This page cannot be viewed in frames

Go to page

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Largest Roman circus – Circus Maximus

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)


The first real Roman circus was Circus Maximus built for chariot racing. In 329 BCE, the finish, stables and coach houses were fixed for the first time. In the middle, statues of deities were placed, e.g. Pollentia (Overpowered Strength), and a system for marking stages in the form of large wooden eggs – septem ova, which moved on a pole – spina – marked the stage of the run.

In 55 BCE Pompey Magnus ordered the iron handrails to be secured to protect viewers from the elephants that were supposed to attend the shows. However, the security did not withstand the pressure of animals irritated by beaters.

In 46 BCE Julius Caesar will expand the arena east and west by surrounding it with water-filled canals (so-called euripi). Adjacent hills were adapted for 150,000 spectators. In 33 BCE Agrippa improved the signaling system and equipped it with bronze dolphins next to wooden eggs, Augustus finally placed there an obelisk of Ramses II brought from Heliopolis, which is currently standing on a del Popolo, and from the Palatine side he built a representative box – pulvinar.

More about Circus Maximus

  • J. Carcopino, Widowiska, str. 204-205

IMPERIUM ROMANUM needs your support!

Your financial help is needed, in order to maintain and develop the website. Even the smallest amounts will allow me to pay for further corrections, improvements on the site and pay the server. I believe that I can count on a wide support that will allow me to devote myself more to my work and passion, to maximize the improvement of the website and to present history of ancient Romans in an interesting form.


News from world of ancient Rome

If you want to be up to date with news and discoveries from the world of ancient Rome, subscribe to the newsletter.

Subscribe to newsletter!

Roman bookstore

I encourage you to buy interesting books about the history of ancient Rome and antiquity.

Check out bookstore

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: