Faction

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Faction

 

in the Roman Empire, a group of people involved in organizing equestrian contests.

The term was later transferred by scholars studying Byzantium to the sports organizations, known in Byzantine cities from the fourth century A.D., that arranged and conducted circus and sports events.

Large groups of fans, called demes, adhered to the various factions. There were usually four factions in each city, and they, like the demes, were named according to the color of the costumes worn by their charioteers: the Blues (Veneti), Greens (Prasinoi), Whites (Leukoi), and Reds (Russi). The most important were the Veneti and Prasinoi of Constantinople, who played an important political role in the fifth through seventh centuries. They lost their political importance around the middle of the seventh century and subsequently concerned themselves solely with the organization of sports competitions and festive ceremonies in Constantinople.

References in classic literature ?
AMONG the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed Union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction.
By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.
Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires.
Yet the parties are, and must be, themselves the judges; and the most numerous party, or, in other words, the most powerful faction must be expected to prevail.
There was the Strumpff faction and the Lederlung party, the one supported by our envoy and the other by the French Charge d'Affaires, M.
With the same policy which had dictated the conduct of their brethren in the Holy Land, the Templars and Hospitallers in England and Normandy attached themselves to the faction of Prince John, having little reason to desire the return of Richard to England, or the succession of Arthur, his legitimate heir.
Note, by the way, that the Coodleites are always a faction with the Doodleites, and that the Doodleites occupy exactly the same position towards the Coodleites.
This by no means suited the views of the Orange faction.
This disclosure was, indeed, well calculated to call forth a furious outbreak among the Orange faction.
Two factious governed it--a grave faction and a gay faction.
Every man of the grim faction hammered delightedly on the table, as that formidable argument was produced; and the curate sat down in triumph.
The Celtic blood was up, and the Celtic faction spirit ran high.