Much of the text of this entry comes from issue 82 of the DragonKing Press Newsletter available as a downloadable .pdf in the digital downloads section.
267 AD: Among 500,000 fragments of papyri discovered in Oxyrhynchus, Egypt, more than a century ago, one fragment, recently scrutinized by historian Dominic Rathbone of King’s College London, concerns a wrestling match between two teenagers, Nicantinous and Demetrius, in A.D. 267. The contract, agreed upon by Nicantinous’ father and Demetrius’ trainers, stipulates that Demetrius must “fall three times and yield.” For his intentional submission, the loser would be paid 3,800 drachmas. This is the first known papyrological evidence for bribery in an athletic competition. The agreement specifies that should the boy back out on the deal, Demetrius’ would owe a penalty equal to 18,000 drachmas. Full Article.
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