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The Circus Maximus, located in the valley between the Palatine and Aventine hills, was the most extensive racetrack in ancient Rome. Up to twelve chariots could take part in competitions at the hippodrome at a time. Legend has it that it was here that the cattle of Hercules were stolen, as well as the abduction of the Sabine women.
According to historians, the first competitions in this place were held by Tarquinius Priscus, around 500 BC. BC
Since ancient times, the valley, due to its position and convenient terrain configuration, was a place for horse stadiums associated with the ancient Roman games. Until 329 BC there was no mention of horse racing. Probably, except for the auditoriums and the arena on the site of the circus at that time there were no buildings. According to archaeologists, the valley was previously used for agriculture, as evidenced by the found ancient sanctuaries of rural gods – the sanctuary of the Seia triad, the altar of Kons, etc.
In 329 BC. a wooden start with a variegated color was lined up. After the Punic Wars, statues, the construction of gates, the setting up of an apparatus with eggs for counting rounds, the purchase of animal cages, etc. are first mentioned. During the reign of Caesar, the area of the circus was expanded, and a canal was dug around the arena.
In those distant times, chariot competitions were held in a straight line – reaching the end of the arena, the chariots had to turn and race back to the start. Later, with the development of the sewage system, a long tunnel was built under the arena, as a result of which a `` ridge '' formed in the arena over time. By the next competition, the ground in the arena was leveled out, which cost a lot. Soon it was decided to let the chariots go not in a straight line, but in a circle, skirting the ridge. Since then, races have been held at the racetrack racetracks.
The last games were held here in 549, organized by King Totila. The most massive circus structure was the Arch of Titus, which stood here until the 12th century. In the 19th century, the valley of the circus was built up with buildings of a gas factory.
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Topic: Circus Massimo in Italy, Rome resort.