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View looking south. The stadium of Perge is one of the best preserved in the classical world (that at Aphrodisias is number one). The stadium measures 111x767 ft. [34x234 m.] and could seat 12,000 spectators. Construction of the stadium began in the second half of the first century A.D.
Note the well–preserved rows of seats on both sides of the stadium. The north end, from which this picture was taken is rounded and closed, while the far southern end is open. In the lower half of the image note how this north end of the stadium was eventually closed off in order to form an amphitheater here. On the upper center edge of the image the theater is visible.
In the Greco-Roman world stadiums were used for athletic contests including running races (compare Acts 20:24; Gal 2:2; Phil 2:16; 2 Tim 4:7; etc.) wrestling, boxing (1 Cor 9:26–27), discus and javelin throwing and other spectacles.
Note how the writer of the book of Hebrews (12:1) writes "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."