More popular still were the circus, the stadium, and the amphitheater. Rome had several stadiums, used chiefly for athletic contests. Horse or chariot races, and some spectacles, were presented at the Circus Flaminius in the Field of Mars, or, more usually, at the Circus Maximus as rebuilt by Caesar between the Palatine and Aventine hills. This was an immense ellipse 2200 feet long and 705 feet wide, with wooden seats on three sides for 180,000 spectators. We may judge the wealth of Rome by noting that Trajan rebuilt these seats in marble.

By comparison the Colosseum was a modest structure, seating only 50,000. Its plan was not new; the cities of Greek Italy had long since had amphitheaters; Curio, as we have seen, composed one in 53 B.C.; Caesar built another in 46, Statilius Taurus another in 29 B.C. The Flavian Amphitheater, as Rome called the Colosseum, was begun by Vespasian and finished by Titus (A.D. 80); the architect’s name is unknown. Vespasian chose as its site the lake in the gardens of Nero’s Golden House, between the Caelian and Palatine hills. It was constructed of travertine stone in an ellipse 1790 feet around. Its