Marble (opus tessellatum), limestone (opus tessellatum)
L. 4.97 m; W. 3.02 m
Europe / France / Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes / Rhône department / Lyon / Lyon 2nd arrondissement / Rue Jarente
History of the work
An outstanding piece in the museum's collection, the circus mosaic was discovered in 1806 on the Lyon peninsula and dates from the second century. Particularly representative, it was used as the visual on the invitation to the museum inauguration on November 15, 1975.
Let's watch the chariot races !
In the Roman Empire, chariot races were a major event in daily life and provided entertainment for the masses. The competing chariots were drawn by one, two, three or even six horses and were driven by aurigas. The races were held on a circus track and included seven laps, representing around seven-and-a-half kilometers. The colors worn by the aurigas corresponded to various "stables", and spectators bet on the winners.