Circo Massimo

Apart from the theaters and amphitheaters, Roman circuses, with their public games and chariot races, were the most important centres of entertainment in Roman cities. The Circo Massimo, 600 meters in length and 225 meters in width, with space for 300,000 spectators, was the largest circus in Rome, ahead of the Circus of Flaminius and the Circus of Maxentius.

Several competitions were carried out in the Circo Massimo. The most famous were the chariot races, in which participants, several of them slaves fighting for their liberty, tried to complete seven laps of the circus. During the public games, equestrian exhibitions known as “Ludus Troiae” also took place. These exhibitions were a simulation of various famous battles carried out by young Roman aristocrats. There were also foot races that lasted for several hours. The spectators would bet on the winners, making the competitions even more exciting. Today, only the ruins of one of the buildings around the Circo Massimo remains.


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