Sunday, 23 November 2014

Lets hear it for the left handed gladiators!

Although I am a right-hander myself, I've been blessed/plagued by left-handers my whole life. My dad, wife, numerous friends and bosses - all of them of the sinister persuasion.

Anyway, it is always a joy To find references to lefties from the ancient world. I saw this (probably 2nd C AD) funerary inscription during the week in the University College Dublin Classics Museum. I thought it might be a bit of inspiration for all those gladiator fans out there.

TO THE SPIRITS OF THE DEPARTED
AND TO LYCUS
A LEFT-HANDED MURMILLO
WHO OBTAINED HIS FREEDOM AFTER IIII FIGHTS.
LONGINAS, A FREEDMAN AND SECUTOR
SET THIS UP FOR HIS WELL-DESERVING COMRADE


2 comments:

  1. Interesting! My latin is pretty rusty, but does IIII mean 4 fights? Is that all it took for them to reach ROI for their owners? Or maybe he wasn't a slave?

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    1. Oh you're Latin is just fine. Four fights and freedom (so he was previously a slave). Doesn't mention whether he kept fighting after he became a freedman or not, but presumably he was quite famous for beig a leftie in the arena.

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