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Octōber Equus

A Roman rite originally held in honour of Mars. On the Ides of October in each year there was held a race of two-horse chariots (bigae) in the Campus Martius, after which the offhorse of the winning chariot was sacrificed by the Flamen Martialis. The tail was cut off (Arnob. vii. 24), and taken to the Regia, while the blood from it was sprinkled on the hearth of Vesta. The inhabitants of the Via Sacra and the Subura had a rough-and-tumble fight for the possession of the head. This contest was symbolical of the rivalry between the two halves of the older city. See Mommsen, Hist. of Rome, i. 53; Burn, Rome and the Campagna, p. 38; and Marquardt, Staatsverwaltung, iii. 334 foll.

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