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date: 18 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The horse occupies an important place in human society by serving a variety of functions, whether as a food source or in fulfilling specialized jobs. In ancient Greece, the horse was a status symbol, owned by the elite as an indication of their wealth and prestige. Horses were paraded in processions, used in battle, and entered in athletic contests. Horse sports and especially horse racing were popular in the Greek world. Evidence shows that chariot racing appeared in the late eighth century, although neither chariot nor horse racing was included in the early Olympic games. Equestrianism was a symbol of aristocracy not only in ancient Greece but also in Roman Italy. But while the Greeks showed equal passion for horse racing and chariot racing, the Romans seemed to favour the latter.

Keywords: ancient Greece, horses, horse racing, chariot racing, Olympic games, equestrianism, aristocracy, Roman Italy

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