Thursday, June 23, 2011

Roman gladiator's death 'down to dodgy ref's decision'

But now a study into Roman tombstones has shown that, at least in the world of ancient gladiatorial combat, a dodgy umpiring decision could once have had drastic consequences.

The epitaph on a previously little known memorial appears to blame the death of Diodorus, a gladiator killed 1,800 years ago, on a referee’s bad call.

An inscription on his tombstone lashes out at the “cunning treachery” of an umpire.

The tombstone, unearthed in Turkey a century ago and donated to the Cinquantenaire museum in Brussels, shows an image of a gladiator holding what look like two swords.

His disarmed opponent sprawls on the ground next to him, seemingly begging for mercy.

More at The Telegraph