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Lecture 11

CLA233 Lecture 11 Notes

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Michael J.Dewar

CLA233 Lecture 11 Notes Circus - horse/chariot race very important - could be attended by non-Romans - place where Romans met as a community - toga – worn by male Roman citizens - must wear toga at the circus - best seats reserved for Roman citizens - women could sit with the men, often with children as well – family event - association with families, fun, entertainment - thousands of Roman citizens - many circuses in Roman empire and quite a few in Rome - circus races could last as much as 40 to 50 days per year - chariot race – often with four horses, quadriga, but also biga, the two horse chariots - as many as two dozen races – most important races were scheduled to be first or last - each team could enter two or three races - races were quite quick - spina – white backbone around which chariots had to race - average speed of 35 km/h - factio – team – marked by their colours – blue, green, red, white - might have one chariot per team in the race, but often had two or three others – the lead chariot was their racer – the other chariots were trained to obstruct other teams - prize money to only the first place – large sums of money - carceres – starting boxes – where horse and driver are “imprisoned” - man in charge of giving the games – often a magistrate or even the emperor - magistrate stood in pulvinar – took his dinner napkin and dropped it to signal the start of the race - mappa – dinner napkin - drop of mappa – signal to slave to open the carceres and for trumpets to sound - space at meta – “turning post” – concrete based with brick - highly dangerous profession – chariots could be smashed easily - communities in which different neighbourhoods picked teams - chariot drivers – real heroes - chariot race is very dangerous – very light and vulnerable and very easy to overturn - charioteer – slim and muscled – often very young – paid in retainer fees - very skilled charioteers could make very large amounts of money A Real Star - epitaph to chariot driver - most famous charioteer whose epitaph survives - Diocles – “glory of Zeus” - charioteer is clearly an ex-slave - lived a long time for a charioteer – about 42 years - only sixteen when he first started – won his first race at eighteen years of age - switch of factions – perhaps through contracts - opening races – special events with large prizes - won nearly 36 millio
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