The Circus Maximus:

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Actual State

Artists Reconstruction

The CIRCUS MAXIMUS, a large stadium designed for horse and chariot races, built against the lower slope of the Palatine Hill in Rome (the long galleries of seats were broken at the midpoint by the imperial box of the emperor). The complex could seat c. 150,000 and possibly held 250,000 at standing-room capacity. At center is the spina, decorated with imported monuments such as New Kingdom Egyptian obelisks, around which the racers would turn. One of the chief loci of Roman festivals, particularly those following the triumphal processions of victorious Roman generals.

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Last Updated: 02/17/2000