Who Was the Best Chariot Racer in Ancient Greece?

Chariot racing was a popular sport in ancient Greece and a source of pride for many. The drivers, known as “aurigae,” were highly skilled and trained for years to compete at the highest level. The races were held in large stadiums, such as the Hippodrome, and drew crowds of thousands.

One of the most famous chariot racers in ancient Greece was Gaius Appuleius Diocles. Born in Lusitania (modern-day Portugal) around 104 AD, he began his racing career at the age of 18. He quickly gained a reputation as a skilled driver and won his first major race in Rome when he was 21.

Over the course of his career, Diocles won over 1,400 races and earned an estimated 35 million sesterces – an incredible sum of money at the time. He raced for four different stables during his career, including the Greens, Blues, Reds, and Whites.

But what made Diocles so successful? For one thing, he was known for his ability to navigate tight turns and avoid collisions with other racers. He also had a talent for reading the racecourse and anticipating changes in terrain or weather conditions.

Another factor that set Diocles apart was his style of racing. Unlike some other drivers who focused on speed alone, he prioritized endurance and conservation of energy. By pacing himself over long distances, he was able to outlast his competitors and cross the finish line first.

Diocles’ success brought him fame and fortune throughout the Roman Empire. He retired from racing at the age of 42 with an impressive record that would stand for centuries.

While Gaius Appuleius Diocles may have been one of the most successful chariot racers in ancient Greece, there were undoubtedly many others who also excelled at this challenging sport. Some names have been lost to history, but their legacy lives on in the stories and legends that have been passed down over the centuries.


Chariot racing was a thrilling and dangerous sport that captivated audiences in ancient Greece and Rome. While many skilled drivers competed in these races, Gaius Appuleius Diocles stands out as one of the most successful and enduring figures in the sport’s history. Through his skill, determination, and endurance, he set a standard for excellence that has inspired generations of athletes to this day.