1. I laughed!

    According to my favourite online encyclopedia, Caligula was said to have had incestuous relations with his three (!) sisters Agrippina, Drusilla and Livilla; but also “The validity of these accounts is debatable”. Seems like in ancient Rome, if you wanted to kick someone on their political shin, you’d accuse them of incest.

    Surprised by the spelling “Coliseum”. Is that common in the US?

  2. I don’t think I’d seen it spelled that way before, but a quick Google search shows that it is pretty common in the us. And now that I’ve seen it, I have completely forgotten how to spell it.

  3. The home of the English National Opera is spelt London Coliseum, as are coliseums (colisea?) generally. Apparently the Roman coliseum is most normally spelt Colosseum and with a capital C (including in the USA).

    https://grammarist.com/spelling/colosseum-coliseum/ “Neither spelling is considered wrong in either use, but while the forms are often used interchangeably, the famous structure in Rome is now usually spelled Colosseum, and coliseum is generally reserved for other uses.”

  4. Portland, Oregon has a Memorial Coliseum, where the major-junior hockey team plays and high-school graduations are held. It’s a bit of a white elephant, but because it’s a memorial as well as a coliseum, tearing it down would be politically problematic. The basketball team plays in the newer arena, formerly known as the Rose Garden but now known by whatever sponsor paid to put their name on it. A pox on stadium-naming deals, as the former “Civic Stadium” has gone through at least 3 name changes over the last decade as the sponsors keep changing. “Civic Stadium” was originally a baseball park, and also occasionally a football field for high-school and college games, and is now exclusively a soccer venue.

  5. “A pox on stadium-naming deals”

    Amen! I never know where an event is being held, whether locally (Dallas/Ft. Worth) or nationally.

  6. Also the Coliseum in Los Angeles. But Colosseum is correct for the Flavian Amphitheater (as the one in Rome is properly called). There was a huge statue out front and people started calling it “the place of the colossus”.

  7. Also the Oakland Coliseum, which may be gone in several years (the Raiders are moving to Las Vegas, and the A’s have announced a plan to move to a different part of Oakland).

  8. In French, I believe le Colisée is exclusively the one in Rome; all the others are either arenas (les arènes de Lutèce, de Nîmes, d’Arles, etc.) or amphitheaters (l’amphithéâtre d’El Djem).

  9. The history of the Roman emperors is fascinating.

    If you count Augustus Caesar as the first Roman emperor, Caligula was the third, and definitely one of the most notorious. After being assassinated, Rome almost reverted back to a republic, but Caligula’s relative Claudius was found hiding behind a curtain and was soon after proclaimed Rome’s new emperor.

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