See the largest shopping mall in the ancient world where Christians could shop one day and die the next!
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An ancient Roman shopping mall where Christians would have shopped has been reopened to the public, at the same site where ancient Christians would have died for their faith.
Martyrs were put to death in the Circus Maximus, as shown in this classic artwork.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The largest shopping mall in the ancient world was located in Rome, contained sixty shops and served customers as they came and went to the Circus Maximus, the site of the ancient Roman chariot races.
The Circus Maximus also has another distinction. It is where Christians were routinely put to death as entertainment between races.
The races themselves were violent affairs and racers were routinely killed or maimed as the chariots slammed into one another. Men and horses routinely met their death in the races. Between races, captive Christians could be brought out for additional public spectacle. Often, Christians were killed by wild animals, and at other times they could be set alight and burned to death.
An image of the ancient racetrack.
Most people assume Christians were killed in the Flavian Amphitheatre (Coliseum), but it was in the actually in the Circus Maximums that most were killed.
Over the past seven years, archaeologists studied the ruins and uncovered secrets about the circus and the mall. The mall was part of the circus and was rebuilt following a fire in 64 AD. Reopened in 103 AD, the mall and races would have been attended by early Christians.
The ancient mall contained various shops and stores, restaurants, and brothels. Even an ancient laundromat was discovered. Ancient Romans used urine to wash clothes. Urine was effective because of the ammonia it contained.
Christians would have browsed these shops in the early days before their faith was legalized.
Archeologists discovered gold jewelry, bronze coins and more during their excavation.
The site is now reopened to the public and can be toured.
The Circus Maximus served Rome for about a thousand years, and was closed in 549 AD, long after Rome was a Christian city at the heart of a Christian empire.
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