The Sound of Chariots
Rosemary Sutcliff knew about chariots. In the first of her four Roman books, The Eagle of the Ninth (1954), her young hero, the centurion Marcus Flavius Aquila, politely suggests to his British friend Cradoc that the British are all charioteers. Cradoc replies (accurately): ‘The British can all drive after a fashion; not every one is a charioteer.’ Marcus, however, is the real thing, the best in his Legion. Elegantly he slaloms Cradoc’s four strong little black stallions through planted spears, and then, reaching open land, he gives them their heads and they are off, at full gallop.