%% Chariot Race by Rubik Kocharian
[[caption-width-right:350:Two horsepower is all they needed back then.]]

Media set in AncientRome ''will'' feature [[GladiatorGames gladiators]] or chariot racing. If it's the race, expect it to be based on the one in ''Literature/BenHur''. Expect the enemy to cheat, [[TryingToCatchMeFightingDirty play rough]], [[SpikedWheels have illegal modifications]], etc.

In real life, such antics would have got a charioteer lynched. People ''[[SeriousBusiness rioted]]'' over their favourite teams, most famously the Nika riots of 532 in Constantinople. There were four (later six) traditional teams named after colours; in the Byzantine Empire the two major factions were the Greens and Blues, and while your loyalty to the Emperor might shift, your loyalty to your chariot team was set for ''life''. Hell, loyalty to a chariot team was, on more than one occasion, the reason for an Emperor's fall.

For more modern vehicular racing, see WackyRacing.

[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure Part 2: Battle Tendency'', Joseph Joestar race chariot against vampires to gain the MacGuffin. The chariots are drawn by vampire horses! To nobody's surprise, the vampires cheat like there is no tomorrow.

[[folder: Board Games ]]
* Creator/AvalonHill's old ''Circus Maximus'' game was about chariot races.

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* ''Recap/AsterixAndTheCauldron'' briefly shows a chariot race in Roman Gaul as Astérix and Obélix attempt to win the money they need by betting.

[[folder: Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/TheLegendOfTotalDramaIsland'', Courtney and Heather get into a canoe race paddle battle that parodies a chariot racing scene from ''Literature/BenHur'', wherein the racers took to whipping each other instead of their horses. Ezekiel and Lindsay are the obedient "horses" who continue to paddle whilst the alpha cats have their fight.

[[folder: Film]]
* ''Literature/BenHur''
** The race is the TropeCodifier featuring SpikedWheels (Messala's "Greek chariot"), Messala whipping his horses and any driver within range, if you're tossed from the chariot, there's a token attempt at retrieval.
** In the silent movie version of ''Ben Hur'', apparently one of the more spectacular accidents in the chariot race [[EnforcedMethodActing wasn't staged]], and the stunt driver only barely escaped with his life.
* It's more of a joyride between two good friends, but Commodus and Livius playfully race each other in the opening scene of ''Film/TheFallOfTheRomanEmpire''.
* The ''Franchise/StarWars Film/ThePhantomMenace'' pod race is more than just a futuristic version of chariot racing: the sequence of the pod race and plot developments during it is straight out of ''Ben-Hur''.
* There's a little-known parody movie of ''Literature/BenHur'' and ''Film/TheTenCommandments'', where the obligatory chariot sequence has TheRival's chariot look like the Batmobile modified to serve as Darth Vader's personal tank.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePrinceOfEgypt'' introduces us to near-adult Moses by showing him racing through the city with adoptive brother Rameses, [[DrivesLikeCrazy creating various forms of havoc]].
* One happens in the climax of ''Film/{{Pompeii}}'' and in the streets of the titular city as the infamous eruption of Vesuvius happens: [[spoiler:[[BigBad Senator Corvus]] rides a chariot in an attempt to escape the doomed city with [[DamselInDistress Lady Cassia]] and [[TheHero Milo]] chases them on horseback. The chase ends as the chariot crashes into a temple, culminating in the last fight]].

[[folder: Literature]]
* ''Assassins of Literature/{{Gor}}'' has Tarn races - basically the same thing, except with giant birds people ride.
* Creator/TanithLee's novel ''Vazkor, Son of Vazkor'', aka ''Shadowfire'', has a chariot race that's an obvious homage to ''Literature/BenHur''.
* ''Literature/TheRomanMysteries'' book ''The Charioteer of Delphi'' has a mystery about someone trying to sabotage a chariot race. Like everything else about the series, the history was carefully researched and the portrayal of the racing is very accurate.
* ''Literature/TheSarantineMosaic'' by Creator/GuyGavrielKay has a subplot involving chariot racing, in a FantasyCounterpartCulture to 6th-century Constantinople.

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* Showed up in an episode of ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'', where Xena races Caligula.

[[folder: Tabletop RPG ]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Runequest}}'''s ''Monster Coliseum'' had rules for chariot racing.
* In ''TabletopGame/RocketAge'' the Martian royal caste often race in chariots pulled by a pair of Royal Karns,3.5 metre tall bipedal birds.

[[folder: Video Games]]
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Caesar}}'' games, you can build a Circus in your city to entertain the citizens.
* ''VideoGame/CenturionDefenderOfRome'' features a chariot race as one of the mini-games.
* There's an actual UsefulNotes/WiiWare game called ''Heracles Chariot Racing'', which is a ''VideoGame/MarioKart''-esque WackyRacing chariot game.
* Twice in ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheTwoThrones'', the titular hero does this to advance the plot -- first by reaching Babylon and then chasing down one of the antagonists. The player has to not only pick the proper way to turn (which may not always be obvious) but also ram into enemies and strike them out of the chariot before they can kill you.
* Parodied in ''VideoGame/SaintsRowIV: Enter the Dominatrix'' with a sequence that starts at a sex club, so the "chariots" are pony carts pulled by furries or leather-clad submissives. And the charioteers are shooting assault rifles at each other. And the carts [[DefeatEqualsExplosion explode]] when their "steeds" are slain. And there's a pair of sports announcers providing running commentary and introducing racers like "Rusty's New Trombone" and "The Mischievous Gimp." But the OrchestralBombing going on during the sequence sure makes it feel as epic as the example from ''Ben Hur''.

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* WesternAnimation/BackToTheFuture, "[[Recap/BackToTheFutureTheAnimatedSeriesS1E5RomanHoliday Roman Holiday]]". Marty, Doc, Jules and Verne went to Ancient Rome, where Marty (as Marticus) had to enter a chariot race against Bifficus ([[BerserkButton Bifficus called Marty by an Ancient Roman expression translated by Marty's device as]] [[AesopAmnesia "Chicken"]]) and had to lose for sake of space-time continuum because otherwise people would (according to Doc) revolt against Bifficus, which would prevent Caligula from becoming Emperor of Rome. Doc described it as key event to the end of the Roman Empire.
* This happens in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Care Bears|1980s}}'' set in Ancient Rome times.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheCattanoogaCats'': Motormouse and Autocat participate in a chariot race as part of scene in a movie being filmed with them in "Lights! Action! Catastrophe!" Naturally, Autocat finishes on the short end.
* WesternAnimation/InspectorGadget helps one of his ancestors win a chariot race in the TimeTravel arc of the series.
* There was a chariot race in a ''WesternAnimation/LaffALympics'' episode. Dread Baron (Rottens) won it; Doggie Daddy (Yogis) got second place; and Dynomutt (Scoobys) made it third.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' episode "Greece Lightning", the boys stage a chariot race through Danville's streets after learning about ancient Greece.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The Roman and Byzantine chariot races, of course.
* [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harness_racing Harness racing]], which is especially popular in Scandinavia. It involves on single-horse races with a light chariot called ''sulky''.