Josie's 2nd Blog
This week, I decided to focus and narrow my research to just chariot racing and there was one source in particular that I was really interested in. It's an online tour on the British Museum's website---a museum I have actually been too but did not have nearly enough time to thoroughly explore---and found some interesting information. First of all, this online tour is an exhibit of various findings of the roman period; pieces of vases, a coin, a lamp, etc. Although each of these things appear to be in fairly good condition, and seem to have an impressive amount of detail, it surprised me at first that all this information about chariot races were coming from this small coin someone found.
However, I figured that this coin and other random objects collectively, along with other collective findings---for example, accounts of who was in power at the time, possibly---are what confirm this knowledge of chariot racing. For example, the caption underneath the coin says "On the far wall of the circus is another shrine, with a rayed-sun device, dedicated to the sun-god Sol." There is no way for us to know for certain because there is no bibliography or reference page for us to confirm, but it appears as if there is a lot of cross referencing in order to extract the meaning of the images on these objects. There would have to be an rayed-sun device in dedication to a sun-god Sol in other places/on other objects and who would also probably be referenced in some written works from that time period.
In other words, I felt like this website to a certain extent represented not just the practice of historiography, but also what our project will hopefully accomplish and possibly what education in general hopes to accomplish. The crossing of information from one area to another in order to piece together a picture---a metaphorical puzzle---is what will result in our presentation on Ancient Roman Spectacle. It's also what sometimes happens for us as students; we learn more about a given topic because we touch on it both in a theatre history class and in an advanced French class and we learn more about the various conflicts between England and France from a French class, a Shakespeare class, and a theology class.
In a nutshell, I feel like this research has not only given me information about chariot racing, but also the practice of historiography. It's put this project more into perspective.