Translated from Latin, "circus" means "round". Back in the 18th century, Englishman Philip Astley calculated that the optimal diameter of a circus arena is 42 feet (13 meters). It is with this diameter that the back of a horse running through the arena will have a constant angle of inclination. And what is a circus without equestrian tricks? Many years have passed since then, but the size of the arena remains unchanged.
By the way, Philip Astley is also considered the founder of the clownery genre. He hired people who were completely unable to control a horse. Naturally, such a person would fall, causing the audience to laugh. Most often, it was possible to persuade a drunk person for such a role. That's why the clown has a red nose.
Clowns are superstitious people. For example, they think that gnawing seeds is a bad omen. The box office may drop, or, as the clowns themselves say, "you are beating the audience." But the number 13 is considered lucky for circus artists, it is not without reason that the arena's diameter is 13 m. The Moscow circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard is located in house number 13, and its stalls have 13 rows.
In 1833, the American trainer Isaac van Amburg, performing in London, performed a desperate trick - put his head in the mouth of a lion. Queen Victoria was delighted and attended the show five more times.
In 1972, Valentin Filatov's bear circus toured Germany. A she-bear, nicknamed Girl, drove a motorcycle so dashingly around the arena that the authorities of the city of Stuttgart issued her a driver's license.
There is a position in the circus, the name of which is even difficult to pronounce - shrehstallmaster. This is the employee in charge of the performance. In the Soviet circus, the position was called "arena inspector". And the name of this position came from three German words - speak, stable and owner.
Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev was a great fan of the circus. The Moscow circus had an underground garage for Brezhnev's car, and the secretary general climbed to the government box using a special elevator.
Animal advocates say circus training is a real mockery of animals. And they often file lawsuits in court. A few years ago, the American Ringling Brothers circus paid a hefty $ 270, 000 fine for pet cruelty. Inspectors from the Ministry of Agriculture proved that the animals were forced to enter the arena even when sick and were kept in inappropriate conditions.