Roman racers faced danger at every event in vehicles designed for SPECTACLE, reveals re-enactment

Mail Online | 4/18/2019 | Ian Randall For Mailonline
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The tale of a Roman slave who became a wealthy free man and was worshipped throughout the empire for his success racing chariots in front of blood-thirsty crowds has been brought back to life.

The Smithsonian Channel studied the enigmatic character and produced a documentary detailing his extraordinary life.

Flavius - Scorpus - Times - Year - Freedom

Flavius Scorpus competed up to 600 times a year, won his freedom and established himself as one of the most skilful chariot fighters in the empire after more than 2,000 career wins.

His races and battles at Circus Maximus, one of Rome's most iconic surviving relics along with the Colosseum in central Rome, won him the affection of the notoriously fickle Roman fans.

Warrior - Slave - Spain - Century - AD

The famed warrior was born a slave in modern-day Spain in the first century AD and began racing chariots at 16 and sparking a decorated 10-year run of dominance.

His dominance has been attributed to a lifetime of practice with the lightweight chariots which were designed for speed, but often left the driver exposed.

Smithsonian - Channel - Weapons - Experts - Others

The Smithsonian Channel spoke to historical weapons experts who found others racing against the superstar charioteer came from parts of the world where they were accustomed to heavier and slower chariots, giving Flavius a distinct advantage.

He perished in the arena at the age of 26 after a mid-race crash and the tale of his ascension to fame and his ultimate demise will all be documented in the upcoming film.

Chariot - Races

They built and test-drove their very own chariot to find out just how risky the races really were.

Light and small, the chariots were made from wood and rawhide, and frequently flipped over — often with catastrophic results.

Flavius - Scorpus - Slave - Freedom - Race

Flavius Scorpus, a slave who ultimately purchased his freedom through his race winnings, was reportedly one of the most successful and famous charioteers.

He notched up an impressive 2,000 wins before...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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