Bronze model of a 2-horse chariot (biga)


British Museum

British Museum
London, United Kingdom

The very animated horse (its companion is now missing) is pulling a biga, a light racing chariot. The body of the chariot is shown as being made of bent pieces of wood lashed together with a thong, a technique which provided strength and lightness. The yoke pole, to which the horses were attached, is decorated with a ram's head terminal. Although the biga was not as imposing as the quadriga or four-horse chariot, its speed and agility still enthralled visitors to the circus. This was a long narrow structure built in many Roman towns (for example, the Circus Maximus in Rome) and was primarily for chariot racing.

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  • Title: Bronze model of a 2-horse chariot (biga)
  • Date Created: 1/199
  • Physical Dimensions: Weight: 929.00g; Weight: 461.00g (chariot only); Weight: 468.00g (horse only); Height: 20.32cm; Length: 25.40cm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Subject: horse/ass; charioteer/chariot-racing; mammal
  • Registration number: 1894,1030.1
  • Place: Found/Acquired Latium. Found/Acquired Tiber, River
  • Period/culture: Roman
  • Material: bronze
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Purchased through Rollin & Feuardent. Purchased from St Albans