Biga (Chariot)

  • Ancient Rome
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

The Biga Chariot was the standard 2-horse type vehicle used in Ancient Rome. The Biga was used for transportation, sports (Races) and in the Roman Military. Developed around the 6th Century B.C. (in lieu of a single horse version), The Biga construction can only be speculated at (as no surviving examples exist – save the metal (bronze and iron) “furniture”. Most reconstructions are taken from Roman pottery, mosaics and coinage. Made of lightweight wooden (shaped into a platform design), Biga featured either a low side carriage (cab) frame or non at all.


Often (especially in Military models), iron or bronze plating was installed (as was a higher front cab plate – designed for protection). 4 feet long and 3.5 feet wide seems to be the average length and width of The Biga. The vehicle had a low-center of gravity and wheels were relatively small as a result (although again, Military models had larger wheels framed in iron strips to assist in traction). Speed was the primary concern with regards to Biga design.


A Biga could weigh (again depending on it's need) – 70 to 100 pounds (before human occupancy). For The Biga's Military applications, it was used as an Mobile Archery Platform. Hundreds could be deployed with a driver and single Archer. Biga's also served as Command “vehicles” (allowing Military Commanders a form of mobility on the battlefield). It also allowed The Commander to be seen by his troops better.