We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Hippodrome?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
CulturalWorld.org is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At CulturalWorld.org, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A hippodrome is a large enclosed facility designed for equestrian events, although hippodromes have also been used historically to host other types of athletic events. Numerous examples of ancient hippodromes can be found scattered around the Mediterranean, reflecting the Greek and Roman enthusiasm for equestrian sport, and a number of modern facilities are also known as hippodromes.

The word “hippodrome” comes from the Greek hippos, which means “horse,” and dromos, which refers to a racecourse or track. As the name implies, hippodromes were originally built for horse and chariot racing, and some were quite large, allowing as many as 10 chariots to race side by side. Hippodromes could also accommodate other gladiatorial events and parades, and some became quite famous and regionally important.

Two famous examples of hippodromes are the Hippodrome of Constantinople and the Circus Maximus in Rome. Both of these facilities are quite large, permitting numerous spectators to observe events. Greek and Roman racing was a bit different from modern racing, with riders being encouraged to foul each other, creating an element of danger and surprise. In addition, racing in a hippodrome could be quite perilous at the turnaround pole, where numerous horses and riders were injured.

As a general rule, hippodromes are open to the elements, and they are roughly oval in shape, with seating surrounding the stadium. Depending on where one sits, the quality of the view would vary, but most hippodromes are engineered to provide at least decent views from every seat, with closer seats tending to be more coveted because its easier to see when one is close to the stadium floor. In cooler climates, modern hippodromes sometimes have ceilings so that competitions can be held in inclement weather.

Some tourists enjoy visiting the sites of ancient hippodromes, because some of them are remarkably well preserved, and they are very interesting to visit. Many have astounding carvings, amazing views, and extensive surrounding complexes of buildings which can be intriguing to explore. Visiting a hippodrome can be especially interesting with a well-informed guide, who can provide information and context about the sights in the area.

CulturalWorld.org is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a CulturalWorld.org researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon74239 — On Mar 31, 2010

I am doing a research paper and Empress Theodora's (wife of Justinian) dad was a bear keeper at the hippodrome in constantinople.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
CulturalWorld.org, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

CulturalWorld.org, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.