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Circus Maximus










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CIRCUS MAXIMUSwas the name of the place which Tarquin the Ancient, after his victory over the Latins, was the first to assign in Rome, as a fixed spot, for the celebration of those chariot races, of which the institution is dated as far back an the age of Romulus. The site chosen for that purpose was in the valley Marcia, between tires Aventine and Palatine hills, in the 11th region of the City. And in process of years, it was known by no other name than that ofMaximus, that is to say theGreatest, because it was in fact built on a scale of more grandeur and extent than the other which were successively constructed at Rome.ó In Tarqun's time sort dining the earlier ages of the republic, the length of this circus was 437 feet. The population of Rome having consider-ably augmented, Caesar caused the Circus Maximus to be, enlarged, sod a deep and broad fosse to be dug quite round the area, separating it from the seats, in order that the spectators might no more be affrightened by the elephants employed in the games, as had repeatedly been the case before ; on which occasions those stupendous animals exerted all their strength to throw down the gratings of iron with which the area was surrounded. After the new arrangement, the area of the circus was edged with three porticoes on the outside of the fosse.ó The first portico served to support the stone seats; the second, which rose behind the first, sustained the wooden seats; the third surrounded else whole of the extensive edifice, not only serving for ornament, but containing alto pas-sages which led to the seats of the spectators. These porticoes were so disposed, that each division of seats hod their respective entrances and outlets, with a view to prevent every kind of disorder which, without such architectural arrangements, would, necessarily have been liable to occur from the crowd of comers and goers. Tiberius rebuilt a port of the circus which had been destroyed by fire. Claildius caused marble to be used in the construction of the carceres, which had before been built of sandstone; by his orders also the wooden metae were gilt, and he appropriated particular seats for the senators, The Circus Maximus having been




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