Roman chariot racing was a very intense bit of entertainment that the Roman people and the Etruscans loved to watch because it was dangerous very fast pace some were long and one would have to have good endurance. These races were no easy tasks, an argument that is almost as old as the sport itself is “is chariot racing a sport or not? ” many say it is not because there is not very much physical activity and that the horses are doing all of the work. Others say it cannot be ruled out because of the skill, abilities and coordination the driver had to possess.
Roman chariot racing had a few things that made it extra exhilarating to watch than a modern day chariot race such as Nascar. First off there was no protection of the driver besides his ability to stay on and control the massive beasts that propelled him forward, there was no head gear or anything but what you were wearing. Next there were other drivers and ramming was not uncommon and the ground was not as good as it is today there could be uneven surfaces that could cause a fall or a flip. Hardcore chariot-racing fans shot back that the heightened reflexes needed to avoid collisions, the hand-eye coordination required to maneuver the chariot itself, and the physical endurance necessary to withstand the long races all made it a viable athletic contest. ” ( Roman Populace Constantly Argues Whether Chariot-Racing Is Actually A Sport) The drivers had to have precision driving abilities and amazing hand eye coordination that could maneuver without flipping or pushing the animals to hard at the beginning that would cause them to be at extreme exhaustion at the end of the race.
The drivers were not ordinary people and had to have these skills to compete or else they would most likely die in the race or be seriously injured, just because of the immediate dangers the race possessed. This makes it a very competitive and exhilarating sport. “Sport: An activity in which players or teams compete against each other, usually an activity that involves physical effort” Macmillan Dictionary. This makes chariot racing a sport because it meets all the requirements such as players competing against each other and physical effort is exhorted.
The Romans were very fond of this sport mainly because their culture was one of being tough and it was warrior based and this sport was a tough race and people did die in it, from either being thrown off the horse to being trampled or the whole chariot flipping over and crushing the driver. There could be up to twelve drivers in the race at the same time creating more of a chance for a bump and a flip or the driver being caught by the reigns and being dragged to his death or trampled. “Many drivers were thrown from a broken or overturned chariot.
They could then be trampled and killed by the charging horses, or get caught in the reins and dragged to their deaths. ” (Chariot Races) The Romans were not the ones who started the chariot racing but they were one of the people groups who organized a large amount of it and they had some of the largest arenas such as Circus Maximus which held about one hundred thousand people. The people that they got the idea from were the Etruscans who got it from the Greeks who came up with the idea.
The races became cultural because almost entire towns would stop working because the races were being held, it can be compared to a modern day soccer game in Madrid, everyone watches these events. The races were very competitive and the winner was awarder with a palm frond and glory for winning for a good amount of time. In conclusion chariot racing was a very exhilarating sport that was very dangerous that became very cultural and one of the romans earliest and most watched form of big entertainment. It was a hard and tough sport that required a set of skills such as coordination, good judgment, endurance and a great deal of luck.
* Chariot Races, PBS. org, 2006 http://www. pbs. org/empires/romans/empire/chariot. html * Sport:an activity in which players or teams compete against each other, usually an activity that involves physical effort; Macmillan dictionary 2010 Macmillan Publishers Ltd * Roman Populace Constantly Argues Whether Chariot-Racing Is Actually A Sport, the onion. com, December 14th