The Circus Maximus is the oldest and largest circus in Rome, built in the long valley between the Aventine and Palatine hills. It exceeded all other Roman circuses in length, width, and capacity. The main activity of the Circus Maximus was chariot racing, beginning as early as the Etruscan period in the 6th century BC. You are near the temple of Sol, Roman god of the sun, who steered his chariot across the sky, hauling the sun behind him. From here you can see the curved portico of the Domus Augustiana overlooking the circus. From that splendidly decorated lookout, the emperor could see the races - and, more importantly, be seen by the people of Rome. In the central part of the circus, the ’spina', you can see a range of monuments, from Egyptian obelisks to depictions of gods and goddesses. At either end of the track, you can see the large rounded posts, called ‘metae’, which the charioteers would turn at every lap.
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