Paganism, Christianity and the Imperial Celebrations in the Circus Maximus During the Fourth Century
This chapter discusses the festival calendar, the importance of circus games, the iconography of the Circus Maximus in the 4th century, and the pompa circi and the Christian emperor. The festival calendar was an ancient means of exposing very large numbers of spectators to the presence of the gods; the utility of the circus and its ceremonial made it an early platform for the promotion of the imperial cult. Christian emperors and their functionaries sought to keep the Circus Maximus and its races intact. Through their exploitation of the festival calendar, they increased the number and frequency of the entertainments which characterized the observance of feast days. They were thus able to continue and enhance what their pagan predecessors had sought through the promotion of the same institutions: the keeping of their names and achievements before the populace of Rome.
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