Skip to comments.Body Slam This! Ancient Wrestling Match Was Fixed
Posted on 04/17/2014 3:15:49 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
...The contract includes a clause that Demetrius is still to be paid if the judges realize the match is fixed and refuse to reward Nicantinous the win. If "the crown is reserved as sacred, (we) are not to institute proceedings against him about these things," the contract reads. It also says that if Demetrius reneges on the deal, and wins the match anyway, then "you are of necessity to pay as penalty to my [same] son on account of wrongdoing three talents of silver of old coinage without any delay or inventive argument."
The translator of the text, Dominic Rathbone, a professor at King's College London, noted that 3,800 drachma was a relatively small amount of money about enough to buy a donkey, according to another papyrus. Moreover, the large sum Demetrius would forfeit if he were to back out of the deal suggests his trainers would have been paid additional money Rathbone said.
The match fixing took place at an event honoring Antinous, the deceased male lover of the Emperor Hadrian (reign A.D. 117-138). After Antinous drowned in the Nile River nearby, the town of Antinopolis was founded in his honor, and he became a god, and statues of him were found throughout the Roman Empire.
(Excerpt) Read more at livescience.com ...
This should be displayed at WWE headquarters.
Relatively small amount? Only the upper crust can afford to play with that kind of money!!
I toldja wrastlin’ was fake!
Rome was deeply debauched by Hadrian’s age.
It said that it would have only paid for one donkey.
In a related story, archaeologists in Spain have excavated an unusual late medieval tomb containing a donkey. The name of the critter is actually carved on the tomb, it was “Hoe-Tay”.
I believe Ric Flair was actually present. BTT
The games at which this wrestling match took place were being held in honor and in memory of Hadrian’s dead teen catamite, Antinoos, who got chomped by a hippo or something while doing some limp-wristed swimming in the Nile. The empire had peaked when his mommy faked a will attributed to Trajan and put Hadrian onto the “throne”.
The tough part was keeping track of rounds, the freakin’ Roman numerals on those signs the Roman babes paraded around.
They’re probably the ones behind this story. ;’)
“Nicantinous comes off the ropes and knocks Demetrius to the ground with a clothesline...now he’s attempting to apply the figure four....NO! Demertius kicks out and hits Nicantinous with a vicious forearm smash and now...WAIT A MINUTE! WHO IS THAT? SOMEONE JUST ENTERED THE RING AND CLOCKED BOTH MEN WITH A METAL CHAIR! IT’S.....IT’S.....I DON’T BELIEVE IT! IT’S ACHILLES! WHAT’S THAT HEEL DOING HERE?
He’s the reason I don’t watch tag-team anymore. ;’)
Too bad that most of this stuff didn’t survive elsewhere, we’d be up to our eyes in it.
I know, I know, I shoulda listened.
Do you think there were good Roman citizens watching all this and opining on its slow motion train wreck horror? Are we the first in history to watch our country slip deeper into the cesspool?
Yep. Cato the Younger for one, and it got much, much worse after he died.
The three volume Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire covers several observers of the decline. It’s ironic how much of the decline is directly related to sexual depravity, including homosexuality. Ironic in the sense that sexual depravity is sold in modern America has the height of liberty.
We have a group of hedonistic sociopaths running the country for their personal benefit and pleasure. Remember the pedophile from Belgium who, once caught, claimed a sexual perverse conspiracy that included top government officials and Belgian’s rich?
I believe that story and believe it applies to the US as well.
The best take on that topic I've found is Machiavelli's Discourses on Livy. He did have a tendency to idealize the early pieces but whether he believed Livy's every word or merely pretended to is a little hard to determine. Great stuff.
Yes, the story of Marius and Sulla is a good one and it shows what happens to great men without the humility of godliness. Marius’ reforms were critical, but his thirst for power and inability to tolerate rivals brought havoc to Rome. It’s interesting that once tradition is broken it is very hard to reestablish.
Gresham’s law is true not just of money, but of everything.
Time to break out some old sayings.
1, Hindsight is always 20:20.
2, A bird in hand is worth, well, you know, I don’t want to finish that because it contains one of those words that will result in a lot of troll activity.
3, it may be crooked, but it’s the only game in town.
