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What was a chariot racing day like for the spectators and drivers in Roman times in the most famous Circus Maximus.

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Introduction

1493 words excluding sources and bibliography What was a chariot racing day like for the spectators and drivers in Roman times in the most famous Circus Maximus. The Circus Maximus was the oldest and the largest of all the circuses where chariot races took place holding up to 250, 000 spectators. It was traditionally founded in the sixth century BC by Tarquinius Priscus, the fifth king of Rome. In 329 BC, permanent starting gates were constructed and, in 174 BC, that they were rebuilt and seven large wooden eggs were set up to indicate the completion of each lap. The track was originally formed by the low ground of the valley. Inside, the track was covered with a bed of sand which sparkled with bright mineral grain. The lower seat tier was made out of marble, the second was made out of wood and the third seemed to have offered standing places only. This is a model of Circus Maximus in completion. All around it is the seating and there is a tiny building in between where the judges must have been. The charioteers must have started on the left in the starting gates; the Romans called it the Spina Metae. ...read more.

Middle

He then imagines himself as one of the charioteers and the woman is cheering for him. He explains how he successfully wins in this imagination. 'Hurrah, he's done it! You've got what you wanted sweetheart. That only leaves me-do I win too?' By him, he refers to himself. He expects at the end that he'll get what he wants from the lady. 'She's smiling. There's a promise in those bright eyes. Let's leave now. You can pay my bet in private.' Each race consisted of seven laps. The number of races held in one day was increased to 12 laps in the early empire under Augustus. Under Caligula, the number was doubled to 24 races. Whatever the amount of laps, Romans were keen anyway to watch mainly for their gambling habits. Others appreciated the skills of the drivers, spills and the thrills. There were serious frequent accidents. Deadly nature of the races was one attraction for Roman spectators. They came to the circus expecting and hoping to see crashes and broken, mangled bodies of horses and drivers. Most of them really didn't care about how they charioteers won, but whether they won. There were four teams, red, white, blue and green each called 'factio' which means factions. ...read more.

Conclusion

In those days chariot racing was very dangerous and this was mainly what attracted young viewers and the fact that the Romans loved violence. We live in a more civilized society where we don't believe in violence and believe in animal rights making modern horse racing so boring and dull. The horses must have been treated and trained more harshly in Roman times than today. Jockeys treat their horses with respect nowadays. The Roman spectators I think are much uncivilized. The man who was attracted by the woman next to her would have been accused of sexual assault if he did that in modern times. The crowd of modern times are similar to Roman times except the fact that we're allowed to sit anywhere we want and everyone is equal and more civilized. In Roman times, the crowd would be more interested in the game and would go ballistic if they're team won. Modern horse racing follows a strictly organized procedure. Horses are saddled and jockeys mount in the paddock area in full view of the spectators. Often escorted by outriders and riders on lead ponies, the horses are positioned in individual stalls within the starting gate, located at the starting line. When the field, as the entrants are collectively called, is evenly aligned, the starter presses a button to open the stall gates. This is rather similar to Roman chariot racing. ...read more.

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