Equus October 2761 Bige race report (Nova Roma)

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The Bigae race around the Campus Matius [Page under construction and translation]

Here is Campus Martius where from our C.L.C. team will report for you this special and important event in our Roman year, I mean Equus October, the October Horse. You know all that it designs the bigae race around this Campus, whose winner sees her/his left horse sacrified to Mars. This horse's head is then the matter of a competitition between Patricians et Plebeians, and its tail the stake of an about 3 minutes long athletics race from this Campus Martius to the Regia located on the republican Forum.

Marcus Verus Paenula is thus speaking, and by my sides sit O. Pedanius Speratus and Lucia Solaris Divina. Five chariots are ready to compete for this race which will propose 7 laps, like in the Circenses. The difference here is that there are no carceres, but just the alba linea, the starting rope.

(O. Pedanius Speratus): In fact the number of competing chariots has been a good surprise. We had interviewed, several days ago, aedilis curilis P. Memmius Albucius who was not that optimistic, specially on the fact that both orders be represented. And today, here are five esseda, including a Patrician one, Divina...
(L.S.D.): Amor... No, I am not dreaming or thinking to my last night. Amor is this Patrician chariot's name. It is driven by Bebriaca, owner D. Octavia Aventina.
(M.V.P., smile in the voice): It is a pretty astonishing name, no?
(L.S.D. laughing): Yes, but why not? We have already met worse, and we must remind that D. Octavia Aventina is sacerdos of Venus. This is then expectable that her rig be called Amor, finally! Bebriaca is a young woman, recruited by Aventina in her country, in civitas "Tongria borealis".
(O. P. S.): So in Gallia?
(L.S.D.): Yes, provincia Gallia, regio Germania Inferior. Bebriaca drives for Whites.
(O.P.S.): There are two other Gaul rigs: the first comes from a southern land, from regio Celtica. His name is Incitatus, auriga Stolo, owned by C. Petronius Dexter. Remember that Incitatus, for its first race, has climbed up to Ludi Romani Finals, but unfortunately loosing in it against Germanica. The difference, today, is that Incitatus will run from now on for Blues. For recently his owner, C. Petronius Dexter has been honored by the Collegium Pontificum by the charge of Flamen Portunalis. And as Jupiter protects Whites, Portunus and Ianus watch on Blues. Dexter should thus change his factio. The 3rd chariot come from Gallia, is a new and eastern rig. The civis is known since several years, though very discreet, specially in fora. As far as my informations are updated, it is her first entry in the Games, or in such special event. I am speaking of L. Postumia Crispa who enters Raudus, with a young dynamic woman.
(O.P.S.): Another woman?
(L.S.D.): Yes, if you do not mind, dear Oppi...
(O.P.S., a bit confused): No, no...
(L.S.D.): Yes, after Bebriaca, here is Ferraria who leads Raudus, runs for Greens under the protection of Flora and Venus.
(O.P.S.): But Aventina is sacerdos of Venus, is not she?
(L.S.D.): I see what you mean, that Aventina should have run for Greens... Maybe, but see, that would have been a mess, for she has entered the only one Nobilitas essedum. And remember that Octavia belongs to Whites since a long time.
(O.P.S.): She could have changed when involving in Venus' service, could not she?
(L.S.D.): Well, I let you ask her the question.
(M.V.P.): Horses?
(L.S.D.): Urbi and Orbi for Raudus, Luxuria and Virtus for Amor,
(O.P.S.): Mmmhhh....
(L.S.D.): ... Sirius and Pegasus for Incitatus.
(M.V.P.): Two chariots are left, both Reds...
(L.S.D.): Yes, first the one lined up by Tribunus Plebis L. Livia Plauta, Oreas, horses Taurinum and Aquincum, auriga Statius, 21 years old, born in Rome and still a slave, it seems to me.
(M.V.P.): And last, Asterica..
(L.S.D.): Whose owner is Brasilian T. Arminius Genialis, horses Branchus and Brasae, auriga Asta Maxima.
(O.P.S.): The Parthian woman?
(L.S.D.): Yes, the elder sister of the other Asta, now retreated, who nickname was Lavista, and who would drive Beïbi, a Mesian rig.
(M.V.P.): Ah yes! I well remember her. She was indeed a singular character in the Circus. She has left and is back home, in her horses farm...
(L.S.D.): In fact, the father is still alive and owns the estate. There has besides grown up the younger sister, Asta Maxima - do not ask me why Maxima instead of Minima! - has caught the virus of Circenses, and told herself: why not me?
