1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hippodrome

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HIPPODROME (Gr. ἱππόδρομος, from ἵππος, horse, and δρόμος, racecourse), the course provided by the Greeks for horse and chariot racing; it corresponded to the Roman circus, except that in the latter only four chariots ran at a time, whereas ten or more contended in the Greek games, so that the width was far greater, being about 400 ft., the course being 600 to 700 ft. long. The Greek hippodrome was usually set out on the slope of a hill, and the ground taken from one side served to form the embankment on the other side. One end of the hippodrome was semicircular, and the other end square with an extensive portico, in front of which, at a lower level, were the stalls for the horses and chariots. The modern hippodrome is more for equestrian and other displays than for horse racing. The Hippodrome in Paris somewhat resembles the Roman amphitheatre, being open in the centre to the sky, with seats round on rising levels.