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META 100.00%
The upper column at the upper and lower end of the Roman circus, round which the competitors usually had to drive seven times. (Cp. CIRCUS, GAMES OF.)
The name of Circus was given at Rome par excellence to the Circus Maximus>. This was a recreation ground laid out by king Tarquinius Priscus in the valley between the Palatine and Aventine hills, south of the Capitol. Its centre was marked by the altar of Consus. A second circus, called the Circus Flaminius , was built by the censor C. Flaminius on the Campus Martius in 220 B.C. Several more were built during the imperial period, some of which can still be recognised in their ruined state. Such is the Circus of Maxentius, erroneously called Circo di Caracalla (fig. 1). Similar racecourses existed in many other cities of the empire, e.g., that still remaining amid the ruins of the town of Bovillae. The length ofthe Circus Maximus, as enlarged by Caesar, was some 1,800 feet, its breadth some 350. The seats, which rose in a series of terraces, rested on a substructure consisting of three stories of arched vaults. The lower seats were of stone, the upper of wood. Round the out side of the circus ran a building, containing booths and seats, as well as the entrances to the seats, the number of which amounted, in Caesar's time, to 150,000, and in the 4th century, after the building had been repeatedly enlarged, to 385,000. The podium, or lowest row of seats running immediately above the race-course, was protected from the wild animals by a railing and a trench (euripus) ten feet in width and depth. This trench was, however, filled up at the command of Nero. The end of the circus, at which were the gate of entrance and the partitions in which the chariots stood, was flanked by two towers (oppida) occupied by bands of music.Between these was the loggia of the presiding magistrate. The opposite end of the building was semicircular, and had a gate called the porta triumphalis, which seems to have been used only on extraordinary occasions. The senators and e quites had separate places allotted them, as in the theatre. The seats assigned to the common people were divided according to tribes, and the sexes were not separated. The eight or twelve openings (carceres ) from which the chariots issued lay, as we have already mentioned, at both sides of the entrance, and were closed with bars. They were arranged in slanting lines, so that the distance from the carceres to the startingpoint was equalized for all. The startingpoint was marked by three conical pillars (metae), standing on a substructure. Three other similar metae, corresponding to them, stood at the other or semicircular end of the circus. Between the two points where the metae stood was built a low wall (spina), extending through the whole length of the course. On this there used to stand the mast of a ship, which, after Augustus' time, gave place to an obelisk. The spina was adorned with pillars, little shrines, and statues of the gods, especially of Victory. A second and loftier obelisk was added by Constantine. The obelisk of Augustus now stands in the Piazza del Popolo, that of Constantine on the square in front of the Lateran. There was also an elevated substructure, supporting seven sculptured dolphins spouting water, and a pedestal with seven egg-shaped objects upon it, the use of which will be explained below. The games were generally opened by a solemn procession from the Capitol through the forum to the circus, and through the whole length of the circus round the spina. At the head of the procession came to giver of the games, sitting on a car of triumph in triumphal costume. He was followed by the images of the gods borne on litters or carriages, and escorted by the collegia and priestly corporations. In the imperial age the procession included the images of the deceased emperors and empresses, to whom divine honours were paid. The procession moved through the entrance, while the crowd rose up, cheered, and clapped their hands. The president dropped a white handkerchief into the arena, and the race began. Four, sometimes as many as six, chariots drove out from behind the barriers at the right hand of the spina. Then they rushed along the spina as far as the further posts, rounded these, and drove back down the left side to the starting-posts. They made the circuit seven times, and finally drove off the course through the barriers on the left of the spina. Seven circuits constituted one heat, or missus. A chalk line was drawn across the ground near the entrance, and the victory was adjudged to the driver who first crossed it. During the republican period the number of missus or heats amounted to ten or twelve, and after the time of Caligula to twenty-four, taking up the whole day. To keep the spectators constantly informed how many of the seven heats had been run, one of the egg-shaped signals, mentioned above, was taken down after each heat, and probably also one of the dolphins was turned round. The chariots had two wheels, were very small and light, and were open behind. The team usually consisted either of two (bigae) or of four horses ( quadrigoe). In the latter case the