(M.V.P.): Well ! What is at stake, in this Equus October race, Sperati?
(O.P.S.): Well, it is first a fight for honor. When you win the Equus October, you perhaps loose a horse, but you serve Mars and Rome, and you keep famous a long time for your name is written down in our Fasti. And, on a second level, you win one point for your side, Plebs or Nobilitas, on the three at stake for the whole day. It can be decisive.
(M.V.P.): So! Let us go back to the arena... The chariots are ready and quiet now. And here we are !!! The five chariots have sprung up forward in the roaring of the crowd. We overall hear Plebeian voices, for they are more than Patricians today, and because the Plebs has thus entered four of the five running chariots. Raudus, which has been given by lots the 5th track, a produced the needed effort to quick se rabattre ahead, before the first meta, heeled by Incitatus. The second straightways is now welcoming Asterica, Oreas and Amor. This last one, the only Patrician chariot, seems watching its pace and let the others ahead, while Oreas comes now up to Asterica's side. Both chariots are now in each one's wheel, very close... Oh! They hit each other!!! But they roll on both... Second meta and second lap... What do you think about that, O. Pedanius Speratus?
(O.P.S.): Well, you sure have seen like me the sparks that has produced the metal of the wheels hubs when they hit each other. Apparently, there is no damage, at least no obvious one. Oreas' axle could be a bit bent, yes... Divina?
(L.S.D.): I think so, yes, Sperati, although at the current chariots speed, it is hard to say... Anyway, if it is true, Oreas will, more and more, loose speed. Sure, it will pay this hit in the last laps.
(M.V.P.): The meta... now Stolo leads, on Blue Incitatus, ahead of Statius, russatus, on Oreas, which passes now towards us, and which seems rather well... Here come now Asta Maxima on Asterica, red too, Bebriaca on Amor now much close of her Parthian 'colleague', then Raurarchan Ferraria on Raudus for Greens.
(O.P.S.): Oh it seems that they are rubbing themselves down... These matronae are picking their common bone together...
(L.S.D.): In fact Bebriaca tried to introduce herself into the spina's track in order to overtake Asta before the curve, and the Parthian has normally tried to close the door. Apparently, the girl from the Northern Plains have not liked that much, and she did not hesitating using her whip. And it seems that, in the half-dozen blows that she had time enough to give before the second meta, Bebriaca has managed to hit Asta's nude shoulders.
(O.P.S.): Yes, look: we can see at least one red mark on her left shoulder. And she has just put herself an eye on it.
(M.V.P.): She has speeded down, besides.
(L.S.D.): Yes, and this is sad to say, but the vice has be rewarded, at least immediatly. We are in the third lap, and soon comes its first meta. Still Stolo leading, ahead towards Ferraria now, who has taken profit that Amor was watching over Asterica, to overtake along the spina. Oreas is the last. Stolo seems well... We know that, beyond special Equus October stake, there is for the young auriga another one: to confirm his excellent show during Ludi Romani, where he just fell towards Anthropophagus and his chariot Germanica. Fourth lap...
(M.V.P.): Stolo still leading before Ferraria, herself heeled by Bebriaca... Statius in 4, and Asta has let her rig slide down in 5. The first meta is behind the group. Serious things are going to begin: just two and a half laps to run.
(O.P.S.): Well... The five chariots have just turned the curve and the 5th lap has just begun. Amor and Asterica have come back up and are now teasing Incitatus. Oreas and Raudus, which are got out of the curve second ex-aequo, are now pushed back and must close the bunch, whose pace is faster. Asterica tries to attack the spina while Amor launches a spearhead in the middle of th track. Incitatus, which has speeded down, is now close to both Brasilian and Belgian chariots. But... what happens? Incitatus has just broken down, leaving both opponents ahead at 5th lap meta!
(L.S.D.): He has got earth on the face! Yes, someone has thrown earth at Stolo's face!
(O.P.S.): Are you sure? Here we see now Incitatus trotting along in this first straightaways, and comes to stop along the rail!
(L.S.D.): Yes, yes, look: Stolo assistants are dashing to help him. We clearly one of them applying a sponge on the auriga's face. Yes, I am sure that he got earth or sand, I don't know, in the eyes, and that he could not see anything more.
