Thursday, November 18, 2010

Horse racing

A mosaic depicting the four teams. Beginning of the third century AD.

Tertullian, an churchfather, tells us about the legendary beginnings of chariot racing in Rome:

"Chariots, being by such inventors brought into use, with good reason caused the charioteers also to be clothed in the colours of idolatry. For at the first there were two horses only, white and red. The white was sacred to the winter because of the white snow, the red to the summer because of the redness of the Sun. But afterwards, when luxury as well as superstition had advanced in growth, some consecrated the red to Mars, others the white to the Zephyrs, and a green one moreover to the Mother Earth or to the Spring, an azure one to the Heaven and the Sea or to the Autumn."

Tertullian - De spectaculis IX
Translated by Dodgson 1842

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