One Roman writer lamented that he had to travel to the provinces to hear Latin spoken — the city of Rome was jam-packed full of quite foreign people, most of them slaves seized at a young age during some conquest or rebellion, and pressed into slavery.
The bread dole in Rome was a gubmint program to distribute bread to the indigent or those claiming to be, and it was north of 200,000 people, and sometimes as high as 400,000 (depending on what had been happening economically), in a city of a million which probably had a transient (homeless) population perhaps as high as that (total of two million). That bread dole went on for centuries, ending sometime in the 5th.
Of the permanent residents 200,000 or 300,000 (or more) were held as slaves. Most of the people in one of those grand Roman houses were probably slaves, although the family that owned one of those places probably had three generations plus collateral lines like aunts, uncles, and cousins all living there.
Roman family sizes were a worry (starting to sound familiar?) by the time Augustus had established the executive branch of Roman gov’t. Augustus also wanted fewer troops around, and cut the regular army in half, and issuing land grants to the furloughed soldiers. Having retired veterans living all over the provinces didn’t hurt a thing.
Augustus also started the system of using auxiliaries, which persisted for centuries. Those were drawn from conquered areas, and were matched up to local threats in still other conquered areas. The auxiliaries had specialized skills (archery, spear chuckin’, cavalry, etc) that were useful against other threats, and also the local people didn’t like the foreign auxiliaries any more than they liked the Romans.
By the time the 3rd century anarchy started, the entire Roman army was still a formidable fighting force, but essentially entirely non-Roman, and had been that way or going that direction for a long while. The last actual Roman to serve as emperor was, huh, I have no idea.
One of my favorite emperors was Aurelian, who was born in Dacia I think, perhaps some very old and distant Roman roots, and he tended not to let little setbacks like losing half his army get him down. He rode around gathering up stragglers, and then used the reunited force to corner and annihilate the dispersed bands of barbarians who had split up to plunder the countryside. He just kept it up until he’d literally hunted them all down and killed them. What a sorehead, eh?
He actually chased down the largest body of them, trapped them against a river, and forced them into surrender, then killed the leaders and enslaved the others. He was the first to put a city wall around Rome (it’s still there, here and there, or buried under newer structures), and he beat his rival emperor wannabees. A corrupt member of his staff (embezzler) was worried about getting caught and assassinated his boss. All that is “if memory serves”.
Diocletian — a ruthless persecutor of Christians and Jews — was one of the most effective emperors Rome ever had, but introduced oriental-style trappings for his office, such as, supplicants had to lay prostrate, face down, with their arms over their heads (iow, pointing toward the emperor; the same posture was still used in the 20th c for those getting ordained by the Pope). He was a very effective general, and rebuilt that top-to-bottom discipline to replace the lah-dee-dah kind of attention to detail that had been creeping up for decades.
Diocletian systematically reunited the empire by smashing the various rival emperors who had set up shop in this or that province or region. He then divided the empire into two parts, appointed one of his associates to the eastern half, and each of them named a Caesar as their lawful successor. This was the first time anyone had tried to create an orderly system of succession.
After everything seemed to be put back together, and after he’d built a fortified self-sufficient retirement mansion (the first survivalist), which still exists, in Split Croatia, he retired in favor of his Caesar and compelled his eastern colleague to do the same, basically the proof of concept for his system of succession.
Interestingly enough, during the 80 or so years before, when the Empire was not all one polity, the economic life of the various mini-Empires was booming, as if a single central authority had been holding them back.
The fact is, the slavery-based society had been doing that, and the 35 or so hereditary aristocratic families that had literally owned everything had over the centuries both lost their grip as the Senate became representative of the entire population for the first time (that happened during the imperial period, the “Republic” was just an oligarchy run by, for, and of those families) and were, quite simply, bred out.
During their heyday, the aristocratic families had slaves who specialized in this or that skill — literate ones tutored the aristocratic children, seamstresses made the clothes, sandals and shoes were made by still another, and of course there was a cooking staff, and a cleaning staff, gardeners, door wardens, you name it, they had a slave for it. Grand families had large landholdings throughout Italy, and those had huge amounts of agricultural slave labor, and produced a buttload of food. Those distant estates were run by experienced, trusted slaves or freedmen.
