THERE were many beautiful buildings in the city of Rome. The Flavian Amphitheater, whose ruins at the present time are known as the Coliseum, was an immense building capable of seating 100,000 persons. 

The building was begun in A. D. 73 by Vespasian, and completed by Titns in A. D. 80. Some suppose that its architect was a Christian martyr by the name of Gaudentius, and that several thousand captive Jews and Christians worked on the building. The height of the outer wall was 157 feet. The building covered nearly six acres of ground.

In this great building was a vast arena in which were exhibited the fights of gladiators (who were a class of slaves and malefactors), the celebration of national games, and shows of wild beasts. The Romans took great delight in these fights, games, and shows. Should you visit Rome today, you could see the ruins of this vast building, which we have briefly described, though 1800 years have passed away since it was built.

One of the finest edifices, which graced the city of Rome, was the Pantheon, a vast temple erected and dedicated to the service or worship of "All the Gods." This building was erected before the birth of the Saviour, in the reign of Augustus Caesar. Pliny ranked it among the wonders of the ancient world.

The walls of the Pantheon are 143 feet high, and 20 feet thick. The dome occupies one-half of the height. This dome was covered with golden bronze; and the portico, which is 110 feet long, 44 feet deep, and 46 feet high, was also lined with the same precious material. At one time 450,000 pounds of this material was taken to beautify and enrich St. Peter's church at Rome, which was built after the Pantheon was deserted.

The Pantheon was richly adorned with silver, which has also been stolen. The external facings of polished marble have been torn off; but though robbed and mutilated, the Pantheon is still magnificent. The rich marble facings, and the beautiful columns of polished granite of the interior, still remain, though fires have heated the building, and the overflowing Tiber has washed its floor, and the rains have poured in through the opening in the dome. Had the Pantheon not been so shamefully plundered and mutilated, it might have stood today, though 2,000 years old, almost as perfect and beautiful as when Christ was crucified, and the apostle Paul labored and suffered and died at Rome.

The aqueducts of the city were beautiful structures supported by arches, some of which were one hundred feet high. These artificial channels were very useful, as they conveyed an abundance of pure, fresh water to the city in such quantities that beautiful, sparkling streams flowed through the streets.  In our next, we will tell you something in regard to the state of the Roman empire at the birth of our Saviour.