emperor's box at circus

The Latin is pulvinar. A marble building resembling a temple rises from the third tier of seats on the Palatine side of the track. The statues and cult objects of the gods carried in the opening procession are placed here to watch the race; since the pulvinar is directly opposite the finish line, they get a good view! (Note that the model of the Circus Maximus does not show the correct location of the pulvinar). The emperor also has a special box here, so he can be seen by the people when he attends the races. In this closer view, the emperor holds a sceptre in his left hand, while his right hand is raised to drop the white cloth (mappa) that signals the start of a race; one of the nobles in the enclosure extends a hand to congratulate a victorious charioteer:

emperor's box at circus

On the side of the enclosure are two statues of deities watching the race, Victoria and one of the Dioscuri (Castor or Pollux). The relief below shows the statues of the gods being carried in a special cart during the procession (pompa) that opens a day at the races; the deities here are Jupiter, Castor, and Pollux (who presumably liked to watch races because of their association with horses):

relief showing circus procession

Barbara F. McManus