The amphitheater dedication

What do these two enormous blocks of limestone represent ?
In spite of a missing area on the left, this text was nonetheless identified. It commemorates the building of the amphitheater located on Croix-Rousse Hill by Caius Julius Rufus. This venue could hold up to 20,000 spectators, who came to see gladiators fight or watch men hunt wild beasts.

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Limestone (engraved), soft urgonian limestone from Franclens (Haute Savoie department; "Seyssel stone")
W. 1.78 m; D 0.27 m; H. 0.80 m; Height of letters 10-15 cm

First century

Europe / France / Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes / Rhône department / Lyon / Lyon 1st arrondissement / Croix-Rousse

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History of the work

These two blocks were discovered on Croix-Rousse Hill in 1958. They testify to the existence of an amphitheater whose ruins can still be seen today. A site of Christian martyrdom in 177, this monument was sought after for several centuries.
Translation: "For the safety of Emperor Tiberius Caesar Augustus, Caius Julius Rufus, son of Caius, priest of Rome and of Augustus, of the city of Santons, and other members of his family have built this amphitheater and its podium at their own expense."

Who was Caius Julius Rufus ?

Caius Julius Rufus was a rich dignitary from the city of Saintes, located in the Charente department; he built this amphitheater early in the first century, in the year 19 A.D. Elected priest of Rome and of Augustus at the sanctuary in Lyon that year, he provided the funds for building this monument. At the beginning of the Empire, contributing to the beauty of one's city by paying for public buildings was a common practice of wealthy figures who held official, political or religious positions. Today, this would be similar to an elected official building a stadium or movie theater at his own expense.