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Bronze model of a 2-horse chariot (biga)

 

Height: 20.500 cm
Length: 25.500 cm

GR 1894.10-30.1 (Bronze 2695)

Room 69: Greek and Roman life

    Bronze model of a 2-horse chariot (biga)

    Roman, 1st-2nd century AD
    Said to have been found in the River Tiber, Rome, Italy

    A model of a racing chariot from ancient Rome

    The very animated horse (its companion is now missing) is pulling a biga, a light racing chariot. The body of the chariot is shown as being made of bent pieces of wood lashed together with a thong, a technique which provided strength and lightness. The yoke pole, to which the horses were attached, is decorated with a ram's head terminal.

    Although the biga was not as imposing as the quadriga or four-horse chariot, its speed and agility still enthralled visitors to the circus. This was a long narrow structure built in many Roman towns (for example, the Circus Maximus in Rome) and was primarily for chariot racing.

    E. Köhne and C. Ewigleben (eds.), Gladiators and Caesars: the po (London, The British Museum Press, 2000)

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    On display: Room 69: Greek and Roman life