The Circus Maximus’s history is as ancient as Rome’s itself. Legend has it that it was during the first games in the circus, put on by Romulus himself, that Rome’s king gave the order for the infamous Rape of the Sabine women. Under the Tarquins, wooden seats were constructed that spatially separated spectators according to class. And during the mid-Republic (c. 189 BC) the first permanent spina was constructed – the long collonaded strip the length of which competitors had to race. Fortunately, a few rare Roman coins have preserved for us how the Great Circus of Rome used to look like.
Laureate, draped, and cuirassed young bust right, seen from behind
M AVREL ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRITAN
Aerial view of chariot race in the Circus Maximus: spina with obelisk of Augustus flanked by metae and statues; arena surrounded by colonnaded arcade; triumphal arch surmounted by quadriga and carceres at either end
P M TR P XVI IMP II COS IIII PP S C
A perfect choice for Numismatists, Historians, Military Veterans, Collectors.