Lucius Tarquinius Priscus was the very first king to be a great promoter of the Roman games and he outlined the area that would later become the Circus Maximus. The Circus Maximus was used for chariot races and foot races. Later in time, the Coliseum and other amphitheaters were built as an arena for watching all the other games that were held in Rome.
The Circuit Maximus was one thousand eight hundred feet long and six hundred feet wide. Also, the stadium held up to two hundred fifty thousand people. Now that’s a lot of people! Races consisted of up to twelve chariots and the race usually consisted of seven laps in length. The races were dangerous, you could get very injured, or even die, but if you’re a good driver and win every race you are in, you will become a champion and will become rich and famous.
The gladiator games are sort of an entertainment for people. There were two different times the games were held: the morning games and the afternoon games. The morning games were animal games. At the beginning of the game, participants paraded into the amphitheater and then the games began. Sometimes animals ought against gladiators and other times animals devoured defenseless criminals that the government catches. The afternoon games were when gladiators fought each other, often to the death. If you were a criminal fighting and you were very good at it, you could beg for mercy from the emperor. Sometimes the emperor would put his thumbs down, which means kill him, and sometimes the emperor would put his thumbs up, which means you are free. Sometimes the amphitheaters were so flooded, the gladiator had to fight on ships. There were at least twenty-five varieties of gladiators, but four of the most popular types are Samnite, Thracian, Retiarius, and Murmillo.
The Circus Maximus and the amphitheater still exist today; however, the Roman games are very cruel when you think about it. I would not want to be in the Roman games.