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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 ?
Arousing nationalist sentiment against any hostile moves by Egypt is likely to rally support for the government, but a core pro-Egyptian constituency is always certain to mistrust any accusations of Egypt as politically and factionally motivated.
Factional networks may also fail to encompass the bureaucratic boundaries, precipitating splits when factionally expedient actions do not accord with official duties (for example, Peng Zhen's small group during the Cultural Revolution included Kang Sheng, a nonfaction member).