Tuesday, 19 June 2012

A good set of wheels?




Pop quiz - why doesn't Calvus use a chariot?

Just in case you've noticed this, then I'm afraid all those 'Sword and Sandle' flicks we've seen have been...well, more cliche than accurate. You see by the time of Calvus (80BC) the 'Chariot' was archaic. The Greeks and Romans never used them in battle - because for the last 800 years or so their horses had been big enough to ride. In fact seeing a chariot on the streets back then would be like seeing a Formula One car today. Chariots were for racing...and they probably looked a lot more like a modern day trotting gig than the 'Egyptian' style you see in the movies. Roman art shows these machines consisted of a flat floor hung from leather straps above the axel. This not only gave the Roman racing chariot shock absorbers, but it kept the 'floor' level for the Charioteer to stand - rather than sit. Not quite what you saw in Ben Hur. And unless Calvus loses a bet you won't see him in one.

Find out what Calvus did use