CIRCUS MAXIMUS first and largest Circus in Rome, in the valley between the Aventine Hill and the Palatine Hill. Traditionally said to have been founded by King Tarquin I in the early sixth century B.C. rebuilt on a larger scale by Julius Caesar, who added the Euripus in the Greek style. Dimensions: ca. 600 by 150 m. One lap equalled about 1500 meters. Seated about 100,000 in the Republican period, and 250,000 after Caesar reconstructed [estimates vary]. See: Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Pliny the Elder. The Imperial Box was built by Augustus: Res Gestae Divi Augusti chapter 19.
CIRCUS FLAMINIUS in the Campus Martius (southern part), constructed by Gaius Flaminius Nepos in 221 B. C., it was still standing in the fourth century A.D.
THEATER OF POMPEY dedicated in 55 B.C.. Located in the Campus Martius. Ca. 510 feet in diameter, with a stage 300 feet wide and 60 feet deep. Seated perhaps as many as 40,000 spectators (Pliny). Behind the scaena was the Portico of Pompeius. 600 feet by 450 feet, attached to which was a meeting hall, the Curia Pompei (now beneath the Teatro Argentina, in which Julius Caesar was assassinated on March 15, 44 B.C. This was the first permanent stone theater in Rome
THEATER OF MARCELLUS begun by Julius Caesar, to rival the magnificence of Pompey's theater, but not completed until the middle of the reign of Augustus. It was used for the Secular Games of 17 B.C. , as was the Theater of Pompey, but it was not dedicated until 13 B.C. Approximately the same seating capacity as the Theater of Pompey. There was a portico next door (Porticus Octaviae), but this was not directly attached to the Theater of Marcellus, and in fact existed before the theater was built. It had a library in it.
COLOSSEUM (Amphitheatrum Flavianum) opened by the Emperor Titus in 80 A.D. Situated on what had once been the fish pond of Nero's Golden House. Seated perhaps 50-75,000 spectators. Restored as late as 422 A.D.
STADIUM OF DOMITIAN (built in the 80's A.D.)in the Campus Martius, now the Piazza Navona (remains are visible on the north side). Seated 15,000. Built as a site to produce the new Capitoline Games, established by Domitian on the model of Greek agones. Brothels flourished in its arcades..
BATHS OF CARACALLA (early third century A. D.) contained a stadium, gardens, walks, fountains, libraries, palaestrae. 1000 persons could be entertained at one time. On the southern end of the city.
BATHS OF DIOCLETIAN (now the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli and the National Archeological Museum) built by 40,000 workers at the beginning of the fourth century A.D. Serviced 3,000 bathers at one time.
CIRCUS OF GAIUS AND NERO built at the foot of the Vatican Hill, in what were the Gardens of Agrippina, ca. 38-55 A.D. The central spina was decorated with an Egyptian obelisk, brought from Alexandria; it once stood on the south side of St. Peter's Basilica, but since 1586 has been in the center of the Piazza San Pietro.
NAUMACHIA AUGUSTI an area in what became the Grove of the Caesars, on the north bank (right bank) of the Tiber, in what is now called Trastevere (Transtiberim). an excavated area, 1800 by 1200 feet, flooded by letting in water from aqueducts. In this basin Augustus produced on the occasion of the dedication of the Temple of Mars Ultor (in 2. B. C. ) a mock haval battle (thirty triremes and numerous smaller ships, 3000 fighting marines and rowers. Present location: between the Church of San Francesco a Ripa and San Cosmato. The water was supplied by the Aqua Alsetina, 33 kilometers long, built by Augustus for this purpose.
January 26, 2010 1:55 PM

John Paul Adams, CSUN

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