two middle horses only were yoked together. The driver (auriga or agitator, fig. 2) stood in his chariot, dressed in a sleeveless tunic strapped round the upper part of his body, a helmet-shaped cap on his head, a whip in his hand, and a knife with a semi-circular blade in his girdle, to cut the reins with in case of need, for the reins were usually attached to his girdle. The main danger lay in turning round the pillars. To come into collision with them was fatal, not only to the driver himself, but to the driver immediately behind him. The chariots, and probably also the tunics and equipments of the drivers, were decked with the colours of the different factions, as they were called. Of these there were originally only two, the White and the Red. At the beginning of the imperial period we hear of two more, the Green and the Blue. Two more, Gold and Purple, were introduced by Domitian, but probably dropped out of use after his death. Towards the end of the 3rd century A.D. the White faction joined with the Green, and the Red with the Blue. Accordingly in the late Roman and Byzantine period we generally hear only of Blue and Green. It was the party feeling thus engendered which was the mainspring of the passionate interest, often amounting almost to madness, which the people took in the games of the circus. The necessary attendants, the horses, and the general equipment of the games were provided, at the cost of the giver, by special Companies, with one or more directors at their head. These companies were distinguished by adopting the different colours of the factions. The drivers were mostly slaves, or persons of low position. The calling was looked down upon; but at the same time a driver of exceptional skill would be extraordinarily popular. The victors, besides their palms and crowns, often received considerable sums of money; and thus it would often happen that a driver would rise to the position of a contractor, or become director of a company of contractors. Numerous monuments survive to commemorate their victories. Sometimes, indeed, a Celebrated horse would have a monument put up to him. A contest of riders, each with two horses, was often added to the chariot-races. These riders were called desultores, because they jumped from one horse to another while going at full gallop. The circus was also used for boxing-matches, wrestlingmatches, and foot-racing; but during the imperial period separate buildings were usually appropriated to these amusements. Gladiatorial contests, and wild-beast hunts, were originally held in the circus, even after the building of the amphitheatre. Besides these games, the circus was sometimes used for military reviews. The cavalry manaeuvres, for instance, of the six divisions of the knights ( ludi sevirales), with their six leaders (Seviri), and an imperial prince as princeps iuventutis at their head, would occasionally be held there. Under the emperors of the Julian dynasty a favourite pastime was the Troia or ludus Troite . This consisted in a number of manceuvres performed by boys belonging to senatorial and other respectable families. They rode on horseback in light armour in separate divisions, and were practised for the purpose by special trainers.

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A chariot drawn by four horses, used in battle and in athletic games. (See CIRCUS, GAMES OF.) The cut represents a quadriga with weapons as the prize of victory.
CONSUS 42.23%
An ancient Italian god, probably a god of the earth or of crops. His altar on the Circus Maximus at Rome was covered with earth, apparently as a sign of the deity's activity in the bosom of the earth. Three times in the year only was it uncovered, on the occasion of sacrifices or festivities. The festival of Census, the Consualia, was held twice a year; on the 21st August, after the harvest, and the 15th December, after the sowing was ended. Its establishment was attributed to Romulus, and it was at the first celebration that the rape of the Sabine women was supposed to have taken place. At this festival the sacrifice was superintended by the Flamines of Quirinus with the Vestal Virgins, and was followed by a chariot race in the circus, under the direction of the pontifices. The horses and mules, their heads crowned with flowers, had their share in the holiday. In consequence of these games the god Consus was afterwards identified with Poseidon Hippios, or Neptunus Equester.
The Italian god of the sea, husband of Salacia, (the goddess of salt water), identified by the Romans with the Greek Poseidon. This identification dated from 399 B.C., when a Lectisternium was ordained in his honour by the Sibylline books. Like Poseidon, he was worshipped as god of the sea and of equestrian accomplishments. As such be bad a temple in the Circus Flaminius, whilst in the Circus Maximus the old Italian god Consus had an altar in a similar capacity. In after times Agrippa built a temple and portico to Neptune on the Field of Mars in honour of his naval victory over Sextus Pompeius and Antonius. A festival of Neptune (Neptunalia), accompanied by games, was celebrated on July 23rd. The old harbour god of the Romans was Portunus (q.v.). See POSEIDON.
