Chariot racing, Ancient Rome

Chariot racing, Ancient Rome

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Credit: BILDAGENTUR-ONLINE/TH FOTO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Chariot racing, Ancient Rome. 19th-century artwork of Roman charioteers racing in an amphitheatre in Rome, Italy. These sharp turning points were the most dangerous moments of the race, and charioteers and horses were sometimes killed in crashes. The largest chariot racetrack in Ancient Rome was the Circus Maximus, which was 620 metres long, 120 metres wide, and could hold around 150,000 spectators. Its use reached its peak in the first century BC and first two centuries AD. The seating was mostly wooden, until rebuilt in stone under the Emperor Trajan in the 2nd century AD. This woodcut dates from 1880.

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