Greek Sanctuaries and Stadia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The stadium (stadion) included the racecourse proper (dromos; of 600 feet) and the spectator area. Originally using natural slopes for onlookers, the stadia became more elaborate, with stone seating and complex starting lines (husplyges), in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The second-century-BCE stadium-cum-theatre at Pergamon is of special note, resembling in concept the fourth-century-BCE structure on the Pnyx in Athens. Other stadia surveyed here are at Messene (Peloponnese) and Aphrodisias (Caria). Water channels allowed the track to be watered to avoid hardening. A 100-foot-square (plethron) space was used for field events. Most stadia had formal entrances, some using vaulted ‘tunnels’ (Olympia, Nemea, Delphi, and Epidauros). The history of certain stadia is traced: Olympia, Corinth, Halieis, Mt Lykaion (a hippodrome-cum-stadium), Rome (stadium of Domitian), Isthmia, Nemea, Delphi, and facilities at some civic and rural sanctuaries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook Sport and Spectacle in the Ancient World
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780199592081
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Athens
  • Corinth
  • Dromos
  • Halieis
  • Mt Lykaion
  • Pergamon
  • Rome
  • Stadion
  • Stadium
  • Starting line

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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