Circus
(1,674 words)

1. Concept and origins

The term circus (Latin circus, “ring,” “race track” for horse and chariot racing, cf. circenses, “circus games”; French cirque; German Zirkus; the word in English also has the meaning of a “circular open public space”) has two meanings of relevance here. First, the circus program (acrobatic riding, clowning, dressage, floor and apparatus acrobatics and forms of circus artistry such as high wire, trapeze, and balan…

Cite this page
Michel, Alain, “Circus”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 24 June 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_030800>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160907



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