This is the new Livius website. We are currently converting the old website, but this will take some time yet. Please report any errors.

Toulouse-Purpan: Amphitheater and Baths

Tolosa: (Greek Τολῶσσα): capital of the Volcae Tectosages in southern Gaul, modern Toulouse.

The main entrance to the amphitheater is located to the north of the arena and is 4.20 meters wide. The arch reproduces the height of the curved vault, which once covered the entry passage. The almond-like arena is sixty-two meters long by forty-six meters wide. Underneath this surface lies an underground network of drains, which leads to a vast ruined well in the center. This well catches the rainwater and allows for the rapid drainage of the arena, even today.

Toulouse-Purpan: Amphitheater
Toulouse-Purpan: Amphitheater
The amphitheater of Toulouse-Purpan is constructed on a filled structure, unlike those in Arles, Nîmes, and the Colosseum in Rome, where a hollow structure composed of vaults and pillars supports the tiers. The cavea (the rows of seats intended to receive the public) is fifteen meters wide. This area is separated from the arena by a wall and bound at the outside by a high wall covered in brick. The cavea is divided into equal segments compartmentalized by twenty-three arched horizontal corridors, the vomitoria.

Abandoned at the end of the fourth century, the amphitheatre came to serve as a quarry. In this manner, the monument was completely stripped of its brick facing. 

This page was created in 2013; last modified on 11 April 2014.