The Amphitheatre of Merida, was built in the roman colony of Emerita Augusta, which was founded in 25 B.C. by Octavius Augustus, to resettle emeritus soldiers discharged from the Roman army from two veteran legions of the Cantabrian Wars: Legio V Alaudae and Legio X Gemina. The city was the capital of the Roman province of Lusitania. The term emeritus meant in latin "retired" and referred to retired soldiers with honor.
The amphitheater is part of The Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida, which is one of the largest and most extensive archaeological sites in Spain. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993.