Greek Horse Races, Politics, and Identity

Alte Geschichte: Online News

(Diesen Text auf Deutsch lesen)

Everything was different at the Olympic Games of AD 67: they were held two years too late, musical contests had been added to the programme, and the victor was known before the competition had even started. The initiator of these changes was the man who saw himself as the most versatile athlete of the ancient world: the emperor Nero. According to our sources, he had become a little too ambitious in one discipline, though: his attempt to drive a ten-horse-chariot failed and he fell off the chariot much to the hidden amusement of the spectators.

In many ways the games of AD 67 were exceptional, and after Nero’s death, they were annulled and deleted from the victor lists. One aspect was not exceptional at all, however: the participation of prominent people in the horse races. For the hippic events, the Olympic victor lists read like…

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