Gladiator Fights and Much More Revealed in Ancient Graffiti

graffiti-discovery-1Graffiti discovered in the ancient city of Aphrodisias shows gladiator fights between a retiarius (a gladiator armed with a trident and net) and a secutor (gladiator equipped with a sword and shield).

Graffiti has been discovered scratched into the walls of the city of Aphrodisias, in modern-day Turkey. The hundreds of graffiti messages reveal what the city’s inhabitants were up to so long ago — gladiator combat, chariot racing, religious fighting and sex. Here’s a look at some of the newly deciphered graffiti. 

The graffiti seen here was found in a stadium and shows gladiator fights between a retiarius (a type of gladiator armed with a trident and net) and a secutor (a type of gladiator equipped with a sword and shield).

At top the retiarius emerges victorious and holds his trident over the wounded secutor. At middle the battle between the two types of gladiators rages on with a referee, at left, overseeing it. At bottom a secutor is seen chasing a fleeing retiarius. Researchers believe that a spectator carved scenes that he had seen in the arena.

See More Photos of the Graffiti in the Ancient City of Aphrodisias Bellow

Juvenile scratchings

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Graffiti containing sexual imagery was also found in the city. Numerous penises as well as faces can be seen here. The penises are shown in a variety of ways, one of them appears to be inside the mouth of a face. 

Conflicting beliefs

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Christians, Jews and those following polytheistic religions lived in Aphrodisias, coming into conflict at times. This statue is the sculptured head of a governor who followed (and/or supported) polytheistic beliefs. A Christian sculptor has noted their disapproval writing down a series of letters which means “Mary gives birth to Jesus.”

 A shopping areagraffiti-discovery-4

The city had a large Jewish population. Many Jewish traders set up shop in in an abandoned temple complex known as the Sebasteion. This image shows a Hanukkah menorah, a nine candle lamp that would be lit during the Hanukkah festival. This may be one of the earliest depictions of a Hanukkah menorah. 

Magic spells

graffiti-discovery-5A depiction of a person with a snake wrapped around their head. The snake held magical properties in the ancient world and this graffiti may be tied to some kind of magic.

Artistry at work

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Some beautiful depictions of faces were found in the city. This image is from a house.

Developing a talent

graffiti-discovery-7Another image of a face, it was found in the theater.

Remembering experiences

graffiti-discovery-8This image shows an acrobat balancing on a tightrope. It was found on the pavement of the theater stage.

cover

Fabio Evagelista is a Brazilian writer.

Crossed Paths is the first book of the Myra-Hati trilogy, an epic adventure in a post-apocalyptic world, for the lovers of sci-fi / fantasy genre. This is the author’s first work published in America.

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