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Circus Maximus in Rome

 
If you want to reserve a guided tour in English language with an expert, private guide to visit the Circus Maximus in Rome please contact our reservation office writing to info@ticketsrome.com or call the number +39 055 2670402.

The Circus Maximus is an ancient Roman chariot racing stadium and mass entertainment venue located in Rome, Italy. The stadium is located between the Aventine and Palatine hills and it was largest stadium in ancient Roman Empire. It first took its distinctive shape under Julius Ceasar. Chariot races were one of the Roman's most popular forms of entertainment.


Circo-Massimo-ricostruzione
The Circus was Rome's largest venue for public games related to Roman religious festivals. These games were sponsored by leading Romans or the Roman state for the benefit of the Roman people and gods. Most were held annually or at annual intervals on the Roman calendar. Others might be given to fulfill a religious vow, such as the games in celebration of a triumph. The earliest known triumphal religious game at the Circus were vowed by Tarquin the Proud to Jupiter in the late Regal era for his victory over Pometia. Every game ranged from one-day or even half-day events to spectacular multi-venue celebrations held over several days, with religious ceremonies and public feasts, horse and chariot racing, athletics, plays and recitals, beast-hunts and gladiator contests.
With time and accumulation of power, Roman, religious games held at the Circus Massimo became more magnificient and elaborate.  Politicians competed for divine and popular support by hosting or supporting these games. By the late Republic, games were held for 57 days of the year; an unknown number of these would have required full use of the Circus. On many other days, charioteers and jockeys used the track to practice for future events.  Otherwise, it would have made a convenient corral for the animals traded in the nearby cattle market, just outside the starting gate. Beneath the outer stands, next to the Circus' multiple entrances, were workshops and shops.

Most important races were held during the Roman Games, between September 4th and September  18th. Races lasted all day and well into the night, resulting in up to hundred races a day.  Races were shortened to 5 laps to fit all of the races during the day. Other events held at Circus Maximus ranged from simulated battles , acrobatic routines, animals fights to religious processions. These races and events allowed Roman citizens to be in contact and enjoy similar pleasures as emperors.

The stadium was damaged by fires several times over time, but it was always repaired by the emperor. In their attempt at repairing the stadium, Circus Maximus was enlarged, giving it the dimensions it has today.  One of the fires that damaged the stadium was the famous fire of Rome thought to have been started by emperor Nero. The last games at Circus Maximus was organized around 549 A.D.

Today, the Circus Maximus is a key part of Roman history and serves as a symbol of the Roman lifestyle that resembles those of modern day activities such as horse race tracks, gambling and the sports culture. 



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