Επιτύμβια στήλη θηριομάχου από τη ΒέροιαPart of : Αρχαιολογικά ανάλεκτα εξ Αθηνών ; Vol.39, No.1, 2006, pages 161-174
Grave stele of a gladiator from Beroia
A new grave stele from Beroia is now added to the large collection of testimonia to the gladiatorial combats of the city.The organisation of gladiatorial combats at Beroia is attested at a fairly early date (late 1st c. AD). The epigraphic material from the city confirms that they were held for the following two centuries, and that they had a wide reputation, as one would expect of games held in the metropolis and capital of the Koinon of the Macedonians.The stele, which is kept in the Archaeological Museum of Beroia, inv. no. MB A 948, formed the north wall of a cist grave, which had been disturbed when it was found and was constructed entirely of material in second use.In the relief, the gladiator holds a hunting spear firmly and repels a wild animal, probably a bear, that is attacking him. He wears the clothes usually worn by hunters - a short chiton, a protective sleeve on his left arm, and high boots. Next to him is depicted a hunting dog, and on the ground are two obscure objects, a whip and a folded cloth, items used in gladiatorial combats to arouse or restrain animals.The inscription on the grave stele consists of a seven-line epigram in iambic trimesters, followed by the type of funerary inscription common at the period, a dedication in prose by the dead man’s companion, Markiane.The epigram furnishes a curriculum vitae with a concise review of the life of the gladiator Tillorobos, a name that was his professional pseudonym. In his account, the dead man refers proudly to his successful international career, the large number and variety of animals he has killed, and his origins. This is followed directly by a wish to visit and see his dear ones again, and to his tragic death in his birthplace.The new find is the only grave stele from the city that is certainly connected with gladiatorial combats, and reveals to us the first named gladiator from Beroia. It also increases the small group of monuments of Macedonia related to gladiators. At the same time it sheds light on general questions relating to the organisation of these spectacles in the context of private and public life, the activities of gladiators, their social status and the elevation of the leading figures of the arena to the status of popular heroes.
επιτύμβιες στήλες, Βέροια
Περιέχει εικόνες και βιλιογραφία, Η προφορική παρουσίαση της παρούσας εργασίας έγινε στο Γ' Πανελλήνιο Συνέδριο Επιγραφικής (Θεσσαλονίκη, 19-21 Μαρτίου 2004)