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date: 27 January 2023

transport, wheeledlocked

transport, wheeledlocked

  • Nicholas Purcell


The wheel played a prominent role in traction in the ancient Mediterranean lands (contrast its absence in pre-Columbian societies of the Americas). It is more difficult to gauge its economic and social efficacy.The role of chariots in the poems of *Homer (an echo of the late 2nd-millennium fashion for this form of warfare, also apparent in Indian epic), established an élite function for light wheeled vehicles: this was reinforced by their use for a variety of ritual movements of cult-personnel or objects. Such vehicles were essentially for use over short distances, whether in war or religion. The war-chariot continued to be of social and military significance in the La Tène cultures (cf. that of the *Vix burial, c.500 bce; see also celts), which may have had some influence on Italic and Roman practice, in which the tensa for religious images, and carpentum or pilentum for privileged participants (such as matronae from 395 bce, Livy 5.


  • Science, Technology, and Medicine

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