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Hippodrome is a term sometimes used for public entertainment venues of various types. A modern example is the Hippodrome which opened in London in 1900 "combining circus, hippodrome, and stage performances".[1]

It is derived from the ancient Greek hippodromos (Greek: ἱππόδρομος), a stadium for horse racing and chariot racing. The name is derived from the Greek words hippos (ἵππος; "horse") and dromos (δρόμος; "course"). The ancient Roman version, the circus, was similar to the Greek hippodrome.


One end of the ancient Greek hippodromos was semicircular, and the other end square with an extensive portico, in front of which, at a lower level, were the stalls for the horses and chariots. At both ends of the hippodrome were posts (Greek termata) that the chariots turned around. This was the most dangerous part of the track and the Greeks put an altar to Taraxippus (disturber of horses) there to show the spot where many chariots wrecked. It was built on the slope of a hill if possible and the ground taken from one side served to form the embankment on the other side.[citation needed]

Biga chariot rounding a terma: Attic black-figure amphora, circa 500 BC, found at Vulci

List of Greek hippodromes

List of Roman circuses

See also

Other structures called hippodromes:

Similar modern structures:


  1. ^ "The London Hippodrome, Hippodrome Corner, Cranbourn Street, City of Westminster". Retrieved 2022-12-18.
  2. ^ [1] Archived 2006-12-07 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Horse Racecourse In Ancient Olympia Discovered After 1600 Years". ScienceDaily.
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