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Melvadius

Chariot racing in the ancient Roman city Jerash

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OK it may not win awards for being 100% accurate (especially the gladiatorial action which I believe is probably done infinitely better by our own Medusa) but there is quite a fun video report on the BBC from their reporter Rajan Datar who reports on some reneactments during his visit to the Roman city of Jerash.

 

Jordan has evidence of settlements going back to 7000 BC and Stone Age man, but perhaps the most famous settlement is that of the Roman Empire.

 

In those days men were men and horses were horses and the Jenson Button's and Lewis Hamilton's of the age bestrode horse-drawn chariots. Rajan Datar unleashed his inner gladiator in Jerash, north of Jordan's capital Amman.

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I suppose there's an atmospheric hint of what it would look like, but as suggested above, the chariots are not replicas of racing vehicles used in the Roman circus.

 

Although I was pleased to see the relatively lightweight wheels, the width of the axle looks excessive. Driving practicality aside, these chariots were stripped out vehicles and the extra weight of a wider axle is significant. Remember that the chariots portrayed are essentially two-man vehicles, not single stand racers.

 

I notice they were constructed with a solid floor. Not the case in historical vehicles, which had interwoven leather strips or planks to stand on, again to save weight. Further, the front shield on the re-enactors chariots is for warfare, being an all-round protective screen facing forward. The racing chariot had a much slimmer screen for one person that didn't wrap around the sides.

 

Strictly speaking, a chariot as shown by the BBC might have only been used for training, not the actual race.

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Slightly more horses than the Romans used I'm afraid :D

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I was impressed that they at leased cared to do Roman reenactment in a country like Jordan. The legionaries looked halfway decent. Also I noticed with pleasure, like caldrail said, the light chariots. I don't know enough about Roman racing chariots to judge how authentic they were or not. Anyhow the gladiators were the worst. Nothing authentic at all. :hammer: This is really a pity because they did a good job on the other things.

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Great entertainment - thanks for sharing ! :)

 

Here, Here. . . . or is it "Hear, hear"? Why have I never wondered about that before?

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Thank you for the complements folks I found it fun and was glad to share :)

 

As to Ghost's question:

 

Hansard (the official record of parliamentary discussions in the UK) uses the term 'hear, hear' including in this example from 12 June 2006 where it occurs part way down the page beyond '12 Jun 2006 : Column 97'.

 

Checking on Wikipedia it appears that the phrase originally was 'hear him, hear him' in the 17th century but abbreviated to 'hear, hear' by the 18th. In the context of Parliamentary discussions where applause is generally not allowed this does seem highly likely to be the correct derivation. :clapping:

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As to Ghost's question:

 

Hansard (the official record of parliamentary discussions in the UK) uses the term 'hear, hear' including in this example from 12 June 2006 where it occurs part way down the page beyond '12 Jun 2006 : Column 97'.

 

Checking on Wikipedia it appears that the phrase originally was 'hear him, hear him' in the 17th century but abbreviated to 'hear, hear' by the 18th. In the context of Parliamentary discussions where applause is generally not allowed this does seem highly likely to be the correct derivation. :clapping:

 

Interesting stuff, Melvadius. Every day's a school day!

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