Flashcards in Chariot racing and the circus Maximus Deck (18):
What were the main dangers of chariot racing?
The possibility of crashing into other chariots or the spina; cornering too close to the metae; being in tangled in reins; being run over by other chariots
How many spectators could the Circus Maximus?
Up to 385,000
How large was the Circus Maximus?
It was 600m long and 200m wide
Where did the Emperor sit?
in an imperial box called the Pulvinar, located on the slopes of the Palatine
Describe the three tiers of seating
The seating in the lowest tier was marble, the second tier was wood and the third for standing only
Who could attend chariot racing?
Men and women sat together, and slaves were allowed to watch
Why did enjoy the races?
The races were a release of tension and were
always a spectacular occasion; held on holidays
and people enjoyed seeing their heroes. Plenty of
gambling and people supported favourite teams.
Crashes always brought gasps of amazement!
Describe the metae
These were the turning posts in the form of large bronze cones
Describe the carceres
These were the twelve starting gates - they were
set in a curve so no-one had an advantage.
How was a charioteer protected?
With a leather cap, leather padding around the waist and a knife for cutting himself free from the reins
What were the different types of chariots?
Races could involve 2 [Bigae], 3 [Trigae], 4 [Quadrigae], 6 or 7 horses in the Circus, although 4 was the most common
How would a race start?
Chariots would process once around the track with images of gods before going into the
carceres. The emperor threw a white napkin into the arena a lever was then pulled to open the gates
How long was a race and how long did it last?
There were 7 laps this was about 5 miles and took 15 minutes
What were the factiones?
These were the teams sponsored by the Emperor who built stables for each team in the Campus Martinus with coaches, trainers, blacksmiths, vets and grooms
What were the different colours?
In the Imperial age there were normally four:
white [Albata]; red [Russata]; blue [Veneta]; green [Prasina]
Who became charioteers?
The charioteers were mainly professional, drawn from the lower social classes, freedmen and slaves
Who were the most famous charioteers?
The most famous charioteer was Diocles who won the equivalent of £12 million in prize money. Star charioteers were called Miliarii