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the two chariots started, then those of the next pair, and so on, each pair of chariots being liberated at the precise moment when those which had already started came abreast of their position; and when all the chariots formed an even line abreast of the aper of the starting place, it was a fair start. The start was given in the following manner :- About the centre of the triangular area of the starting place was a figure of a bronze eagle with outstretched wings, surmounting an altar; above the apex of the starting place was a bronze dolphin. When all the coursers were ready, up soared the eagle, to apprise the spectators that the start was going to be given, and down sank the dolphin, and the race began. The chariots had to pass several times round two goals, near one of which-probably that one most distant from the starting place—was the altar known by the name of Tararip pos, that is, the 'horse affrightener.' Of the tararippos, Passanias, our chief authority, thus writes : In form it is like a round altar; as the horses run past it they are seized with vehement terror without any apparent reason, and this fear is succeeded by utter confusion, for frequently the chariots are smashed to pieces, and the charioteers hurt; on this account the charioteers sacrifice to the altar, and pray Taraxippos to be propitious to them.'*
The spectators had seats on each side of the hippodrome, the best places being reserved for magistrates and other importan: personages. The management of these races was under the control of three stewards (Hellanodicæ), who decided doubtful cases, bestowed the prizes, and gave orders to the police and other officers. From the number of chariots that frequentls entered the lists at these Olympic festivals, and the wealth and importance of the owners or drivers, these races must have been rare treats to the racing public of ancient Greece.
We have no information about the regulations relating to the weights of the riders, but as all competitors had to undergo a sort of preliminary training for thirty days before the races, we may suppose
such rules to have existed. The ancients rode without saddles, and consequently without stirrups. At the Olympic games the riders discarded all clothing, the bit and bridle and whip formed the sole accoutrements. No person who had been guilty of any sacrilegious act, or had been branded with Atimia, was allowed to enter his horses. Competitors had even to prove that they were freemen, of pure Hellenic blood, and that they had undergone the necessary training. The only prize given to the winner was an olive crown, cut from the sacred tree which grew in the
* • Eliac. Post.,' cap. xx. $ 7.
grove or Altis in Olympia; palm branches were also placed in his hands. His name, family, and native country were publicly proclaimed before the representatives of assembled Greece; his statue was placed in the Altis, and he himself re-entered his native town in a triumphal procession, and poets sung his praises in loftiest strains. Notwithstanding the admirable manner in which these games were conducted, and the strictly honourable feature which they bore, delinquents amongst the competitors were far from uncommon. Every rider or charioteer was bound in honour to win the race if he could. Bribery was strictly forbidden, and punished by heavy fines; but we learn from Pausanias that such instances were frequent, as attested by the numerous statues to Grecian deities to be seen in his time in the sacred grove. The cost of these statues was defrayed by fines for bribery.
The Roman horse and chariot races took place in the Circus Maximus, and although formed on the model of the Greek races, they differed from them in some respects. Horses were drawn ahead of a chalked rope (alba linea), which was loosened on one side from the pillar to which it was attached, and a fair start was thus effected. The signal for dropping the rope was given either by the sound of a trumpet, or by letting fall a napkin, hence the expression of Juvenal, “spectacula mappæ.' It is said that this latter custom arose from the occasion of Nero throwing down his napkin when at dinner as a signal to start the race, for which the people were becoming impatient.
The usual number of chariots which started for each race was four. The drivers (auriga, agitatores) were also divided into four companies, each distinguished by a different colour, to represent the four seasons of the year, and called a factio ; thus, factio prasina, the green, represented the spring, whence (Juv. Sat. xi. 196), Eventum viridis quo colligo panni; factio russata, red, the summer; factio veneta, azure, the autumn; and factio alba, or albata, white, the winter. The driver stood in his car within the reins, which went round his back. This enabled him to throw all his weight against the horses by leaning backwards, but it greatly enhanced his danger in case of an upset, and caused the death of Hippolytus. To avoid this peril, a sort of knife or bill-hook was carried at the waist for the
purpose of cutting the reins in a case of emergency.* Down the centre of the area of the circus there ran a long low wall called the spina, and the course was so many, generally seven, times round this wall. In Rome,
* See numerous figures illustrative of ancient chariot-races in Montfaucon's 'L'Antiquité expliquée et représentée en Figures.' Paris, 1719. a
Field Sports of the Ancient Greeks and Romans.
