Sore loser after 1,800 years

by J-Touchette

The tombstone was donated to the Musee du Cinquanternaire in Brussels, Belgium, shortly before World War I and the inscription says that the stone marks the spot where a man named Diodorus is buried.

A tombstone tells a story, but some do it better than others. An 1,800 year-old tombstone of a Roman gladiator has been deciphered by a professor at Brock University in St. Catherines, Canada. Michael Carter, who studies gladiator contests and other such spectacles in the eastern part of the Roman Empire has seen and studied thousands of ancient Roman tombstones, and none of them are like this.

The tombstone depicts a gladiator, Diodorus, standing over his opponent while holding two swords. The fallen fighters is seen signalling his apparent surrender. The epitaph on the tombstone reads, “After breaking my opponent Demitrius I did not kill him immediately. Fate and the cunning treachery of the summa rudis killed me.” A summa rudis is a referee who may have had past experience as a gladiator.

The story being told is that one gladiator knocked the other down, picked up his sword and asked his surrender. The opponent did surrender, but the referee must have seen the loser to have simply tripped by accident, which in these games called for the fallen to rise and pick up his sword and shield to fight once more. Because of this, Diodorus had to return Demitrius’ weapon and fight him once more, however, Diodorus lost this time.

Evidently, the family believed the referee had lied or cheated and so they made this epitaph telling of how Diodorus was cheated out of a win.

Read more:

Roman Gladiator’s Gravestone Describes Fatal Foul | LiveScience

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