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Circus Maximus (Rome)

Circus Maximus (Rome)

The ancient Roman arena became well-known for the chariot races held here.

History

Keywords

Circus Maximus, chariot race, horse race, arena, Roman games, architecture, building, edifice, Rome, Julius Caesar, athlete, Római Birodalom, Etruscan, auditorium, history, antiquity, entertainment

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Questions

  • What is a 'meta'?
  • How many laps did a chariot race consist of, in the Circus Maximus?
  • What is the Forum Romanum?
  • Who introduced the calendar reform?
  • Who was Spartacus?
  • Who was Hannibal?
  • What was the basic unit of the Roman army?
  • What is a provincia?
  • What city was Rome fighting against in the Punic Wars?
  • What shape is\nthe Appennine Peninsula?
  • Who were the leaders of the republic, elected for one year?
  • When did Rome become a republic?
  • What is the river of Rome?
  • What animal fed Romulus and Remus, according to the legend?
  • Where do Romans originate from, according to the legend?
  • Who founded Rome, according to the legend?
  • What is the ‘spina’?
  • How many hills was Rome built on?
  • When was Rome founded, according to the legend?
  • In which present-day city is the Circus Maximus?
  • For how long were events held in the Circus Maximus?
  • Approximately how many spectators could the Circus Maximus seat?
  • What kind of events were held in the Circus Maximus?
  • What kind of events were held in the Circus Maximus?

Scenes

Circus Maximus

Structure

  • starting gates - Latin: carcer
  • turning point - It was signalled by three columns called 'metae'.
  • seating - Latin: cavea
  • central wall - Latin: spina
  • arena - Latin: harena
  • ‘town’ - Latin: oppidum
  • finish line
  • triumphal arch - Latin: porta triumphalis
  • imperial box - Latin: pulvinar
  • temple

Chariot race

Cutaway

  • columns
  • aisle
  • senators
  • knights
  • plebeians
  • the poor

Animation

Ready, steady, GO!

Narration

The Circus Maximus was the first arena in the ancient city of Rome. The first Etruscan king, Tarquinius Priscus, was already organising games here, which they called 'Ludi Romani' (Roman games).

To satisfy growing demand, the arena was expanded during the reign of Julius Caesar. At that time, it measured 600 metres in length and 225 metres in width. According to various sources, there were more than 150 thousand seats, but the arena could accommodate up to 300 thousand spectators.

The Circus Maximus mainly featured horse and chariot races, but athletic competitions were not uncommon. There is evidence that the spectacles there also included re-enactments of naval battles. Later rulers further expanded and decorated this magnificent structure.

During the Middle Ages and the Modern Age, most of its decorations and ornaments were moved to other locations in the Eternal City, and the Circus Maximus fell into decay.

Archaeological excavations were begun in the 19th century. Today, the site of the games is a large park area near the Forum Romanum and the Colosseum, but recent news has emerged about plans for the large-scale renovation of this, the greatest arena in Ancient Rome.

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