(O.P.S.): He could have tried to carry on...
(M.V.P.): Ah, I think that it is easier for us to say this from our sits, here. The pace is fast, and an auriga cannot afford being half blind, specially in the curves. I think that, despite his young age, Dexter's man has preferred security here. After all, there are 3 plebeian rigs left.
(O.P.S.): So he gives up?
(M.V.P.): I think so, for he is not worthy anymore. It would have happened during the third lap, ok, but here... Oh ! Oreas' axle has just broken up in the opposite straightaways, and Statius has cleaved the air, nearly horizontal, before falling heavily on the ground! It is over for Statius and Livia's rig. Second meta...
(O.P.S.): Ferraria too! Ferraria is out too!! She had pretty well caught up and was just behind Asterica, but it seems that Raudus has been unbalanced. So the chariot bow has been thrown away to the outside of the curve, and Ferraria too. She seems having fallen deep inside the public. Oreas andRaudus eliminated, after that Incitatus just renounced. This said, do we know who has thrown the earth, or the sand?
(O.P.S. and L.S.D.): No...
(L.S.D.): Incitatus was between Amor and Asterica at this time. So it is either Asta or Bebriaca...
(M.V.P.): Incredible: this 5th lap has been almost as deadly as the battle of Cannae! First turn of the 6th lap, and just two chariots left. Listen to the Quirites all around!
(L.S.D.): Asterica before Amor, and things are not the same now.
(O.P.S.): Absolutely, while Amor is overtaking Asterica!!! Yes, now the quoting of the patrician chariot has increased a lot: it is no really fifty/fifty!
The turn, and the last lap... Amor attacks... Yes, Luxuria and Virtus, Bebriaca both horses, have taken profit of an average getting out of the turn by Branchus and Brasae, Asta's horses, to overtake along the spina and speed up.
(L.S.D.): Both chariots are now getting down the straightaways and... the turn...positions unchanged. Asterica speeds up now: it is in Amor 's back! Last straightline!
(M.V.P.): Asterica tries to pass once, and again, but Amor resists, and even takes... Yes, takes the victory! Incredible! Amor victorious, and look to all these white vexillationes wawing around Campus Martius! Whites and Patricians have won! The Plebs has lined up four esseda, but the Noble chariot has won! What a symbol!
(O.P.S.): Ah, sure, here is again an opportunity for the Plebs to get new inferiority complexes!
(L.S.D.): Well Octavia, who is pretty rare in public ceremonies this year has realized a wonderful come back.
(M.V.P.): Venit, vidit, vicit !
(L.S.D.): Exactly ! She has saved the Nobilitas from a shameful situation, I mean no bige entered, and has even won the race!
(O.P.S.): Probably everyone will see in it another symbol: the horse that will be sacrified is Luxuria, Amor's left horse.
(M.V.P.): So Virtus would have done a harsh work, the outside one, while luxury has shone but is finally sacrified, while Love survives... What a wonderful parabole!
(L.S.D.): Juste one word before the sacrifice, for I see that the chariot is trotting on to the altar of Mars...
(O.P.S.): Yes, we sure have around ten minutes before Luxuria's first blood...
(L.S.D.): Like Incitatus, Raudus and Oreas have given up inside the same lap. But Stolo has imply given up and its chariot is safe. So he is third.
(M.V.P.): Yes, right!
(L.S.D.): So we get Oreas in 5 and Raudus in4... Yes, that's it since Oreas has yielded around fifteen seconds before the Raurarchan chariot.
(M.V.P.): I see where you want to come: so the Green chariot, the one who symbolize Rome in all these kinds of official race, does not end at last place, but does not end the race, either. Aedilis Memmius Albucius is not to be that happy...
(O.P.S.): Not only Albucius, Paenula: every magistrate and pontifex - flamines first - have sure well immediatly understood that this may be not bad omen, but not that a good one. Let us hope that Luxuria's sacrifice will bring no new bad surprises, for example with the head, or that there will be blood left in the tail, over the Regia altar...
(O.P.S.): Anyway, let us remind the arrival order: 1st Bebriaca on Amor, owner Sacerdos Veneris D. Octavia Aventina, factio albata ; 2nd Asta Maxima on Asterica, owner T. Arminius Genialis, factio russata ; 3rd Stolo on Incitatus, owner Flamen Portunalis C. Petronius Dexter, factio veneta ; 4th Ferraria sur Raudus, owner L. Postumia Crispa, and 5th Statius on Oreas, owner L. Livia Plauta tribune of the Plebs.

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