Rome was once the capital of the civilised world, whether they had wanted to be civilised was of course a very different matter, yet had the Romans stayed at home or contained themselves to mainland Europe, my country along with many others would have a very different history.
And it is of course history which draws me to Rome and though as a family we do have links to the Catholic faith my only reason to visit the Vatican would be the architecture but it is the even older buildings that I am really attracted to.
The very fact the Coliseum still stands is a testament to those who built it, both the builders who drew up the plans and over saw the work but also the slaves whose blood and tears soaked into the stone as they toiled to create something they could never have dreamed of outlasting the Empire. I love the fact so much is intact to see, the places the different strata of society would have sat, the places where slaves, gladiators and wild beasts awaited their turn in the arena. The games themselves are so horrific to contemplate and yet they could not have ever existed if it were not for something within us as humans.
The same hands and eyes which created such beauty and majesty also revealed in human suffering and we can say now how horrible it was but we may have evolved but we are not cured of the madness. How many of us watch crime shows with fascination? Slow down driving past an accident to take a look? I even put my hands up and confess there are certain crimes that I believe should carry a death penalty and I would happily throw those who commit them to the lions and I might even consider that death to quick for them, does that make me a bad person? No it makes me human and as flawed as those who sat and turned their thumbs to the ground.