The Circus Maximus was a chariot racetrack in Rome constructed in the 6th century BCE. Used for other events such as the Roman Games and gladiator fights, it last hosted chariot races in the 6th century. Partially excavated in the 20th century...
Roman Circus of Mérida
The Roman circus of Augusta Emerita is a ruined Roman circus in Mérida (Spain). Inaugurated in the first quarter of the first century CE, it was used for chariot racing, and was modelled on the Circus Maximus in Rome. Measuring 440 metres...
Circus Maximus Reconstruction
An illustration of what the Circus Maximus chariot track of Rome might have looked like. The Circus Maximus dates back to the 6th century BCE but was at its most splendid in the 1st century CE when it had a capacity for 250,000 spectators...
Circus Maximus [Present Day]
The view of Rome's Circus Maximus in the present day. The original circus lies 9 m below ground level and was first laid out in the 6th century BCE. The present site was remodelled in the 1930s CE to resemble the original.
Roman Games, Chariot Races & Spectacle
If there was one thing the Roman people loved it was spectacle and the opportunity of escapism offered by weird and wonderful public shows which assaulted the senses and ratcheted up the emotions. Roman rulers knew this well and so to increase...
Illustration of Circus Maximus, Rome
Illustration of the Circus Maximus in Rome, as it might have appeared in Antiquity by Rocío Espin. Courtesy of Ancient History Magazine / Karwansaray Publishers.
The Circus Maximus in Rome
Artist's impression of the Circus Maximus in ancient Rome, with a chariot race going on.
Mosaic with Circus Scene
Mosaic depicting a quadriga of the factio prasina (‘the Greens,’ representing the spring), 3rd century CE, from Rome. (National Archaeological Museum of Spain, Madrid) The green team is victorious. Their admired steeds have performed splendidly...
Museums in the Ancient Mediterranean
Museums have been around much longer than one might think, but in the ancient world, they were principally institutions of research and learning rather than places to display artworks and artefacts, even if they were often located in grand...
The Hippodrome of Constantinople
The Hippodrome of Constantinople was an arena used for chariot racing throughout the Byzantine period. First built during the reign of Roman emperor Septimius Severus in the early 3rd century CE, the structure was made more grandiose by emperor...