Friday, October 22, 2010

High Rolling Chariot Racer

Tiger Woods has reportedly been making about $128 million a year, David Beckham recently signed a $250 million contract, and LeBron James has made about $126 million in his NBA career. However, none of these salaries even comes close to that of the sum collected by the famous, ancient chariot racer of Rome, Gaius Appuleius Diocles. Born in an area which is now known as Portugal and Spain, the young charioteer started his illustrious career at the young age of 18 in the year 122 A.D. The immense earnings of the famous athlete clearly show the value placed on athletes in ancient Roman society. Diocles did not pick an easy career. Charioteers had to race about 2.5 miles in laps around the Circus Maximus, an enormous racing stadium and entertainment venue of ancient Rome. If the racers survived the contest and were one of the first three to finish, they pocketed a prize. Although they faced a dangerous challenge, they were not without the protection of a helmet and padding. There were several factions that the charioteers could be a part of, Whites, Greens, Blues, or Reds. Diocles first rode with the Whites before switching to their rivals, the Greens, but he was most successful with the Reds. His career ended when he was 42 years old and it is speculated that by this time he had won 1,462 of his 4,257 races. While it is true that other charioteers won more than races than Diocles, he made the most money because he won at events that paid the most. By the end of his career he had amassed a wealth that would be worth about $15 billion today. This wealth is unlikely to ever be equaled by a professional athlete, but may remain a goal to strive for.

By Lii K., Period 8


anniebananie_4 said...

It is interesting to see how athletes have been revered and admired in society throughout history. The amount of money they make, however, seems a little unreasonable considering how many other people there are in need of financial support. The chariot racers were much more daring compared to most modern day athletes, though, as they risked their lives when they participated.

danny.olker said...

I found the amount that he made interesting when it was changed to be equal to current standards by inflation. If a single man had that much power today then they could possibly change the economy drastically all on their own. For situations like these, I am glad nobody makes that much single handedly today.