Medallion, mid–Imperial, late 2nd–early 3rd century a.d.
Terracotta; Rhône valley ware; W. 3 5/8 in. (9.2 cm)
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.194.2125)
The appliquè depicts a charioteer in his quadriga, holding the victor's crown and palm branch. In Rome, chariot racing was organized into teams, each identified by a color—red, white, blue, or green. The Latin inscription to the left on the medallion indicates that the victor belonged to the Greens. The Roman circus factions, who supported the different teams, were as fanatical and devoted as modern sports fans.