. Built by Vespasian and expanded by his son, Titus, the Colosseum once bore a dedicatory inscription that commemorated each emperor’s triumphs. The inscription consisted of metal letters held in place by pegs on a block of stone, but the letters disappeared long ago. In “Financing the Colosseum,” author Louis Feldman describes the remarkable detective work that enabled scholars to decipher the inscription by using the pattern of holes left by the pegs and explains how the inscription points to the Jerusalem Temple as the source of funding for the Colosseum’s construction.