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Just about every aspect of sport which we find exciting today was present in the chariot races of ancient Rome. Do you agree?

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'Just about every aspect of sport which we find exciting today was present in the chariot races of ancient Rome.' Do you agree? Chariot races were one of the main forms of public entertainment in ancient Rome and they were exciting and exhilarating events that drove the crowds of Romans wild. They can be compared to modern day sports in several ways, although I cannot agree that every single aspect we wind enjoyable about sport was present in the chariot races. The races were held in the Circus Maximus, which was a huge arena that could hold 250000 spectators or a quarter of the population of Rome. This was a massive size and would have increased the thrill of the races on a colossal scale. Similarly, we now have stadiums such as Wembley stadium, which is in fact smaller than the Circus Maximus. However, the excitement of events taking place in large arenas is certainly present in the chariot races of ancient Rome. ...read more.


However, a feature that was certainly not as exciting now as it was in ancient Rome was that the Romans enjoyed the danger of crashes or 'naufragia', resulting in serious injuries or even death for the horses and the charioteers. In a chariot race, the most likely place for crashes to happen was at the turning point of the spina. Nowadays, although we do enjoy the competition, we are not as bloodthirsty as the Romans in that we mostly enjoy the thrill of winning or losing each game rather than enjoy dangerous side of it. A modern sport that can almost be compared to the chariot races of ancient Rome is horse racing, which involves horses and jockeys racing to a finish line. This is quite a dangerous sport in itself although the jockey has more control over the horse than the charioteer would have had over their chariot pulled by around four horses. ...read more.


Although the races were exciting for the majority of Rome, we also know that many poets and writers disapproved of the chariot races, saying that charioteers did not deserve the amount of credit they were given and that it as unfair that athletic skill was favoured over academic skill. This is also similar nowadays as some people struggle to see how fans can make such a riot out of one football match, and how some sportsmen can be idolised more than good writers for example. In conclusion, many aspects that were found to be exiting about chariot races in Rome are also exiting to us now when we watch sports matches or races, with some exceptions such as the fact that we do not enjoy the brutality of the sport as the Romans did. On the other hand, the ethos of watching sport remains generally the same, and we still enjoy having a wild and passionate crowd. ?? ?? ?? ?? Arta Ajeti 11B.2 27th March 2010 Classics Miss Shaw ...read more.

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