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Hippodrome/Circus 1

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Hippodrome/Circus 1
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Photo Comments

View looking north at the Circus in Antioch on the Orontes.  It was approximately 1,640 feet long and 240 feet wide.  It is estimated that it could seat 80,000 people.  Originally it was situated on an island in the Orontes River, but the island has since disappeared.

Recent excavations along the spina—the central axis of the Circus—are outlined by the sandbags.

The chariots would have raced around the oval with the spina in the center.  For a helpful example of a Circus and Chariot Race from a mosaic, see Here.

It seems that the Circus/Hippodrome may have been constructed during the reign of the Roman Emperor Trajan (r. A.D. 98–117).

For a convenient summary of the Princeton excavations in the 1930's see Here—a blog post dated March 21, 2008.  There have been more recent excavations since then and this blog site The Antiochepedia has updates.