chapter  3
19 Pages

Challenging the Stadium: Watching Sport Events in Public

Spectacles, songs, circuses, contests between athletes, horses or gladiators –

these have all won audiences since ancient times. From a very early stage, theat-

rical storytelling, announcements of news and tests of strength have had

platforms and grandstands and thus an architecture of their own. These can be

seen in all their varied and large-scale glory in the arenas, stadia and amphithea-

tres of the Mediterranean region. The Circus Maximus in Rome still fascinates vis-

itors with its functionality, monumentality and enclosed atmosphere. It gives us a

clue to the thrilling spell that existed between players and spectators, by means

of which spatial, acoustic and visual arrangements were intensified. Spectators

became immediate witnesses to events that had never been seen or heard of

before (cf. Chapter 2).