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Ancient wrestling match was fixed

Posted on Sunday, 20 April, 2014 | Comment icon 12 comments

Wrestling was a popular sport in ancient times. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.5 Marie-Lan Nguyen
Wrestling events in the ancient world appear to have been plagued by bribes and match fixing.
A recently deciphered Greek document dating back to AD 267 appears to detail the specifics of a fixed match between two wrestlers in the 138th Great Antinoeia, a prominent series of games held in the ancient Egyptian city of Antinopolis.

Both participants were teenagers who had managed to make their way to the final bout, but someone looking to fix the results had bribed the father of one of the boys to have his son "fall three times and yield" in exchange for "three thousand eight hundred drachmas of silver of old coinage".

The contract is the first of its kind ever to be discovered from the ancient world and even includes a clause to state that the money should still be paid even in the event that the organizers realize that the fight had been fixed.

"If you were confident you would win, normally you would go for it," said Prof Dominic Rathbone who translated the text. "If you're not sure you would win, maybe you're cutting your risk by saying, 'at least I get the bribe.'"

Source: Live Science | Comments (12)

Tags: Wrestling

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by Jyre Cayce on 19 April, 2014, 20:47
I knew it, I lost ten clam shells on this match! it was rigged!
Comment icon #4 Posted by SkeptcByMindBelievrByHeart on 19 April, 2014, 21:17
whats next....the discovery of the gladiatorial games of ancient rome was also fake too.. ?? a contract was made up, to decide who would get stabbed and die??
Comment icon #5 Posted by Rye17 on 20 April, 2014, 14:52
2000 year old WWE
Comment icon #6 Posted by BadChadB33 on 20 April, 2014, 15:54
Wow Don King is older than I thought.
Comment icon #7 Posted by ancient astronaut on 20 April, 2014, 18:23
Vince McMahon must be 2500 years old.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Duchess Gummybuns on 20 April, 2014, 19:54
I knew it! It was all of those performance-enhancing drugs that have bee-Oh, wait. This is about bribery. Nevermind, folks. Move along.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Sundew on 22 April, 2014, 0:42
It called human nature, it was going on then, it goes on now, big surprise. From the ancient games to the Black Sox to the use of steroids, the more things change the more they stay the same. Or as Solomon said, "There is nothing new under the sun."
Comment icon #10 Posted by lightly on 22 April, 2014, 1:05
whats next....the discovery of the gladiatorial games of ancient rome was also fake too.. ?? a contract was made up, to decide who would get stabbed and die?? lol. "i'll give you 1000 Aureus right AFTER you die in the match" .... ummm 1500 ? but.. that probably really could have happened , to provide for his family.. if the guy was hopelessly in debt .. or something. ?
Comment icon #11 Posted by CJ1983 on 24 April, 2014, 20:55
Should this really be a surprise?
Comment icon #12 Posted by Peter B on 27 April, 2014, 13:03
Should this really be a surprise? Perhaps not. But it's nevertheless an interesting insight into the minds of the people at the time. If nothing else, it was an...interesting period of history. The Roman Empire was in turmoil. Seven years earlier a Roman army had been defeated by the Persians, leading to the capture of the Emperor Valerian (the only Roman Emperor to be captured in battle), and the provinces of Gaul, Britannia and Germania had become the independent Gallic Empire of the "Emperor" Postumus. The Romans were saved from disaster at the hands of the Persians by Odenathus, the king o... [More]

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