Killed by a ref . . . in ancient Rome - Sarah Woodbury

Killed by a ref . . . in ancient Rome

I had to repost (and link) to this story because of the number of times I’ve listened to my husband shout at the screen while watching soccer.

This is  part of an article about the discover and translation of a tombstone of a Roman gladiator who died in Amisus, on the south coast of the Black Sea in Turkey:

“The tombstone . . . shows an image of a gladiator holding what appear to be two swords, standing above his opponent who is signalling his surrender. The inscription says that the stone marks the spot where a man named Diodorus is buried.

“After breaking my opponent Demetrius I did not kill him immediately,” reads the epitaph. “Fate and the cunning treachery of the summa rudis killed me.”

The summa rudis is a referee, who may have had past experience as a gladiator  . . .

“Demetrius signals surrender, Diodorus doesn’t kill him; he backs off expecting that he’s going to win the fight. . .

The battle appears to be over. However the summa rudis — perhaps interpreting Demetrius’ fall as accidental, or perhaps with some ulterior motive — thought otherwise  . . .

“What the summa rudis has obviously done is stepped in, stopped the fight, allowed Demetrius to get back up again, take back his shield, take back his sword, and then resume the fight.”

This time Diodorus was in trouble, and either he died in the arena or Demetrius inflicted a wound that led to his death shortly thereafter.”

To read the rest of the post:

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