Other than stipulations regarding whether a race was for two- or four-horse chariots, there were no formal or consistent rules for chariot racing in antiquity. Between the start of the race and the 7th and final lap, anything was fair game. Although less violent than the gladiatorial games, chariot racing was still a very dangerous and often deadly sport.
Chariot races sometimes involved as many as 12 chariots at a time. The sand floor of the Circus Maximus, a large outdoor arena in Rome that measured almost a half mile in length, prevented lane designation, so drivers had to be astute. Lighter chariots won races, and it was not uncommon for collisions to result in drivers being tossed from chariots and subsequently trampled.
Chariots and their horses were usually owned by wealthy Roman citizens. Building the lightest and most efficient chariot was often costly. Because lighter chariots did not perform well in collisions, however, they frequently had to be replaced. Due to the dangers of the sport, chariot drivers were usually slaves or servants who, like gladiators, were specially trained in the sport. The spoils of the victory, however, usually went to the owner. It is believed that chariot racing was the sport that inspired the Olympic games.Learn More
The culture of ancient Greece produced many accomplishments, such as art that remains among the world's finest, the first valid approaches to science, the first works of literature that remain in the canon of classics and significant contributions to mathematics. Later societies relied on Greek discoveries in mathematics and science all the way up until the Renaissance and even until the Industrial Revolution in many instances.Full Answer >
One of the main reasons that ancient Greece fell to Macedonia during the 4th century B.C. was the superior tactical planning employed against Greece by King Philip II of Macedon. In addition to reorganizing and strengthening the Macedonian military forces, King Philip II relied upon diplomatic strategies, bribery, trickery and the information provided by his intelligence service to gain a significant advantage over the Greek city-states. Philip II was also adept at playing his enemies against each other, and the military maxim "divide and conquer" has been credited to him.Full Answer >
The ancient Greek city of Megara had a tyrannical government. Megara began its existence as a protectorate of Corinth, which directly ruled the city as one of its territories. In the 7th century B.C., the city staged a successful revolt against Corinthian rule and became a tyranny under its king, Theagenes.Full Answer >
Located at the southeastern portion of Europe, Ancient Greece, which is in the same place as modern-day Greece, was and is the most southern country of the Balkan Peninsula. Ancient Greece dated back to the 8th century B.C. as evidenced by writings from that period.Full Answer >