GAMES 35.19%
FLORA 31.05%

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A goddess, originally Sabine, of the spring and of flowers and blossoms in general, to whom prayers were offered for the prospering of the ripe fruits of field and tree. She was also regarded as a goddess of the flower of youth and its pleasures. Her worship was said to have been introduced into Rome by the Sabine king Titus Tatius, and her special priest, the Flamen Floralis, to have been appointed by Numa. A temple was erected to her in the Circus Maximus in 238 B.C. At the same time a theatrical festival, the Floralia, was instituted at the behest of the Sibylline books. At this feast the men decked themselves and their animals with flowers, especially roses; the women put aside their usual costume, and wore the gay dresses usually forbidden. The scene was one of unrestrained merriment. From 173 B.C. the festival was a standing one, and lasted six days, from April 28, the anniversary of the foundation of the temple, to May 3. For the first five days of the games, for the superintendence of which the curule aediles were responsible, there were theatrical performances, largely consisting of the very indecent farces called mimes. On the last day goats, hares, and other animals were hunted in the circus. The people were regaled during the games with porridge, peas, and lentils. Flora was in later times identified with the Greek Chloris (See HORAe). In works of art she was represented as a blooming maiden, decked with flowers.
LACERNA 28.39%
The Latin term for a coarse, dark-coloured cloak, fastened on the shoulder by a brooch, which was in use as a protection against rain. It was provided with a hood. In later times the name was given to a light and elegant mantle, either white or dyed in Tyrian purple, which was worn over the toga to complete the costume at games or other outdoor occasions. In the time of Augustus, who forbade its use in the Forum or Circus, it formed part of the military uniform. It was afterwards commonly worn even in Rome itself.
An ancient Etruscan deity of the nocturnal heavens, to whom was ascribed thunder by night; as that by day was ascribed to Jupiter. He had a chapel on the Capitol, and his image in term cotta stood on the pediment of the great temple. Besides this he had a temple near the Circus Maximus, where on the 20th of June an annual sacrifice was offered to him. His true significance became in later times so obscure that his name was falsely explained as meaning the highest of the Manes (summus Manium) and equivalent to Dis, pater, or the Greek Pluto.
SCOPAS 24.06%
Rome. Among the Romans we find a great variety of carriages in use, for transport, travelling and state occasions. This variety is apparent in the number of different names, which cannot however always be referred with certainty to the forms of carriage presented in works of art. The various kinds of travelling-carriages must have been borrowed from abroad, as is proved by their names. The reda, for instance, came from Gaul. This was a four-wheeled travelling carriage for family and baggage, or for company. The cisium and essedum were light two-wheeled conveyances. The essedum was probably a Gaulish war-chariot, as the covinnus was a British war-chariot. The four-wheeled pilentum came also from Gaul. It was drawn by mules and generally used by the servants and suite. The pilentum and covinnus were used on state occasions. These were both covered carriages, the pilenta having four wheels, the covinnus two. The covinnus often mentioned in the literature of the empire had four wheels, and resembled a reda. We must also mention the thensa, a chariot adorned with gold and ivory, in which the images of the gods and deified emperors, lying upon a cushion on a frame or a litter, were borne to the circus through the streets and the Forum at the Circensian games. The use of carriages for travelling purposes was allowed in Roman society, but there was very little driving in Rome itself. Married ladies were from very old times permitted the use of carpenta in the city, and to drive in pilenta to sacrifices and games. The privilege was said to have been granted them in acknowledgment of their contributions to the ransom of the city after it was burnt by the Gauls, B.C. 390. In 45 B.C. Caesar finally restricted their privilege to the public sacrifices to which the Vestal Virgins, the married ladies, and the flamens also drove in pilenta. Men were strictly forbidden to drive in the city, except in two cases. A general at his triumph was borne to the circus in a gilded chariot drawn by four horses and in the procession which preceded the games of the circus, the magistrates rode in chariots drawn by two horses. Six horses were sometimes allowed to the emperor. Throughout the cities of the empire driving in the streets was generally forbidden in the first two centuries after Christ. At length, in the 3rd century, the use of a carriage was allowed as a privilege to the senators and high imperial officials, who rode in carrucae plated with silver. In later times private citizens were permitted to drive in these coaches. Wagons (the general name of which was plaustra) were, with certain exceptions, forbidden by a law of Caesar to ply between sunrise and the tenth hour (4 in the afternoon), in view of the immense traffic in the streets. Some wagons had two, some four wheels. They were generally drawn by oxen, asses, or mules. If they were meant to carry very heavy loads, the wheels would be made of one piece and without spokes.
MERCURY 22.91%
The Italian god of commerce, and as such identified with the Greek Hermes (q.v.), whose descent and other qualities were accordingly transferred to him. As protector of the corn trade, especially with Sicily, which was of such great importance to Rome, he was first publicly honoured in that city by the erection of a temple near the Circus Maximus. At the same time a guild of merchants was established, the members of which were known as mercuriales. At the yearly festival of the temple and the guild, May 15th, the merchants sacrificed to the god and to his mother, and at the Porta Capena sprinkled themselves and their merchandise with hallowed water. With the spread of Roman commerce the worship of Mercury extended far into the West and North.
The Greek name for the racecourse for horses and chariots. It was about 400 yards long and 125 broad. The two long sides were meant for spectators. At one of the narrow ends was the starting-point; the other end was of semi-circular form. In front of the middle of the latter was the goal; at Olympia a round altar of Taraxippos (possibly a demon who terrified horses). The drivers had to pass round this after they had driven down one of the long sides; then they turned back and went up the other long side to a second goal, situated near the starting-point. At Olympia this goal bore a statue of Hippodameia. Here they turned round and drove back again. Racing chariots with full-grown horses had to cover this circuit twelve times; and with young horses (according to a later custom) eight times. The name of Hippodrome was also given to the race-courses laid out in Grecian countries in the time of the Romans, after the pattern of the Roman circus (q.v.). The most famous of these was that at Byzantium, which was begun by Septimius Severus, and finished by Constantine.
Indian elephants were first used in European warfare by the successors of Alexander for the purpose of breaking through the enemy's ranks. An elephant, if completely equipped, carried on its back, besides its driver, a tower or howdah, generally containing four archers. The Romans first learned their use in the war with Pyrrhus. In the Second Punic War they got possession of African elephants, the first which they turned to their own account, and used them against Philip of Macedon. But elephants never played so important a part in the Roman armies as they had in those of Alexander's successors. They were liable to panic if the enemy frightened them with firebrands or in any other way, and in this state became dangerous to friends as well as enemies. Combats of elephants, however, were always the central attraction in the fights of wild animals in the games of the circus, and, from the time of Augustus, the chariots which bore the images of the deified emperors were drawn by elephants in the solemn procession.
The Italian god of fire and of the art of forging and smelting; corresponding to, and identified with, the Greek Hephaestus. As god of the forge, he also bears the name Mulciber, the softener or smelter of metal. As a beneficent god of nature, who ripens the fruit by his warmth, he is the husband of the Italian goddess of spring, Maia or Maiesta, who shared the sacrifices offered by his priest, the flamen Volcanalis, after he had become identified with Hephaestus. Venus, who is identified with Aphrodite, was regarded as his wife. Among his shrines in Rome the most noteworthy is that called Volcanal, a level space raised above the surface of the Comitium, and serving as the hearth of the spot where the citizens' assemblies were held. His chief festival, the Volcanalia, was kept on August 23rd, when certain fish were thrown into the fire on the hearth, and races were held in the Circus Flaminius. Sacrifices were offered to him as god of metal-working on May 23rd, the day appointed for a cleansing of the trumpets used in worship (tubilustrium). As lord of fire he was also the god of conflagrations; hence his temples were built outside the city, while his temple in Rome was situated in the Campus Martius. Juturna (q.v.) and Stata Mater, who causes fires to cease, were worshipped with him as goddesses who protect from fires, and a public sacrifice was offered to them and him at the festival of the Volcanalia. (Cp. HEPHAeSTUS.)
