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Circus Games Mosaic

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Circus Games Mosaic
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Photo Comments

View of the 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.

On the left side of the image the starting stalls are represented, and the 9 chariots, being pulled by four horses, race in a counterclockwise direction around the "spina."  The spina is composed of two rectangular pools in which there was water.

In the lower left and upper right of the mosaic two chariot crashes are represented!