The Colosseum, built in Rome in the 1st century AD, is one of the most famous landmarks in Roman history. It is actually named the "Flavian Amphitheater," and it lies between the Palatine and Esquiline hills, just a stone's throw from the Forum. It was started by Vespasian in 75 and completed by his son Titus in 80. It is shaped like an oval, measuring 617 feet by 512 feet. It could hold about 45,000 spectators, and it has an arena within it measuring 250 feet by 151 feet, where, until 404, gladiatorial combats were held. Tradition dictates that persecuted Christians were thrown into the arena to fight beasts for the entertainment of Roman citizens. The building has been damaged many times by earthquakes, but much of it is still standing.