The Circus Maximus and the Colosseum: The History of Ancient Rome's Most Famous Sports Venues, Charles River Editors
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The Circus Maximus and the Colosseum: The History of Ancient Rome's Most Famous Sports Venues

Author: Charles River Editors

Narrator: Bill Caufield

Unabridged: 3 hr 23 min

Format: Digital Audiobook

Publisher: Findaway Voices

Published: 05/07/2023

Genre: History - Ancient - Rome

Synopsis

The ambitious and fearless emperors that built the legendary Roman Empire from scratch, the broad-shouldered and bronzed gladiators with their iconic plume helmets and glinting swords, and elaborate parties attended by toga-wearing Romans fueled by alcohol, violence, orgies, and other godless acts all paint a picture of Roman life.

At the Circus Maximus, the guttural cheers of the spectators reverberated across the enormous open space, but their cries could hardly be heard over the rumble of the ground. On the ellipse-shaped track, 5 charioteers would skew their bodies and steer their magnificent vehicles around the curves. Gusts of sand and dirt flew up from the whizzing wheels and encircled the pounding hooves of the stunning stallions. Distracted personnel and guards dragging their feet were considered fair game. As one chariot careened to the side, preparing to collide with another chariot, a row of guards might have to try to duck out of the way in the nick of time. Some would be trampled by hooves. Chariot races were dangerous for participants too. A charioteer could become disoriented and fail to position himself as his horses moved instinctively, sending his body catapulting forward out of the chariot. Needless to say, chariot racing in Rome was a nail-biting spectacle.

When the Colosseum was built in the late 1st century A.D., the Romans, a people known for their architectural acumen, managed to amaze themselves. Martial believed the Colosseum was so grand a monument that it was even greater than the other Wonders of the Ancient World, which had been written about and visited endlessly by the Romans and Greeks in antiquity. The Colosseum was a spectacular achievement in architecture, something new and innovative, and therefore an amazing “Wonder” in its own way. The Colosseum is a large stadium even by today’s standards, and its great size conveys the power of the empire as it dominates the landscape and towers over nearby buildings.

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