Terracotta medallion

Period: Mid-Imperial

Date: late 2nd–early 3rd century A.D.

Culture: Roman

Medium: Terracotta; Rhône valley ware

Dimensions: width 3 5/8in. (9.2cm)

Classification: Vases

Credit Line: Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917

Accession Number: 17.194.2125


The appliqué 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.