Romans Used Celebrity Fighter to Recruit Soldiers

Bible and Archaeology News

A newly translated Greek inscription recovered from the ancient town of Oinoanda in southwest Turkey reveals that the Roman army relied on the services of a mixed martial arts champion to recruit new soldiers to the army. The early third-century C.E. inscription honors Lucius Septimius Flavianus Flavillianus who was a revered champion in wrestling and pankration, a bloody fighting sport that had only two rules: no eye-gouging and no biting. According to the inscription, which was engraved on the base of a statue in the town’s agora, Lucius eventually became a Roman military recruiter who identified and then transported new soldiers to the Syrian city of Heirapolis. “[Lucius] would have been able to judge suitable recruits, and he probably knew lots of suitable recruits,” said Nicholas Milner, a researcher with the British Institute at Ankara who translated the inscription. “A celebrity would have a greater ability to drum up support and large numbers of volunteers than somebody who was not a celebrity.”

Romans Used Celebrity Fighter to Recruit Soldiers

A newly translated Greek inscription recovered from the ancient town of Oinoanda in southwest Turkey reveals that the Roman army relied on the services of a mixed martial arts champion to recruit new soldiers to the army.

 

Read more about the Roman army’s top recruiter.

Read about the first discovery of a second-century Roman military camp in the Eastern Empire, as described in a web-exclusive report by the excavation directors.

Posted in Biblical Archaeology Places, Inscriptions, News, The Ancient Near Eastern World.

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  1. Bob says

    Gripping article.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. via Facebook: Romans Used Celebrity Fighter to Recruit Soldiers « Nord on Art linked to this post on April 9, 2012

    [...] This item came up on Facebook this morning courtesy the Biblical Archaeological Society’s Bible History Daily. (Sidebar: also in the new media realm, this AdAge report: Study: Young Consumers Switch Media 27 [...]


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