The Military Town Amphitheatre

The arena floor of the Military Town amphitheatre is larger than that of the Colosseum!

The Military Town amphitheatre has an elliptical form and was constructed using a natural depression in the ground. According to the latest excavations, this natural depression may have been used by the legion as a training ground from as early as the 1st century.

According to the building inscription in the Aquincum Museum stone collection, the amphitheatre was built in stone by the Legio II Adiutrix during the reign of Antoninus Pius, around 145.

The amphitheatre is 131.8 metres long and 108.4 metres wide; and its arena (fighting floor) is 89.6 metres long and 66.1 metres wide, making this arena larger than that of the Colosseum in Rome. The two main gates lie at the ends of the longer NE-SW axis. At both ends of the shorter axis was a cage for wild animals (carcer). There were inscribed altars in the sanctuary of Nemesis.

As the other amphitheatres along the Danube, this too can be classified as an earth amphitheatre. The spectators’ seats were constructed on top of the mound built around the arena. Only the 24 U-shaped wall sections and the wall of the arena were built from stone. The amphitheatre, with a capacity of 10-13 thousand spectators, could be entered through a vaulted flight of stairs.

Széchenyi 2020
Széchenyi 2020