CHAPTER FIVE: COLOR WARS:ROMAN CHARIOT TEAMS



CHAPTER FIVE: COLOR WARS:ROMAN CHARIOT TEAMS

CHAPTER FIVE: COLOR WARS:ROMAN CHARIOT TEAMS 150 150 rhecht

In Petronius’ Cena Trimalchionis, Trimalchio chides his slaves Philar-gyrus and Carius, ‘you are such terrible fans of the Greens.’ [Petron. Sat.70.] The use of color in games, which is reflected in literature, makes a powerful statement about the Romans and their loyalty to sports teams. The four chariot teams were known by their colors: Green, Blue, Red, and White; Domitian tried, unsuccessfully, to add two more, Purple and Gold.[Baran (1983) 396–397 and n. 156; Suet. Dom., 7.1; Dio Cass. 67.4.4. The color-terms in Greek are πορφυρυν (modern Green: “purple”) and χρυσουν (modern Greek: “gold”).] The chief rival teams were the Blues (whom Vitellius and Caracalla supported, and whom Domitian particularly disliked) and the Greens, who evidently enjoyed the greatest popularity: supporters of the Greens range from a whole gallery of emperors at one extreme (Caligula, Nero, Lucius Verus, Commodus, and Elagabalus) to Trimalchios butler at the other.[Dio Cassius in 63.6.3 describes Nero publicly singing with a lyre, driving a chariot and decked out in the costume of the Greens, topping it off with a charioteer’s helmet.] Juvenal snorts that a defeat of the Greens was like a second Cannae.[Juv. 11.200.]

Link: https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.31826/9781463235420-008/pdf



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