6 Temmuz 2011 Çarşamba

Gladiator Says He Got a Bad Call

gladiator links to related article

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 21 June 2011)

//ed. note: yet another of our blog's occasional history-related items//

Canadian professor Michael Carter had uncovered some interesting details
about a gladiator battle that took place in Anatolia about 1800 years ago.
The Ottoman government had given the grave stone of a gladiator named
Diodorus of Samsun as a gift to the Cinquanternaire Museum in Brussels
prior to World War I. The inscription on the stone reads: 'Even after my
opponent Demetrius fell I didn't kill him. But fate and a mistake by the judge
(suma rudis) killed me.'

Professor Carter, who tries to determine the secrets of grave stones, said
in a statement given to the internet site Live Science that he has studied
hundreds of gladiator grave stones 'but this one is different because it
contains a story.' The grave stone depicts two gladiators, one standing and
the other on the ground. Demetrius, on the ground, is making a gesture to
the sword-weilding Diodorus of surrender and an appeal for mercy.

Carter stated that there were certain rules concerning gladiator fights and
in his opinion the story is as follows: Diodorus took the advantage when
he threw his opponent Demetrius to the ground during their fight. But
Diodorus conformed to the rules by not killing Demetrius, who asked for
mercy. At this point the judge (suma rudis) should have stopped the fight
and declared Diodorus the victor. This did not happen though and a
decision in favor of Demetrius was given, allowing him to get up and
continue the fight. As the battle went on, Diodorus fell on his own account,
not because of any attack by Demetrius. In accordance with the rules,
Diodorus should have been allowed to get up and continue but the judge
again ruled in favor of Demetrius and gave permission for him to kill

In all likelihood, Diodorus's relatives had the unlucky gladiator's last words
written on the grave stone. This story, which emerges from the Anatolian
soil that was under the rule of the Roman empire thousands of year ago,
calls to mind the whining of today's footballers we often hear with regard to
referee's decisions.

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