Stadium of Domitian - Rome, Italy
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member RakeInTheCache
N 41° 54.024 E 012° 28.376
33T E 290380 N 4641806
Quick Description: The Stadium of Domitian, also known as the Circus Agonalis, was located to the north of the Campus Martius in Rome, Italy.
Location: Lazio, Italy
Date Posted: 10/14/2015 10:50:37 AM
Waymark Code: WMPRP8
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member fi67
Views: 3

Long Description:
The Stadium was commissioned around 80 AD by the Emperor Titus Flavius Domitianus as a gift to the people of Rome, and was used mostly for athletic contests.

The Stadium of Domitian was dedicated in 86 AD, as part of an Imperial building programme at the Field of Mars, following the damage or destruction of most of its buildings by fire in 79 AD. It was Rome's first permanent venue for competitive athletics. It was patterned after the Greek model and seated approximately 15,000 - 20,000 – a smaller, more appropriate venue for foot-races than the Circus Maximus.

Stylistically, the Stadium facades would have resembled those of the Colosseum; its floor plan followed the same elongated, U-shape as the Circus Maximus, though on a much smaller scale.

The typically Greek layout gave the Stadium its Latinised Greek name, in agones (the place or site of the competitions). The flattened end was sealed by two vertically staggered entrance galleries and the perimeter was arcaded beneath the seating levels, with travertine pilasters between its cavea (enclosures). The formation of a continuous arena trackway by a raised "spina" or strip has been conjectured.

The Stadium was used almost entirely for athletic contests. For "a few years", following fire-damage to the Colosseum in 217 AD, it was used for gladiator shows. According to the Historia Augusta's garish account of the Emperor Elagabalus, the arcades were used as brothels and the emperor Severus Alexander funded his restoration of the Stadium partly with tax-revenue from the latter. In Christian martyr-legend, St Agnes was put to death there during the reign of the emperor Diocletian, in or near one of its arcades. With the economic and political crises of the later Imperial and post-Imperial eras the Stadium seems to have fallen out of its former use; the arcades provided living quarters for the poor and the arena a meeting place. It may have been densely populated: "With the decline of the city after the barbarian invasions, the rapidly dwindling population gradually abandoned the surrounding hills and was concentrated in the campus Martius, which contained the main part of Rome until the new developments in the nineteenth century." Substantial portions of the structure survived into the Renaissance era, when they were mined and robbed for building materials.

The Piazza Navona sits over the interior arena of the Stadium. The sweep of buildings that embrace the Piazza incorporate the Stadium's original lower arcades. They include the most recent rebuilding of the Church of Sant'Agnese in Agone, first founded in the ninth century at the traditional place of St. Agnes' martyrdom.
Most Relevant Historical Period: Roman Empire > 27 B.C.

Web Site: [Web Link]

Condition: Some remaining traces (ruins) or pieces

Admission Fee: Not listed

Opening days/times: Not listed

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