Chariot racing was the most popular sport in ancient Greece and Rome. It is hard to imagine that 2,000 years ago as many as 250,000 people would gather in the Circus Maximus in Rome to watch chariot races. With dozens of races each day, the races consisted of 5 to 12 laps around the almost one mile long track.
The charioteers, although usually slaves, could become celebrities if they survived long enough to rack up a string of victories. The chariots themselves were flimsy and light weight, consisting of little more than a floor on wheels. Spectacular crashes happened daily, as it was a common practice to try and wreck your opponents by forcing them into the walls of the track.
The races allowed the average Roman citizen the chance to enjoy their passion for betting. As the races become more organized racing teams were formed, and like our professional football or soccer, fights often broke out in the stands between supporters of different teams.
The most common chariot was pulled by four horses, called a quadriga. Less common was the two horse chariot, known as a biga, or the three horse chariot, the triga.
The races were such an important part of everyday life that depictions of chariots are found on a variety of common objects, including vases, plates, and coins. We are pleased to offer a collection of these authentic ancient coins set in handcrafted 14kt gold pendants.