Hippodrome , (Gr. Hippodrome 0800499 horse, and Hippodrome 0800500 a course), the course where the horse and chariot races of the ancient Greeks took place. The hippodrome was differently constructed according to the nature of the ground. In level countries artificial mounds were raised on both sides of it; in hilly districts a declivity was invariably chosen to form one side. The artificial mounds, or mound and declivity as the case might be, were connected at the inner end by a semicircular barrier. At the other or outer extremity was the portico, where each chariot had its stall, and whence it issued as soon as the cord which crossed the entrance was removed. A bronze eagle and dolphin were used as a signal at the time of starting; the eagle was raised in the air, while the dolphin was lowered. Along the sides of the hippodrome seats were erected for the spectators, special seats being reserved for the judges. The most celebrated of Hellenic hippodromes was that of Olympia.