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STADIUM
Form: Gr. stadion.

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The course for foot-races amongst the Greeks; the usual length of it was 600 Greek feet, a measure which Heracles, according to the myth, had appointed for the course at Olympia. (See OLYMPIAN GAMES, fig. 4.) Subsequently this became the standard unit for measuring distances. On both of the longer sides of the course were Datural or artificial elevations with terraced seats for the spectators. At one end there was generally a semicircular space especially intended for wrestling, and this was the place for the umpires. Near this was the pillar which marked the goal. The starting-point was also [sometimes] indicated by a pillar at the other end, which was originally straight, and in later times curved like the end near the goal. For the different kind of races, see GYMNASTICS.
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