the reporter underlines that some of the most glorified individuals in the Roman myths are the charioteers and gladiators. Charioteers participated in chariot racing in the ancient Roman Empire. The circus of the Rome is one of the most popular and impressive spectacles…
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The sources reveal that most Roman charioteers died at a young age, thus implying the danger of such a career. For example, one driver for the Blue faction in around AD 68 died at the age of 25 (ILS 5284). Crescent, the driver for the Blue faction in around Ad 115-124 died at 22 years old (ILS 5285). Moreover, Fuscus, a driver for the Greens, died in around AD 35 at the age of 24 (ILD 5278). In the same way, Marcus Aurelius Polynices died at 29 and his brother Marcus Aurelius Mollicius Tatianus died at 20 (ILS 5286). All of these documented accounts of charioteers were never able to live past the age of 29. In fact, although some of the ancient Roman charioteers may have survived the race past the age of 30, charting as a career still posed as a great danger to many charioteers considering that there was always the possibility that one’s life would end early.
The sources imply that the impulse to win and to keep racing was great despite the danger because of the promise of reward and recognition, thus further endangering one’s life in the seemingly endless pursuit of such a career. The promise and temptation of the rewards accorded to the best charioteers must have been a continuous source of inspiration for many young charioteers who sought fame, fortune and recognition. For example, the driver for the Blue faction in around AD 68 received honors 354 times (ILS 5284). Glabrio, in around AD 115-124, received prizes of 1,558,346 sesterces (ILS 5285). In addition, Marcus Aurelius Polynices won the 40,000-sesterces prize 3 times, the 30,000-sesterces prize 26 times, and the pure prize 11 times (ILS 5286). Lacerta of the Reds also made as much money as to finance 100 lawyers to leave his sons (ILS 5287). Publius Aelius Gutta Calpurnianus, also won numerous awards, with the greatest at 50,000 sesterces once, 40,000 sesterces 9 times, and 30,000 sesterces 17 times (ILS 5288). Such prices have been so great and so there was always the drive in the charioteers to achieve these rewards. Moreover, erected monuments and speeches to glorify the victors even in their deaths actually served as an inspiration to many charioteers to keep on with their careers.
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