The Circus Maximus is the oldest and largest of the buildings designed by the Romans, used mainly for chariot races. Over the course of the imperial age, similar structures became increasingly important in the life of the Roman citizen.
According to a legend, Romulus was behind the idea of having the first races, which originally used mules. In the Murcia Valley, between Aventine to the south and Palatine to the north, he began this custom, which even became a pretext for the Rape of the Sabine Women, depicted at the Villa del Casale in a dedicated mosaic.
Originally the structure had an oval shape, which was enriched and modified over time by kings and emperors. The Circus Maximus continued to host shows even after the barbarian invasions, at least until 549, under the rule of Totila, King of the Ostrogoths.
Today, there are still some remnants of the curved side of the glorious piece of architecture, including stairs to the upper floors, furnaces and places for trade, the tabernae, dating back to the Trajanic era and brought to light from considerable depth.
Thanks to recent excavations, the bases of the Arch of Titus are also visible. The arch was dedicated to the emperor following the Jewish victory. (70 AD)