The Importance Of Chariot Racing For The Romans

1793 words - 7 pages

The Importance of Chariot Racing for the Romans

Racing has been a pastime for humans ever since we were able to tame
animals and since we have had the technology to allowed us. There are
so many forms of racing in the world today that have been shaped
through hundreds and thousands of years. What is it that attracts us
to racing? Is it the speed, potential crashes or even just the
atmosphere? To answer this question many things have to be considered.

To start with lets look at the start of the Rome, at the first
celebration of the Consualia in honour of Consus (an ancient god of
agriculture) the rape of the Sabine Women is believed to have
happened. Romulus (founder of Rome) held chariot races at this
celebration. The Sabine people - An ancient tribe from the mountains
of central Italy, were invited to watch the chariot races. During this
time Rome had no women, the chariots were a distraction, as the men
were watching the Romans kidnapped the women and took them for their
own wives.

This shows a few things, we can see firstly that chariot racing has
existed from the very beginning of Rome, which obviously means it
holds a lot of importance to the Romans. This sport also was the
foundation of the plan for getting the Romans their women, and just
the fact they used it over anything else shows its significance. We
can also see that the chariot racing would have been a great spectacle
as it had the power to attract a mass of people containing enough
women to start off a colossal empire "nobody had eyes or thoughts for
anything else." Livy.

If we think about the Roman way of life, it progressively got more
involved with entertainment as things developed. At the beginning
there were very few forms of entertainment, in fact it is probably
possible to count them on one hand. They had plays, gladiators, sports
both aggressive and non-aggressive like wrestling and running other
than this there was only really music and art. Now think about how
many types we have, it is significantly larger than

What the Romans had. However, if you ask someone how important say F1
racing was to them they'd probably say not too important but that is
because we all have different acquired tastes. Back then you had too
like what was on offer otherwise you would have nothing! However there
was still some resistance to the entertainment on offer to the Romans,
Pliny the Younger complains that chariot racing is exactly the same
all the time, he then expresses his frustration at the people who do
like it because they only like it because of the type of team "It
wouldn't be so bad if they appreciated the horses' speed or drivers'
skill. But all they see is the colour of the tunic". Some direct
evidence of the Roman way of life getting progressively involved in
entertainment is that gradually the...

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