Although Domitian is considered a cruel emperor, he tried to introduce a series of games in the Greek style, that is based on sports competitions. The first took place in 86 CE. In order to promote the competition, Circus Agonalis was built, which was in place of the current Piazza Navona.
Prizes were given for running, boxing, oratory competitions, music, recitations of Latin and Greek poetry, javelin and discus throw.
J. Carcopino, Widowiska, p. 234
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