Chariot races were very popular during the Justinian Era. All the teams wanted to win. Blues and Greens were the best.
End of 531, after a terrible fight between supporters of the two teams, Justinian punished to prison and death one competitor of each team.
When Justianian came back for the races on January 10, 532, an angry crowd was waiting for him shouting... As Justinian refused... people started to loose control and their cries became different...NIKA!
An important riot started: buildings and churches were burned, Constantinople was on fire for five days!
Justinian didn't know what to do: run away or stay in the city. His wife, Theodora, persuaded him to stay.
Justinian decided to stop the riot. His strategy was: his men attracted the rioters in the hippodrome and killed them. 30000 people died.