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Circus Games Mosaic Starting Gates

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Circus Games Mosaic Starting Gates
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View of the eight (maybe nine?) starting stalls that are on the left side of the mosaic.  Above the center "stall" are thee sponsors of the games.  The chief sponsor, in the middle, can be seen dropping a cloth to start the race.

To the left of the three officials—from our perspective—is a man dressed in blue manipulating a lever that will open (at the same time) the gates to the eight stalls from which the chariots, pulled by their four horses, emerged.

Below the three sponsors is a man, standing erect and again in blue, who seems to be supervising the contest.

Above the three sponsors is a large vase from which the plants that surround the mosaic spring forth.


This large second century Roman Mosaic that was discovered in Lugdunum (modern Lyon) in 1806.  On it, the details of a chariot race in the circus, or hippodrome, of Lugdunum is depicted.  It is 16 feet long and 9 feet wide.

It is surrounded by a floral design, inside of which is a guilloche pattern, and inside of that the arena of the circus where 9 chariots are racing.  No seating of the circus is represented and indeed the circus of Lugdunum originally had wooden seats that were destroyed by fire.