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Fans Cheering at an Ancient Chariot Race

Fans Cheering at an Ancient Chariot Race  Ancient Places and/or Civilizations Archeological Wonders Sports Visual Arts

This image, from an ancient pot, depicts a two-horse chariot race.  

Scholars believe this illustration shows an event which took place in ancient Troy, not at the ancient Olympics, but there is much we can learn from the image to help us better-understand events which occurred in Olympia.

The artifact itself is no-longer intact and is likely from the first-half of the sixth century, B.C.  The inscription, which we see written backwards, says:

Sophilos painted me. Patroclus' Games. [The reference to "Patroclus" is how we know the image is meant to illustrate an event which took place at Troy.]

We see cheering fans in this view of the object.  If we could see more of it, we would realize that spectators are sitting on both sides of a central median strip which is running down the middle of the racetrack. 

Olympia’s hippodrome had such a strip.

The image of this important fragment is from The Hellenic Ministry of Culture.


Media Credits

Image online, courtesy The Hellenic Ministry of Culture.

 

 

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