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Although almost nothing has left of Circus Flaminius today, we know that it existed and that it was important public place for hundreds of years where games and other public businesses were held.
Joseph Grimaldi invented the clown as we know today (a joy for some and deathly fear for other). He lived on the stage since his second year and left it everything that was his.
Circus of Maxentius is the best preserved circus from time of ancient Rome. It was designed and built with great care but it didn't see much use. Because of that we can today see, in great detail, how ancient circuses looked like.
Philip Astley combined two types of show: horse riding tricks and acrobatic acts into a type of show we today know as circus. He owned many small circuses and three large: in London, Paris and Dublin. Read more about the father of the modern circus.