Chariot racing  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e

Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Shop


Featured:

Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Enlarge
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Alypius and violent Roman games

Chariot racing was one of the most popular ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine sports. Chariot racing was often dangerous to both drivers and horses—they frequently suffered serious injury and even death—but generated strong spectator enthusiasm. In the ancient Olympic Games, as well as the other Panhellenic Games, the sport was one of the most important equestrian events.

In the Roman form of chariot racing, teams represented different groups of financial backers and sometimes competed for the services of particularly skilled drivers. These teams became the focus of intense support among spectators, and occasional disturbances broke out between followers of different factions. The conflicts sometimes became politicized, as the sport began to transcend the races themselves and started to affect society overall. This helps explain why Roman and later Byzantine emperors took control of the teams and appointed many officials to oversee them.

The sport faded in importance after the fall of Rome in the West, surviving only for a time in the Byzantine Empire, where the traditional Roman factions continued to play a prominent role for some time, gaining influence in political matters. Their rivalry culminated in the Nika riots, which marked the gradual decline of the sport.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Chariot racing" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools