Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Gladiators were vegetarians

File this under "I didn't know..."

"Gladiators were mostly vegetarians and their diets consisted, above all, of barley and vegetables. They were neither too poor to buy meat nor staunch defenders of animal rights; instead, their carbohydrate-rich diets made them put on weight, which both protected them during fights and made them appear more spectacular, which pleased the crowds.

A 200-square-foot plot of land in the city of Ephesus (now in western Turkey), alongside the road that originally led from the city centre to the Temple of Artemis, is the world’s only known gladiator graveyard (left: example of a tombstone). The plot contains the bodies of just over 60 gladiators. Karl Grossschmidt, a paleo-pathologist from the Medical University of Vienna, recently led a research project about gladiator life, the diets of gladiators and the causes of their deaths. Scientists carried out isotopic analyses of bone fragments from the graveyard, measuring trace chemical elements such as calcium, strontium and zinc. The results of the study were reported in an article by Andrew Curry published in the November/December issue of Archaeology magazine."


1 comment:

orsh549 said...

This is very interesting. If you noticed in some movies with gladiators such as BARABBAS they are eating cheese, bread, and some type of soup or stew. The mini-series SPARTACUS it shows them eating some type of soup or stew. I think I'll take a look at the site and do a little research on this. There must be more info out there on this subject.