EMEDD Citations for "amphitheater"

Ian Lancashire
University of Toronto

for the Shakespeare Association of America
San Francisco 1999

  1. amphitheater (English entry by John Bullokar 1616)

    AMPHITHEATER: Amphitheater. A place hauing seates and scaffolds in it, vsed among the olde Romanes to shew spectacles and strange sights in. Offenders condemned to dye, and Prisoners taken in warre, were often brought to this place to fight and be deuoured by wilde beastes, the people sitting in safe places aboue, & inhumanely sporting themselues thereat: Also the Gladiators or Swordplayers did fight here.

  2. amphitheater (English entry by Thomas Blount 1656)

    AMPHITHEATER: Amphitheater (amphitheatrum) a kind of round Scaffold or Play{}house full of benches of divers heights, for people to sit and behold publique exercises; It differs from a Theater as the Full Moon from the half: this was but half{}circled, that round, and composed as it were of two Theaters, and is thereof so called. Caius Julius Caesar, (says Polydore Virgil) built the first Amphitheatre in the field and consecrated it to Mars. Verona a City in Lombardy boasts of an Amphitheatre, able to contain 800000 people. Heil. And Vespatians Amphitheatre at Rome, said to be as great. Theodorick King of the Goths did utterly abolish the pastimes then used to be exhibited upon these Amphitheatres.

© Feb. 1999