As you walk through the Hadrian's Arch, the first thing that you notice is an impressive Hippodrome on your left. This was a 15,000 seating capacity hippodrome that was constructed for a city of 30,000. So you can well imagine the size! And you can take a pretty good guess where the city headed for entertainment!
The hippodrome was the arena for charriot races and gladiator fights in the ancient times. In the current day and age, it is the seat for an re-enactment of what what life was like in the Roman era.
The Roman Army and Chariot Experience or RACE, as it is known, will take you back to the Roman times, as a young Roman soldier, belonging to the Legion 6 of the Roman Army walks you through the life, battles, travails and death of Roman legionnaires.
As he narrates, trumpets herald the entry of Legion 6, turned out in their armour, armed with their Gladiatus (sword) peelus (Spear) and (Sheild). The legionnaires walk out into the Hippodrome and proceed to demostrate the tactics of warfare employed by the Roman legions. They demonstrate battle positions, manouvers, usage of weapons and enact a few battles scenes. The narrator gives you a few interesting insights into the lives and battle tactics of the Romans especially when one legion fought another! Since the legions all followed the same tactics, fighting another legion was like fighting yourself, which made it so much more difficult!
The legionnaires are followed by the rogue gladiators or the scum of Rome who were condemned to die in prisions but were trained as gladiators and had to fight in the hippodrome to entertain crowds of cheering Romans (this was a form of entertainment in ancient Rome as you might remember!!) The gladiators rush onto the field, pair off and fight, and it's up to the audience to decide whether the loser lives or dies.
The grand finale is a charriot race which had my 7 year old cheering and yelling for more!
The show is a must and should not be missed especially if you have children. Tickets cost JD 12 per person and its held at 11.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. every day. If you are staying at a hotel in Amman, the hotel will be able to provide you the tickets. If not, then they can be purchased at the site itself.