Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Oxford Classical Dictionary. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 20 March 2023



  • Albert William van Buren,
  • William Beare
  •  and Simon Price


Ludi (including ludi scaenici) (games). The chief uses of this word relate to diverse fields of Roman culture.(1) Religious *festivals came to include formalized competitions and displays, which were as much a component of the ritual programme as were sacrifices and processions. The numbers of days devoted to ludi in Rome increased over time: 57 in the late republic; 77 in the early 1st cent. ce; 177 in the mid-4th cent. ce. There were three types of ludi. First, ludi circenses, which consisted of chariot-racing, held in the circus in the *Campus Martius and eventually in the Circus Maximus (which could seat 150,000 people), see circus. Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 7. 70–3 is the fullest account of the prior procession. Secondly, ludi scaenici, originating in 364 bce as *pantomime dances to flute, later including plays, first at the Ludi Romani of 240 bce (see livius andronicus, l.


  • Roman Myth and Religion

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Access to the full content requires a subscription