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El Jem

TUNISIA | Friday, 1 November 2013 | Views [559]

View from the cheap seats, El Jem

View from the cheap seats, El Jem

“We who are about to die salute you.”  So shouted the gladiators before they squared off in mortal combat.  “I’ll bet you V to X that they’ve got lions waiting for us,” mumbled the Christians. 

The Roman coliseum at El Jem – you may know it by its Roman name, “Thysdrus.”  Or maybe not – isn’t as large as its big brother in Rome but neither does if have the crowds.  By the time it was built in the 2nd Century AD the Romans had mastered all the details and it is still in pristine condition.  From the underground chambers to the royal box and the cheap seats in nosebleed territory, it is a joy to explore.


    The colors are still vibrant after nearly 2000 years

The same ticket gets you into the El Jem Museum, a restored Roman mansion, filled with mosaics from the town’s glory days.  There aren’t as many as in the Bardo collection but they are in pristine condition and some are still in situ


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