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The Colosseum was the Roman Empire’s largest amphitheater, but it was not the largest stadium. That title belonged to Circus Maximus, situated just over half a kilometer southwest of the Colosseum.

Circus Maximus was the first stadium the Romans built. The stadium was originally constructed in the 6th century BCE, but reached its final form only during the time of Julius Caesar in the middle of the 1st century BCE. Caesar extended the seating tiers to run all around the oval circuit, barring only the starting gates and the twin entrances at the stadium’s two ends. The tracks were more than 600 meters long and 150 meters wide. The stadium had a seating capacity between 150,000 and 250,000, according to various sources.

Circus Maximus

A model of Circus Maximus. Photo: Livius.org


© Amusing Planet, 2020.


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