Tombstone depicting fighting Gladiators found at Pompeii

Archaeologists uncovered a 2000-years-old tomb containing a tombstone with depiction of fighting Gladiators and the longest funerary epigraph ever found in the San Paolino area near Porta Stabia, Pompeii.

Tombstone depicting Gladiators (by AnsaMed)

Researchers believe that the tombstone was made shortly before the eruption that destroyed Pompeii in 69 AD. The inscription is over 4 meters long, in seven narrative registers, and though it does not include the deceased’s name, it describes in detail the major events in the life of the man buried within it. The tomb includes an elegy to the deceased and the most important parts of his biography, including his designation as “duoviro”, a joint magistrate of ancient Rome. These include the acquisition of the “toga virilis” (toga of manhood) to his wedding, activities that accompanied such events such as public banquets, largess, the holding of gladiatorial games and battling large beasts. Archaeologists state that the the text contains a reference to the famous episode narrated by Tacitus that happened in Pompeii in 59 BC when a brawl broke out in the amphitheatre during a gladiator show that led to an armed clash. Emperor Nero, ordered the Senate in Rome to investigate it, which resulted in banning Pompeii residents from holding gladiator shows for 10 years, dissolution of illegal associations. The organizer of the games, former senator from Rome Livineio Regulo, and all the others who were found guilty of incitement were exiled.

(after AnsaMed)

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