21Jul

Nero’s Stadia

Written by in JF Ridgley

Where were the Christians executed?

After Rome’s Great Fire of AD 64

In the Coliseum or  Vespasian’s Amphitheater

Or

In the Circus Maximus

Answer-  Neither….

 It was in Nero’s Circus

The Vespasian hadn’t built his great amphitheater because he wasn’t emperor until AD 69…barely. The Circus Maximax was used for many things as gladiator fights, but mostly it was used for horse/chariot racing.   Romans loved their races.  But on July 19, 64, the Max burned down. In fact, the fire started here.  By whom? No one knows. Accident in one of the shops underneath the stadium? Nero’s thugs? That fact is unknown. But we do know Nero blamed the Christians and executed them in mass for this

So where did he to this horror act? In his own circus…Hero’s circus. It was built originally by Caligula so he could have fun racing his chariots and horses for fun.    Then Nero used it for that as well, and then capitalized on it as a secondary racetrack for these events.  It resembled the same style as the Max with a spina or island in the middle. In this spina was an obelisk that now stands today in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican City.

The diagram shows in purple  where the location of Nero’s Circus was believed to exist. It was later destroyed but the obelisk was moved to the Square.   It was here that Nero ordered the Christians burned, tortured, beheaded, or crucified. It is also where St Paul and St Peter was likely executed as well.

All pics from Microsoft online images…Coliseum is my pic