Girish Mahajan

Auriga (slave)

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Auriga (slave)

In Ancient Rome, the Auriga was a slave with gladiator status, whose duty was to drive a biga, the light vehicle powered by two horses, to transport some important Romans, mainly Duces (military commanders); it was then a sort of chauffeur for important men and was carefully selected among trustworthy slaves only.

It has been supposed also that this name was given to the slave who held a laurus crown, during Roman Triumphs, over the head of the Dux, standing at his back but continuously whispering in his ears Memento homo (remember you are (only) a man) to avoid that the excess of celebration could lead the celebrated commander to lose his sense of proportions.

The term became common in latter times to indicate any biga driver.

References

Auriga (slave) Wikipedia


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