Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Circus, the building appropriated in a Roman city to the holding of games, horse-racing, and wild-beast or gladiatorial shows. In racing, the line of the longitudinal axis was marked by a low barrier, round the end of which the chariots turned. The circus received a new interest in early Christian times from being the scene of many a Christian martyrdom. A circus in modern times is a round building or enclosure generally of a temporary nature, used for the exhibition of feats of horsemanship and the like, and also to denote the exhibition that takes place therein. In architecture a circus is a kind of widening out of a street where crossed by another by cutting off the corners and arranging the buildings in a circular form. Examples are Oxford and Piccadilly Circuses.