Slaves’ children would be more or less apprenticed to another slave, so they could learn a different skill set than the parents to increase the chances of finding adult employment (meaning, when they turned 13 or 14) in the same household, rather than winding up getting sold to another.
As the original aristocracy died out, the up-and-comings from the provinces took on that lifestyle, but numbered in the many thousands (the Roman Empire population was in excess of 50 million, give or take a barbarian invasion in Gaul or the Balkans). Slaves’ skills remained in demand, but the industrious ones who managed not to die young of disease or of their labors could save up the cash to buy their way out, or might be freed when their faculties started to go. The latter would continue to live in the house, or one of the other places, and try to keep a low profile, run errands, do the shopping, etc. Living in one of those places had to beat the ass off one of those concrete high-rises that first became popular in the late republican period. And a slave that was freed because of feeebleness would have no income or savings.
The Emperor Claudius had two freedmen who basically administered the Empire; Narcissus stepped up when the army balked about crossing the Channel to conquer Britain, and both amused them with his quick wit and shamed them regarding their fear of the rough seas. When they got across, they smashed the ever-lovin’ crap of the Britons, in record time.
That proliferation of skills among non-slave or former slave populations hit sometime in the third century, perhaps because of the high rate of attrition of the patrician classes, but also because the up-and-comings had to let go of staff as they tried to stay one step ahead of the shifting alliances and economic interruptions. Being in charge of a mini-empire didn’t have a good retirement plan. A lot of turnover.
The local yokels who claimed imperial authority in those mini-empires needed the support of everyone in the ruled area; also there was active trade between the mini-empires, and that trade didn’t seem to notice there were borders to cross.
After Diocletian the division of the empire into two didn’t persist forever, tended to come and go. After the western empire was blotted out due to internecine struggles and barbarian invasions, the eastern empire had a few more centuries of prosperity. Justinian even tried to reconquer the lost portions of the Empire, and managed to grab most of Italy, and chunks of other former Roman provinces. Trade with post-Roman Britain resumed or continued, and while I’ve never read it anywhere, I expect it was happening in Gaul and other lost provinces which were never regained. A Buddha statuette from the 6th c was dug up in the 20th century, in Denmark.
Their western territory in the Balkans was vulnerable to little difficulties like the Huns, but their fortunes began to ebb in earnest with the rise of Big Ol’ Mo’ and his angry band of mass-murderers. The last effective military leader of the eastern emperors was Basil II, who kinda had to learn on the job. His nickname is “Bulgar Slayer”. After losing in a humiliating fashion to an older king of the Bulgars, he spent about ten years struggling against his own people who were trying to topple him.
After he reconsolidated, he decided to settle that first score, and went after the Bulgars again. Not only did he win, he reportedly tied the survivors of the enemy army into long lines of 100, blinded all but the lead man, and left him with only one eye, so he had just enough sight to lead the rest of them back home. The old Bulgar king died of a stroke when he saw them.
The aqueduct that fed Constantinople was a wonder of its time. Parts still exist. It’s also a wonder that the thing was never sabotaged by the various groups that attacked the city during the early Middle Ages.
During the heyday of the Vikings, Scandinavians were hired by the Byzantine emperors to serve as imperial guards, and as mercenaries in various theaters of war around the Mediterranean, largely to fight the Saracens. This continued into the 11th century, maybe beyond, and at least one of the Byzantine emperors was bumped off by a rival (or maybe his wife) using a Varangian hit man.
Economically it wasn’t a bad time for the Byzantines, even as their territory declined. They were middlemen between the Saracens and the Far East, and Europe, and weren’t blowing money on huge projects like the Hippodrome and giant basilicas. The city’s infrastructure was old but in good working order. Unfortunately, the last emperor in Constantinople thought the newfangled “cannon” was unnecessary and too expensive, and the inventor turned to the Turks, who thought it was just the thing to bust open the walls of Constantinople.
The Byzantines had 63 cannon borrowed from the Hungarians at the final siege. The defenders, Byzantines and Genoese, figured that the walls couldn't take the recoil and elected to defend the first wall.
As it turned out the city fell not to cannon but an unguarded Postern Gate.
It almost looks like script. Some of the letters run together.
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