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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 periodicals archive ?
Afzal also points out how hard it was to establish the provincial branches of the League since factionalism had begun to emerge right from its inception.
Mugabe's strong warning against factionalism comes less than three months after he made another scathing attack on factional leaders last December at the party's annual conference.
In fact, the High Command often uses factionalism to assert its authority and keeps everyone on tender hooks.
An increasingly detached, palace-bound shah; a weakening link between the capital and the outlying provinces; the regime's neglect of the military and its shortsighted monetary policies combined to exacerbate rather than redress existing problems, leaving the country with a ruler too feeble to hold factionalism and corruption in check and a military unable to defend its borders against outside attack by Ottomans and Afghans, thus setting the scene for the crisis of 1722.
Internal battles and factionalism, fuelled in part by struggles for the control of resources as the revolutionary movement has adjusted to the role of governing since the first democratic election in 1994, have been read as warnings that the party is in crisis.
The Crisis of Russian Democracy: The Dual State, Factionalism and the Med-vedev Succession.
Instead of seeking to limit the existence of faction, what must be done in a democracy is that the effects of factionalism must be limited by channeling the energy of the factions into the machinery of state.
This is the time to move beyond this factionalism, not entrench it within our party.
And after all the factionalism and in-fighting that has bedevilled the Reds in recent seasons, perhaps there's just a hint of comfort for supporters emerging here that, finally, those days might just be coming towards an end.
Iwanisziw, "Tortured Bodies, Factionalism, and Unsettled Loyalties in Settles Morocco Plays" (111-136).
The report he has commissioned refers to the "in-fighting, factionalism and allegations of unprofessionalism and mismanagement" that bedevil Liverpool City Council, and we would suggest that a directly-elected mayor would simply encounter more of the same.
He notes in Chapter 2 that the founding fathers were averse to factions and that James Madison, who believed that factionalism and special interests were a product of human nature and could not be removed without destroying political liberty, sought to rein them in through representative government and the American system of checks and balances.