Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Oxford Classical Dictionary. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 09 December 2022

transport, wheeledlocked

transport, wheeledlocked

  • Nicholas Purcell

Extract

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.

Subjects

  • Science, Technology, and Medicine

You do not currently have access to this article

Login

Please login to access the full content.

Subscribe

Access to the full content requires a subscription