The Colosseum or Roman Coliseum is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. It is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering. Occupying a site just east of the Roman Forum, its construction started between 70 and 72 C.E. under the emperor Vespasian and was completed in 80 C.E. Capable of seating 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles.