Tempo, excitement and heroes – the spectacular chariot races were a popular attraction in ancient Rome. At the Roman Festival you can experience for yourselves how the ancient charioteers felt. Your family will be a team, competing against another family. Who pulls, who steers? Good teamwork decides victory or defeat.
The biggest ancient racetrack – the Circus Maximus – stood in Rome. It had an audience capacity of 250 000 and up to 24 exciting races a day. A race consisted of seven laps. It was dangerous – the charioteer had to steer expertly in the curves, so as not to be thrown off the track. And bodily attacks by opponents were the order of the day.
In the ancient world it became the custom – as in Formula One today – that victory was as important for the owners as for the drivers. The horses, chariots and charioteers were very expensive. Only the rich could afford to keep a racing stable. The chariot races became sporting events and political propaganda all rolled into one.