Circus Maximus (crs)
Catacombs di San Callisto
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The Circus Maximus is an ancient Roman chariot racing stadium and mass entertainment venue. Situated between the Aventine and Palatine hills, it was the first and largest Chariot Racing Stadium in ancient Rome. It is believed that first Roman Games were staged at the location by Tarquinius Priscus (616 BC to 579 BC), the fifth king of Rome. The Circus was the site of public games and festivals influenced by the Greeks in the 2nd century BC. Julius Caesar expanded the Circus around 50 BC, after which the track measured approximately 2,037 feet in length, 387 feet in breadth and could accommodate an estimated 270,000 spectators. The emperor Domitian's palace on the Palatine overlooked the Circus. The emperor Trajan later added 5000 seats and expanded the emperor's seating in order to increase his public visibility during the games. The track could hold twelve chariots. The two sides of the track were separated by a raised median called the "spina". Statues of various gods were set up on the spina, and Augustus erected an Egyptian obelisk on it as well. At either end of the spina was a turning post around which chariots made turns at dangerous speeds. One end of the track extended further back than the other with staggered starting gates so that each chariot traveled the same distance to the first turn. The race went for a total distance of about 4 miles.
Identifier: 441, Last Accessed: 2018-01-16 22:34:44
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Last Modified: Fri Jul 29 2016 09:10:20.