May 4, 2007

Gladiators' Graveyard

Gladiators' graveyard discovered in Ephesus in Turkey.

Two pathologists at the Medical University of Vienna - Professor Karl Grossschmidt and Professor Fabian Kanz - have spent much of the past five years painstakingly cataloguing and forensically analysing every single bone for age, injury and cause of death.
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And the lack of multiple wounds found on the bones, according to the pathologists, suggests that they had not been involved in chaotic mass brawls. Instead, it points to organised duels under strict rules of combat, probably with referees monitoring the bouts.

But there was also evidence of mortal wounds. Written records tell us that if the defeated gladiator had not shown enough skill or even cowardice, the cry of "iugula" (lance him through) would be heard throughout the arena, demanding he be killed.
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"But this (new find) is extremely significant; there's nothing been found in the world at all like it. They've really dispelled quite a lot of myths about gladiators and how they fought."

  Gladiator Crowe

Gladiators were prisoners of war, slaves or condemned offenders.

If a gladiator survived three years of fighting in the arena, he would win his freedom. Those who did often became teachers in the gladiator school; and one of the skeletons found at Ephesus appears to be that of a retired fighter.

Posted by Jill Fallon at May 4, 2007 9:03 AM | TrackBack | Permalink