Edgar Allan Poe — “The Coliseum”


Reading and Reference Texts:

Reading copy:

  • “The Coliseum” — reading copy


Historical Texts:

Manuscripts and Authorized Printings:

  • Text-01 — “The Coliseum” — 1833, no original manuscript or fragments are known to exist (but this version is presumably recorded in Text-02)
  • Text-02 — “The Coliseum” — October 26, 1833 — Baltimore Saturday Visiter — (Mabbott text A)
  • Text-03 — “The Coliseum” — 1835 — in “Politian” manuscript — (Mabbott text B)
  • Text-04 — “The Coliseum” — August 1835 — Southern Literary Messenger — (Mabbott text C)
  • Text-05 — “The Coliseum” — about 1841 — “Herring” manuscript — (Mabbott text D)
  • Text-05a — “The Coliseum” — before May 29, 1841 — (Poe sent a manuscript of several poems to R. W. Griswold in a letter dated May 29, 1841. “The Coliseum” and “The Haunted Palace” are the only two poems that he mentions by name. Griswold printed both poems in the first edtion of The Poets and Poetry of America, along with “The Sleeper,” for which a manuscript probably also accompanied this letter. This manuscript of “The Coliseum” has not survived, but the text is presumably recorded in Text-07.)
  • Text-06 — “The Coliseum” — June 12, 1841 — Saturday Evening Post (Philadelphia, PA) — (Mabbott text E)
  • Text-07 — “The Coliseum” — 1842 — Poets and Poetry of America (The poem continued to appear in later editions, although it was removed beginning with the 10th edition, of 1850) — (Mabbott text F)
  • Text-08 — “The Coliseum” — February 25, 1843 — Saturday Museum — (Mabbott text G) (Poe sent two copies of this article to J. R. Lowell, one on October 19, 1843 and a second on May 28, 1844. In both cases, he appears to have done so for the purpose of providing Lowell with some biographical material to use for his article on Poe for Graham's Magazine. There is no indication that any of the poems in these copies had modifications made by Poe.)
  • Text-09 — “The Coliseum” — July 12, 1845 — Broadway Journal — (Mabbott text H)
  • Text-10 — “The Coliseum” — 1845 — RAOP — (Mabbott text J)
  • Text-11 — “Coliseum” — 1845 — The Poetry of the Sentiments — (Mabbott text K)
  • Text-12 — “The Coliseum” — 1845-1849 — manuscript revision in J. Lorimer Graham copy of RAOP — (Mabbott text L) (Poe makes one change, separateing the word “wanlight” as “wan light.”)



  • “The Coliseum” — March 18, 1846 — True American (Lexington, KY) (reprinted from RAOP)
  • “The Coliseum” — December 1848 — Illustrated Monthly Courier (Philadelphia, NY), vol. I, no. 6 (edited by Andrew M’Makin, who also edited the Saturday Courier)
  • “Ruins” — 1849 — The Poets Offering for 1850 (an excerpt reprinting 8 lines from the poem) (Noted by H&C, p. 129)
  • The Coliseum” — 1850 — WORKS — Griswold reprints Text 10, applying the one correction from Text 12  (Mabbott text M — This is Mabbott's copy-text)
  • “The Coliseum” — March 22, 1850 — Port Gibson Herald, and Correspondent (Port Gibson, MS), vol. 8, no. 30, p. 1, col. 2 (acknowledged as by “Edgar Allan Poe”) (This entry provided by Ton Fafianie in an e-mail to the Poe Society dated April 11, 2018)
  • “The Coliseum” — 1852 — Tales of Mystery and Imagination and Humour; and Poems, London: Henry Vizetelly (An undated edition appears about the same time, published by Charles H. Clark and Samuel Orchart Beeton, and their name appears as publisher for the second series), second series pp. 250-252. (with no woodcut illustration) (this poem was omitted in some later printings)
  • The Coliseum” — 1875 — The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol 3: Poems and Essays, ed. J. H. Ingram, Edinburgh, Adam and Charles Black (3:14-15)
  • “The Coliseum” — September 24, 1876 — Daily Picayune (New Orleans, LA), vol. XL, no. 234, p. 11, col. 2 (the author is noted as Edgar Allen [[Allan]] Poe) (printed in conjunction with an article of reminiscences of Poe by J. H. B. Latrobe and J. H. Hewitt)
  • “The Coliseum” — September 24, 1876 — Daily Picayune (New Orleans, LA), vol. XL, no. 234, p. 11, col. 2 (acknowledged as by “Edgar Allen [[Allan]] Poe”) (printed along with the poem is J. H. Hewitt's poem “Song of the Wind,” which won the prize for poetry against Poe's poem in 1833) (This entry provided by Ton Fafianie in an e-mail to the Poe Society dated April 11, 2018)
  • “The Coliseum” — November 4, 1898 — Aegis and Intelligencer (Bel Air, MD), vol. XLIII, no. 43, p. 1, col. 6 (the author is noted as Edgar Allan Poe)
  • “The Coliseum” — December 6, 1906 — Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, MD), vol. CXL, no. 20, p. 6, col. 7 (printed as part of an article about the death of George W. Hewitt, the son of John H. Hewitt. Also printed is Hewitt's poem “Song of the Wind.”)


Scholarly and Noteworthy Reprints:

  • The Coliseum” — 1894-1895 — The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 10: Poems, ed. E. C. Stedman and G. E. Woodberry, Chicago: Stone and Kimball (10:26-27, and pp. 177-178)
  • The Coliseum” — 1902 — The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 7: Poems, ed. J. A. Harrison, New York: T. Y. Crowell (10:56-57, and 10:191-192)
  • The Coliseum” — 1911 — The Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. J. H. Whitty, Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co. (pp. 19-20, and pp. 207-208)
  • The Coliseum” — 1917 — The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Killis Campbell, Boston: Ginn and Company (pp. 75-76, and pp. 218-221)
  • “The Coliseum” — 1965 — The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Floyd Stovall, Charlottesville: The University Press of Virginia (pp. 57-58, and pp. 236-239)
  • The Coliseum” — 1969 — The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 1: Poems, ed. T. O. Mabbott, Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (1:226-231)
  • “The Coliseum” — 1984 — Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry and Tales, ed. Patrick F. Quinn (New York: Library of America) (pp. 72-73) (reprints the text from Works, 1850)


Comparative and Study Texts:

Instream Comparative and Study Texts:


Associated Material and Special Versions:

Miscellaneous Texts and Related Items:

  • “The Coliseum — at Chicago” — June 6, 1891 — Punch, or the London Charivari (London, UK), vol. 100 (no issue number specified), p. 275 (a parody, stated as “Imitated — at a respectful distance — from E. A. POE.”) (the parody's stated purpose is to mock the idea that “It is stated that a Syndicate of American Capitalists has been formed with the object of purchasing the remains of the Coliseum at Rome, and transporting them to Chicago” for the World's Fair) (This entry provided by Ton Fafianie in an e-mail to the Poe Society dated April 11, 2018)
  • “Le Colisée” — dated 2009, but available in late 2008 — Poèmes d‘Edgar Allan Poe, Paris: Publibook (translation by Jean Hautepierre)



  • Heartman, Charles F. and James R. Canny, A Bibliography of First Printings of the Writings of Edgar Allan Poe, Hattiesburg, MS: The Book Farm, 1943.
  • Ljungquist, Kent P., “ ‘The Coliseum‘: A Dialogue on Ruins,” Poe Studies, 1983, 16:32-33
  • Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, ed., The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe (Vol 1 Poems), Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1969.


[S:0 - JAS] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - The Coliseum