"Panem et circenses!" (Bread and Circus Games!) This was the chant shouted by thousands upon thousands of Romans as they poured into the great arenas (circuses) on over 200 holidays per year to enjoy the epic competitions of Ancient Rome. The largest of these arenas was the famous Circus Maximus, erected between the Palatine and Aventine hills. Here, circa 500 BC, spectators were treated to horse-drawn chariot races, in which competitors struggled through 7 laps around a perilous 1200-meter course.