hippodrome

hippodromic /hip'euh drom"ik/, adj.
/hip"euh drohm'/, n.
1. an arena or structure for equestrian and other spectacles.
2. (in ancient Greece and Rome) an oval track for horse races and chariot races.
[1540-50; < L hippodromos < Gk hippódromos, equiv. to hippo- HIPPO- + drómos -DROME]

* * *

      ancient Greek stadium designed for horse racing and especially chariot racing. Its Roman counterpart was called a circus and is best represented by the Circus Maximus (q.v.). The typical hippodrome was dug into a hillside and the excavated material used to construct an embankment for supporting seats on the opposite side. In shape the hippodrome was oblong, with one end semicircular and the other square; it thus resembled a U with a closed top. Seats ran in tiers the length of the arena and along the curve, while at the straight end dignitaries occupied seats above the arena's offices. A low wall called a spina ran most of the length of the stadium and divided the course. The spina was decorated with monuments and had sculptures that could be tilted or removed to keep spectators informed of the laps completed by the racers. Because as many as 10 chariots raced at one time, the breadth of the course was sometimes as much as 400 feet (120 m); the length was about 600 to 700 feet (180 to 210 m).

      The largest hippodrome of the ancient world was that of Constantinople (now Istanbul), which was begun under the Roman emperor Septimius Severus in AD 203 and completed by Constantine in 330. In this hippodrome much of the seating was supported on tiers of great vaults instead of the more usual embankment. The stadium could house more than 60,000 spectators, and because of its ample accommodation, it was the scene not only of sports events but of imperial ceremonies, military triumphs, political demonstrations, and public executions. Of the dozen or so monuments that originally adorned the spina of the Hippodrome, only an Egyptian obelisk, a memorial column, and the famous bronze serpent tripod from the Oracle at Delphi now remain on the site. The spina's decorations also included the four bronze horses later taken by the Venetians in the Fourth Crusade (1204) that now decorate the facade of St. Mark's in Venice. The Ottoman Turks used the Hippodrome as a source of building stone after capturing Constantinople in 1453.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • hippodrome — [ ipodrom ] n. m. • 1534; ypodrome XIIIe; lat. d o. gr. hippodromus 1 ♦ Antiq. Cirque de forme oblongue aménagé pour les courses de chevaux et de chars. 2 ♦ (1853) Mod. Terrain de sport hippique; champ de courses. L hippodrome d Auteuil, de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Hippodrome — (Париж,Франция) Категория отеля: 2 звездочный отель Адрес: 7, Rue Forest, 18 й округ: Мон …   Каталог отелей

  • Hippodrome — Hip po*drome, n. [L. hippodromos, Gr. ?; i ppos horse + ? course, fr. ? to run: cf. F. hippodrome.] 1. (Gr. Antiq.) A place set apart for equestrian and chariot races. [1913 Webster] 2. An arena for equestrian performances; a circus. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hippodrome — 1580s, from Fr. hippodrome, from L. hippodromos race course, from Gk. hippodromos chariot road, race course for chariots, from hippos horse (see EQUINE (Cf. equine)) + dromos course (see DROMEDARY (Cf. dromedary)). In modern use for …   Etymology dictionary

  • Hippodrome — Hip po*drome, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Hippodromed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Hippodroming}.] (Sports) To arrange contests with predetermined winners. [Slang, U. S.] [Webster 1913 Suppl.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hippodrome — HIPPODRŎME, es, Gr. Ἱπποδρόμη, ης, eine von den funfzig Töchtern des Thespius. Apollod. lib. II. c. 7. §. ult. sieh Thespiades …   Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon

  • hippodrome — ► NOUN 1) a theatre or concert hall. 2) (in ancient Greece or Rome) a course for chariot or horse races. ORIGIN Greek hippodromos, from hippos horse + dromos race, course …   English terms dictionary

  • hippodrome — [hip′ə drōm΄] n. [Fr < L hippodromos < Gr: see HIPPO & DROME] 1. in ancient Greece and Rome, a course for horse races and chariot races, surrounded by tiers of seats in an oval 2. an arena or building for equestrian events, circuses, games …   English World dictionary

  • Hippodrome — Un hippodrome est un circuit dévolu au sport hippique. Des gradins sont disposés aux abords de la piste pour accueillir les spectateurs. Sommaire 1 Histoire 2 Les principaux hippodromes 2.1  Afrique du Sud …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hippodrome — A Hippodrome (Gr. from hippos , horse, and dromos , race, course) was a course provided by the Greeks for horse racing and chariot racing. Some present day horse racing tracks are also called hippodromes, for example the Central Moscow Hippodrome …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.