Equirria ~ Ludi Octobris 2761 AUC (Nova Roma)

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Equus October

The October Equus is a multi-level symbolic race. It refers to the course of the year, of the sun, to the end of the war season, to the opposition between Rome and Its enemies, and to the old opposition Patricians vs. Plebeians.

This day, the Ludus competition, and all the people who take part in it, the People of Rome specially by the inhabitants of Via Sacra and Subura neighborhood, the magistrates and the flamines, flaminicae and priests are all important and linked actors of this ancient event.

Two races and a big scum

In fact the race is two races.

There is first a bigae race (two horses chariots) around the Campus Martius. The winner sees his (there was not "her" yet!) inner horse sacrified, and both head and tail of this horse are cut off.

Then, things split in two directions. First, the head is thrown between two sides on a ground where stands on one side a Patrician-Via Sacra inhabitants, and on the other, a Plebs-Suburra inhabitants opponent one. Immediatly, each side tries to take the head and bring it 'home', this means either in Suburra, more exactly to hang the head up on a nail of one of Tower Mamilius' wall, or on the other nail, the Regia's, located in Via Sacra, one.

This was not a pleasant fight, and it would provoke deaths every year. The one who has managed bringing the horse's head, whatever its final state, was considered like a hero in his neighborhood during the whole following year, and become famous in the whole city.

At the same time, while Romans were hitting each one for the head, a fast man would run, the horse's tail in the hand, from the Campus Martius altar to the Regia. The distance was about 3,000 pieds or 5 stadia, i.e. around 883 meters. This is roughly around two laps of a modern athletics track.

If now former Kenyan now Danish 800 m world champion since 2760 Wilson Kipketer runs this distance around 1'52", it was probably covered in the antiquity around a small 3' (specially because the ground is not flat: we have a slight slope between the forum romanum and the Quirinal hill).

The mission of this runner was simple : to run fast enough in order that, when arriving in the Regia, there be still drops of blood falling down from the tail on the Regia altar. Modern experiences have shown that, in the case of a horse sacrified in normal conditions (after a race, and just after that the horse has been felled down and *before* having bleeded it), drops will go on falling from the tail up to 3'15".

Here is the second race: against the clock.

Here is below a table of symbolic associations. Concerning the relation color-order, things were historically different, the Patricians being generally associated to both white and red, and green with personified Rome.

Color God(dess) Function Factio Dominus Major influence
White Jupiter Sovereignty and
excellence in sacrifices
Albata Cn. Equitius Marinus Patrician
Blue Portunus-Janus Safe transmission of the wealths Veneta Maxima Valeria Messallina Plebeian
Red Mars Heroïsm Russata Cn. Cornelius Lentulus Patrician
Green Flora-Venus Generous use of the wealths Praesina
(ex. Virida)
G. Aurelia Falco Silvana Plebeian

2761 Equirria events

The Equirria will be divided, in conformity with History in three times:

  • The bigae race around the Campus Martius

Classical Circenses rules apply here, except that if you win, your inner horse will be sacrified! Do not pick your rig eyes shut!

It is however recommanded that the driver be a skilled one, for inter alia this race is a part of the Final aurigae 2761 board, so do not hesitate asking one of your best drivers taking the reins!

  • The fight between Via Sacra Patricians and Suburra Plebeians

The four factiones (two on each side, see the above table) are asked to organize themselves to design at best :

- three gladiators ;
- one "champion"

1/ As we cannot recreate the giant scrumming mob that was the fight for the head, we will ask 3 gladiators to defend the honor of the Plebs-Suburra and of the Via Sacra-Nobilitas.

The gladiators, like the Curiati and the Horatii, will fight til there is just one left. This one will give the victory to her/his side (so either blue-green; or white-red). So the gladiators must be picked in the ones who have already fought for one of the relevant factiones. If it is impossible, new gladiators can be asked specially. It would be a shame, for this fight will be accounted for the Final gladiators (munera and venationes) results.

Just enroll the gladiators, and give the aedilitas their usual infos (name, height-weight-age, birth day and place and a short bio if possible).

2/ The "champion" will be one among you, Cives, that your side will have designed as dignitat/-a or -us enough to represent your side. Once your gladiator will have won for your team, he will give you the head, and you will be able to bring it back either to the Regia or to the Turrus, fully safe.

  • The race to bring the tail of the horse back to the Regia

We here introduce an un-historical context, but which remains coherent in regard of the symbolic landscape: we introduce a 2nd competing runner, and we will cut the tail in two separate parts.

The first runner is a Patrician one. This second one will be a Plebeian, who will try to reach first the Regia, which symbolizes the State as a whole, as the continuation of the Kings sovereign regal powers.

The one who looses, beside the shame to support, will have to give (if not, care to Tarpeia!!!) her/his part of the horse tail to the other. The winner will thus give to the Flamen Martis, who will have ridden back from Campus Martius as soon as the tail cut. And the Flamen will make normally his ritual in the Regia, thanks to the drops of blood drawn from the horse's tail.

For this race, the athletica race aedilician rules apply. The owners entering their runner have nothing to do, apart giving the usual infos (name, height-weight-age, birth day and place and a short bio if possible). The race will be run thanks drawing lots and a video software. The aedilitas will just take into account, as comparison element, a third fictive runner will represent... the clock, which will ring at 3'. This is possible, but...
Do not even let a chance for shame for you, your order, your neighborhood. Imagine, Patricians and Plebeians, if the other side had both head and tail !!!!!

Return to: Ludi Octobris or Curule Ludi Events Schedule for 2761 AUC

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