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Pyramid of the Hippodrome

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Pyramid of the Hippodrome
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A view of the "Pyramid" of the Roman Hippodrome in Vienne.  This was placed in the middle of the hippodrome's central barrier—it is an imitation of an Egyptian obelisk.  Judges used to be positioned on the central barrier to count off the seven laps done by the two or four-horse-driven chariots.  For usage see this instructive mosaic of a chariot race from Lugdunum (Lyon).

The Hippodrome was situated on the east bank of the Rhône River and measures 1,510 ft. x 387 ft. (460 x 118 meters).  It could seat about 15,000 spectators.

In the legends of Vienne, it was said that this remnant, called the "Aiguille" or needle was the funerary monument of an Emperor or Pontius Pilate, who was thought to have died while in exile in Vienne.