unlike Greece, the winning charioteers or riders received, as the prize, money, often in large sums; hence they were frequently men of considerable wealth. Cards of the races (libelli), with the names and colours of the riders and drivers, were handed about, and betting was carried on with perhaps as much vigour in the days of ancient Rome as in those of modern England.* And, indeed, it would be interesting to compare, did space allow, the spirit with which the ancients entered into their various field sports with that of our modern Nimrods. We have seen how fully deserving the ancient Greek sportsman was of the name. He loved sport for its own sake, and we think that he will contrast favourably with many a country squire of our own time; at any rate, we can conceive the contempt with which Arrian would have regarded the modern system of killing, by hundreds in a day, tame pheasants reared under hens, a pursuit whose especial object seems to be to destroy more game than your neighbours, an occupation which too many of our country gentlemen dignify by the name of sport, but which the genuine sportsman will consider more correctly described by words somewhat altered from certain well-known lines, as Stupid, unmeaning, slaughterlike, degraded,
ART. VII.-1. Le Maudit. Par L'Abbé *** Cinquième Edi
tion. Paris, 1864. 2. La Réligieuse. Par L'Abbé * * *. Dixième Edition. Paris,
been for centuries the effects on England and France as to character, morals, and religion of the mutual relations of the two nations to each other would be a work which could scarcely be exceeded in interest. In war it is plain at once that the one has ever been the whetstone of the other's chivalry. Pre-eminently is this true of England, whose insular security and large commerce might by degrees have sunk it into Dutch habits of unwarlikeness, if it had not been for the perpetual stirring by our fiery neighbours of the stagnating streams which
* For further information on this subject the reader must consult Pausanias; nor must we omit to mention the admirable articles, · Hippodrome,' 'Circus,' and • Olympia,' in Dr. Smith's · Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities,' from which source we have borrowed some of the above remarks.
are wont to sleep in the level lands of increasing national wealth. Every attack on England, every returning invasion of France, kept alive the martial spirit which might otherwise have slumbered to the death. For the temper which had been bred in those who fought at Agincourt and Cressy spread with the returning army through the island. So Shakespeare describes the return of Henry the Fifth ':
Athwart the sea : behold the English beach
Act V. Scene 1. In manners too, and even in religion, the same influence, though far more subtle in its action, may undoubtedly be traced. And as to all of these England' has for the most part in times past, in spite of occasional outbreaks of Anglomania, been the receiving and France the imparting people. The history of dress may prove and illustrate this. How invariably has Paris reproduced itself in London. What a confirmation of it would our milliners' shop-windows exhibit; what proofs would be furnished by the confidential communications, if they could possibly be published in a Blue Book, which take place between the leaders of fashion and the accomplished artistes who execute and guide their capricious will; and this sparkling foam upon the wave's crest tells accurately enough which way the deeper currents are sweeping.
But though this is true of the past, it seems probable that, except, we trust, so far as regards military rivalry, it will be unspeakably more true of the future. For good or for evil the intercourse which now exists and daily increases between France and England is such as would never have been dreamed of by our fathers. The commercial treaty which has done so much to augment this intercourse is as much a result as a cause of this new unity between the nations. The influence of no single person can for an instant compare with that of the present Emperor in having brought about this result. Having seen with his wonted sagacity that the interests of France would be largely promoted by the upgrowth of kindly offices and increased intercourse between her and ourselves, he has, ever since his reign began, promoted its increase with a steady farsightedness of action possible only in one who combines his deep silent insight into affairs with his resolute and unaltering determination to see at last effected whatever he has once designed.
Every year of his reign has increased, and probably will increase, the straitness of our union; and though at first
sight it might seem as if the religious separation of our people from all visible communion with the Church of the West would forbid, as to that subject matter, any influence of France upon us, yet a deeper investigation of the case would show the poverty and lack of insight betrayed in such a conclusion. The lower tier of clouds, which to unenlightened eyes usurp the whole heavens, are themselves acted on and swayed by the higher currents which sweep unseen through the firmament; and tempers of unbelief and of devotion diffuse themselves with a wonderful equality of flow like atmospheric influences, ever present and prevailing, around outward institutions the most various in form and appearance. Separated, therefore, even as we are from others, we cannot safely disregard the ebbs and flows of religious belief on the other side of the Channel. It may be that there is before us the prospect here too of an increased union. Many pregnant signs suggest the possibility of the Empire leading the way to the establishment of a church far more really national than France has ever yet seen; such an one as floated in idea before the eager gaze of the youthful Bossuet; such an one as England's contemporary Archbishop was sanguine enough to believe might one day, when more perfectly reformed, be knit by open bonds of spiritual alliance to the Island Church.
At such a time it must be a matter of more than common interest to English Churchmen, especially, to know the real state and temper of religion in France. This the three notable sets of volumes which we have named at the head of this article are intended to set forth. Their author is a distinguished French Abbé, mixing with the religious and literary society of Paris, and who, though well known as the writer of these obnoxious volumes, has never afforded in his faith or conduct any mark at which the keen eye of religious jealousy could aim, so as to secure his long-coveted suspension from the ministry. For in France it would answer many a page of argument, if the ultramontane scribe could but indite against the reasoner, 'C'est un interdit.' The three works, taken together, explain the whole question; and the briefest way in which it can be set before our readers is by following the lead of the three works themselves, in the order of their appearance. They bear the questionable shape of novels—a reproach repeatedly flung in the face of their author. He has as constantly replied, that he has adopted that form only because the novel is the most popular literature of the day, and his desire is to be read. He quotes, in self-defence, other great ecclesiastics to justify his form of publication, •Le prêtre' (he says) •qui a écrit “ Le Maudit” a fait comme