Greek. The racing chariots in use at the public games require especial mention. These preserved the form of the war-chariots of the heroic age, made to carry the warrior and his charioteer (see cut). They were also used at Rome in the games of the circus and in festal processions. The chariot had two low wheels, usually with four spokes each. On these rested the car (see cut), elliptically shaped in front, protected by a board rising to the knees of the driver in front, and sloping off to the rear, where the chariot was open. In the triumphal chariot of the Romans this board was breast high. At the end of the pole was fastened the yoke. This consisted either of a simple arched piece of wood, or of two rings connected by a cross-beam, and was fixed on the necks of the two horses or mules which were next to the pole. Sometimes a third and fourth horse were attached by means of a rope passing from the neckband to a rail forming the top of the front board. It was indeed the universal custom in antiquity to make the two principal horses draw by the yoke. It was only the extra horses that drew by traces, and this always at the side of the others, never in front of them. Carriages in ordinary use sometimes had two, sometimes four wheels. They were used mostly for carrying burdens. Only women, as a rule, travelled in carriages; men usually either walked or rode, thinking it affectation to drive except in case of old age or illness. It was, however, customary at Athens and elsewhere for a bride to be drawn to the house of the bridegroom in a carriage drawn by mules or oxen, sitting between the bridegroom and his friend.
TRIUMPH 11.90%
The Roman festal procession at the head of a victorious host through the city to the Capitol, the highest distinction which could be accorded to a victorious commander. Only the regular holder of the highest command (imperium), a dictator, consul, or praetor, was entitled to this honour, and that too even when the decisive victory had not been fought under his immediate direction. It was also essential that the victory should be an important one gained in a regular war; i.e. not against citizens or rebellious slaves. Permission to celebrate a triumph was granted, with the necessary expenses, by the Senate. Up to the day of the triumph, the general was obliged to remain before the city, because his command expired at the moment he entered it. Accordingly it was outside the city, generally in the temple of Bellona, that the Senate assembled to receive his report. On the day of the triumph, the procession, starting from the Campus Martius, proceeded through the Porta Triumphalis into the Circus Flaminius; then, after entering the city through the Porta Carmentalis, it marched on into the Circus Maximus, and thence to the Via Sacra, and up this across the Forum to the Capitol (see plan under FORUM). The streets were adorned with garlands, the temples opened, and, as the procession passed by, the spectators greeted it with the acclamation, Io triumphe! The procession was headed by the State officials and the Senate. Then followed trumpeters, and after them the captured spoils (see fig. 1); next came painted representations of the conquered country, models of the captured fortresses, ships, etc., either carried on men's shoulders or placed in chariots; then the crowns of honour dedicated to the triumphant general by the towns of the province, originally of bay leaves, later of gold. Then the white bulls intended for sacrifice on the Capitol, with gilded horns, decorated with ribands and garlands, and accompanied by youths and boys in holiday attire, carrying gold and silver chalices. Then followed in chains the distinguished captives who had been spared for the triumph, and whose fate it was, when the triumphal car reached the slope of the Capitol, to be dragged off to prison, there almost invariably to meet with immediate execution. Behind these followed the lictors of the general in purple tunics, with their fasces wreathed in bay leaves; then a body of musicians playing on the lyre, and priests with censers; and lastly the triumphal car, gilded, and garlanded with bay leaves, and drawn by four white horses, which were also wreathed with garlands. On it stood the general; in earlier times his body was dyed with vermilion [Pliny, N. H. xxxiii 111]. His head was wreathed with bay, and he wore the garb of the Capitoline Jupiter, furnished him from the treasury of the Capitoline temple; viz. a purple tunic embroidered with golden palm-shoots (tunica palmata), a toga decorated with golden stars on a purple ground (toga picta), gilded shoes, and an ivory sceptre in his left hand, with an eagle on the top; in his right he carried a