Rome’s MMDCCLXIIth Birthday Celebrations at the Circus Maximus

The whole world agrees to the fact that ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day‘, yet there’s little consensus on how long it exactly took our ancient romans to construct their home town, let alone when they exactly got their shovels out.A date is easy,all historic sources do agree on April 21st, but which year? 753BCis an often used year, and a recent discovery of fortification walls on the north slope of the Palatinus – Palatine Hill, one of the Seven Hills of Rome – dated to the middle of the 8th century BC confirms this.Anyway, enough with the boring facts. Let’s bring in the cake as this week we’re celebrating Rome’s MMDCCLXIIth* Birthday!

(* More or less, as explained above.Oh, you want that translated? Rome’s 2762th Birthday that is.)

modern chariot races at the circus maximusOf course, a celebration wouldn’t be a celebration if it were not for …chariot races! And what better location than the Circus Maximus? Already under the Etruscan Kings that ruled in the 7th century BC this location was utilized for public games and entertainment, and who doesn’t remember the famous scene from Ben Hur?

Luckily reports that – as opposed to ancient times – the chariot race took place without any fatal accidents: “Though the highly trained horses and charioteers of todays race managed to navigate the turn without any crashes, spectators were still pleased as the terrain is rough at that end of the Circus Maximus and thus it gave the racing teams an opportunity to exhibit their superior skills. At the finish, a helmet-head (no doubt aided by the aerodynamic design of his headgear) nosed ahead of the leading brush-head chariot, taking the prize!

I’ll race you all to Rome, maybe we’ll still get there in time to catch some of the other festivities planned? 😉