Sunday, July 31, 2011
A circus at Brindisium?
The Lonely Planet starts the chapter 'History of Brindisi', with the following lines: "There is a great scene in the film Spartacus where Kirk Douglas enthusiastically exclaims to sidekick Tony Curtis that they are 'off to the Roman city of Brundisium!' And there, where the Appian Way meets the port, ships would lie waiting to take Spartacus and his great army of freed slaves off to Greece."
Spartacus was double-crossed in Brindisium, southern Italy's busiest merchant and passenger port for centuries. Although I couldn't find clear references to a circus or ampitheater, it is clear that taking the importance of the city in mind, both public buildings must have existed during the time of Spartacus. I wonder whether his men visited the amphitheater. For some of them common ground.
I couldn't find any proper information about these buildings on the internet, although the Dutch historian Fick Meijer mentioned Brindisium in his book 'Chariot racing' as owning a circus. The above clay disk, at display in the museum of Brindisi, shows a four horses chariot or Quadriga. Probably, it is a reference to the local circus.
More of my pictures of Roman Brindisium can be found here!