branch of bay. Over his head a public slave, standing behind >>>>> 656 TRIUMPHAL ARCHES. him, held the golden crown of Jupiter, and, while the people shouted acclama- tions, called to him, "Look behind you, and remember you are mortal." [Tertullian, Apol. 33.] He also guarded himself against envy and the evil eye by an amulet which he wore either on his person or tied to the car. With him on the car, and some- times on the horses, sat his youngest chil- dren, while his grown up sons rode behind with his lieutenants and officers. The soldiers brought up the rear, all wearing decorations, and shouting Io triumphe! In accordance with ancient custom, they also alternately sang songs in praise of their general, and uttered ribald jests at his expense. On arriving at the temple of Capitoline Jupiter, the general, as a token of his victory, placed on the lap of the god the bay leaves wreathed around the fasces, together with his own branch of bay, or (in later times) a palm-branch, the fasces, and his laurel-shoot. He then offered the sacrifice of thanksgiving (cp. fig. 2). The festival, originally limited to one day, gradually extended itself to several. It concluded with a banquet to the State officials and the Senate, and sometimes also with an entertainment for the soldiers and people. If the permission to celebrate the ordinary triumph were refused to a general, he could undertake one on his own account to the temple of Jupiter Latiaris on the Alban Hill. If the conqueror had not fought under his own auspices, or if his exploits did not appear to merit the highest form of triumph, he was allowed to hold one of an inferior kind called an ovatio. In this the conqueror entered the town either on foot (as in earlier times) or on horseback, clad in the toga proetexta, and with a wreath of myrtle on his brow. Under the Empire, only the emperors triumphed, because the generals commanded as their lieutenants (legati Augusti), under the auspices of the emperors, and not under their own. Victorious generals were then obliged to content themselves with the ornamenta triumphalia; i.e. the right of appearing on holiday occasions in the insignia of triumph, the tunica palmata, or toga picta, and wreath of bay leaves. After Trajan's time, even this kind of military distinction ceased, as all consuls were permitted to wear the triumphal deco- rations during festal processions.
CERES 11.13%

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An old Italian goddess of agriculture. The Ceres who was worshipped at Rome is, however, the same as the Greek Demeter. Her cultus was introduced under the Italian name at the same time as that of Dionysus and Persephone, who in the same way received the Italian names of Liber and Libera. It was in 496 B.C., on the occasion of a drought, that the Sibylline books ordered the introduction of the worship of the three deities. This worship was so decidedly Greek that the temple dedicated on a spur of the Aventine in 490 B.C., over the entrance to the Circus, was built in Greek style and by Greek artists; and the service of the goddess, founded on the Greek fable of Demeter and Persephone, was performed in the Greek tongue by Italian women of Greek extraction. The worshippers of the goddess were almost exclusively plebeian. Her temple was placed under the care of the plebeian aediles, who (as overseers of the corn market) had their official residence in or near it. The fines which they imposed went to the shrine of Ceres, so did the property of persons who had offended against them, or against the tribunes of the plebs. Just as the Patricians entertained each other with mutual hospitalities at the Megalesian games(April 4-10), so did the Plebeians at the Cerealia, or games introduced at the founding of the temple of Ceres. Those held in later times were given by the aediles from the l2th-19th April, and another festival to Ceres, held in August, was established before the Second Punic War. This was celebrated by women in honour of the reunion of Ceres and Proserpina. After fasting for nine days, the women clothed in white, and adorned with crowns of ripe ears of corn, offered to the goddess the firstfruits of the harvest. After 191 B.C. a fast (ieiunium Cereris) was introduced by command of the Sibylline books. This was originally observed every four years, but in later times was kept annually on the 4th of October. The native Italian worship of Ceres was probably maintained in its purest form in the country. Here the country offered Ceres a sow (porca praecidanea) before the beginning of the harvest, and dedicated to her the first cuttings of the corn (praemetium). (See DEMETER.)
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