Chariot racing (Greek: ἁρματοδρομία harmatodromia, Latin: ludi circenses) was one of the most popular ancient Greek,Roman, and Byzantine sports. Chariot racing often was dangerous to both driver and horse as they frequently suffered serious injury and even death, but generated strong spectator enthusiasm.
Chariot races could be watched by women, while women were barred from watching many other sports. In the ancient Olympic Games, as well as the other Panathenaic Games, the sport was one of the main events. Each chariot was pulled by four horses.
In the Roman form of chariot racing, teams represented different groups of financial backers and sometimes competed for the services of particularly skilled drivers. These teams became the focus of intense support among spectators, and occasional disturbances broke out between followers of different factions. The conflicts sometimes became politicized, as the sport began to transcend the races themselves and started to affect society overall. This helps explain why Roman and later Byzantine emperors took control of the teams and appointed many officials to oversee them.

The sport faded in importance after the fall of Rome in the West, surviving only for a time in the Byzantine Empire, where the traditional Roman factions continued to play a prominent role for some time, gaining influence in political matters. Their rivalry culminated in the Nika riots, which marked the gradual decline of the sport. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about chariot racing.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about politics in sports? Does it matter to you or not?

Art Prompt: Chariot racing

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the history of chariot racing and compare to a modern sport involving racing.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

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