circus mosaic

The Latin is euripus or spina. The central barrier, rounded off at each end with turning posts, extends approximately 344 yards down the middle of the track. Its high stone walls enclose water channels, statues of deities, marble altars and shrines, and lap counters in the form of eggs and dolphins. In the center. the huge obelisk brought from Egypt by Augustus towers over the other structures. This detail of a mosaic from Roman Gaul depicts one end of a circus barrier, while the image below shows a model of the barrier in the Circus Maximus:

circus model

Barbara F. McManus