Hippodrome and its monuments (Nil Hocaoglu)

In the Byzantine period, Chariot race is the only game that survived after the classical antiquity. In Byzantium there were three places that intended for this race. One of them was in St. Mamas and used until the ninth century. The other one was in the west and near the Sts. Apostles. The most important one was in the centre of the city which is next to the GreatPalace. It was founded by Septimus Severus and more than a century later it is completed by Constantine in 330. The hippodrome was about 400m long and its estimated capacity was 30.000 spectators. Supporters of the circus had their seats on the western side. During the break of a racing programme they were entertained by the dancers, mimes and singers. The kathisma which is an emperor box was in the east side of the hippodrome and it was accessible to the palace directly. The emperors watched the game with his family in there. The hippodrome was not only use for games but also it played an important role in the imperial ideology. (more…)