chapter  2
20 Pages

‘Show Yourself to the People!’: Ancient Stadia, Politics and Society

Today, ancient stadia (that is, the Greek stadion and the hippodromos as well as

the Roman circus and the amphitheatrum, Figures 2.1 and 2.2) are perceived as

places of architectural ingenuity which attract a large number of visitors inter­

ested in history. Moreover, in modern times ancient stadia have continuously

been used for a wide variety of spectacles such as theatrical performances, con­

certs and athletic competitions. In 1896, for example, the ancient Panathenaic

stadion in Athens hosted the first modern Olympic Games and the shotput com­

petition was performed in the ancient stadion of Olympia when the Games came

back to Greece in 2004 (Kratzmüller 2005: 117-20).