(redirected from quadrigae)
Also found in: Dictionary.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an ancient Greek and Roman two-wheeled chariot drawn by four horses, which were harnessed all abreast, and driven by a charioteer in standing position. Light-weight quadrigae were used in horse racing, which occupied an important place in the Olympics and other public games. Descriptions of these races can be found in Homer, Virgil, and other classical authors. Large quadrigae were used by emperors and victorious military leaders in triumphal processions. Sculptured representations of quadrigae, driven by deities or allegorical figures of glory, happiness, and the like, were used to decorate ancient Greek and Roman buildings. Bas-reliefs depicting quadrigae are often found on ancient Greek and Roman medals, cameos, and intaglios. In the 18th and 19th centuries quadrigae were used to decorate the frontons of large, imposing buildings and triumphal arches in Russia and Western Europe.11–1678–3]

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


In classical ornamentation and derivatives, the representation of a chariot drawn by four horses, i.e., a royal or divine accouterment. Also See triga, biga.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
On Greek vases gods and goddesses drive in quadrigae. Races with four-horse chariots appeared in the Olympic games in 680 BC, and were adopted from the Greeks by the Etruscans.
A second edition in 1996 from the London Association of Classical Teachers has enabled Susan Treggiari to revise the (thinly?) annotated translation (B)(*)Cicero's Cilician Letters.(15) I agree that Cicero is fun, especially when he informs us of his being hailed as imperator at Issus or of his refusal of statues, shrines or quadrigae. The account of Brutus and the Salaminians continues to shock as it goes on and on much to the detriment of provincial administration.
It devotes entire vitae to usurpers such as Avidius Cassius, Pescennius Niger, and Clodius Albinus, and gives over two other vitae to collections of biographies about usurpers, the Tyranni triginta and the Quadrigae tyrannorum.