Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Highest Paid Athlete Hailed From Ancient Rome

Tiger Woods, David Beckham, and Maria Sharapova are athletes recognized for their colossal salaries. Compared to the Ancient Roman period, charioteer salaries made today’s superstar salaries seem puny. Can you ever imagine that by the end of your sports career, you could reel in over 15 billion dollars? Appuleius Diocles was a driver who raced for 24 years and was able to earn 35,863,120 sesterces and win about a fourth of his races. With this kind of money, Diocles could have been able to feed Rome with grain for one year, and pay the Roman Army for over two months; even in the height of Roman Civilization. Diocles "the most eminent of all charioteers" began his career when he was 18 years old in Rome during 122 AD. This sport involves making 7 laps with a chariot pulled by four or more horses, and those who win are those who manage to survive and finish in the top three. The only protection to the drivers would be a leather helmet, shin guards, chest protector, a whip and a sharp knife. With this low amount of protection, Diocles was still able to survive and compete in 4,257 races. It takes a very strong person to compete with these circumstances. Would you take that risk if billions could be won?


Brittany said...

Wow!i never knew much about roman athletes and was quite surprised to hear that they were paid loads more to play than today's athletes. it makes you wonder not just about Rome's financial priorities which was a major cause in their downfall but also our own. could we be repeating history?

Amber C said...

Wow, i had no idea that these athletes were paid in such a high amount.Because athletes today are paid in such high quantities, it is hard to realize that these Romans were paid in even larger salaries! I suppose the money was their reward for engaging in such dangerous sport. However, the amount is still unbelievable!

Connor Hensley said...

Wow what an amazing way to live life. We think that our athletes are the highest paid and they deserve the most credit but this article describes someone who made more money than most of our favorite sports icons! This happens to show how affluent the Roman society really was, showing that they could hand huge payments to their athletes. The Romans seemed to really value their entertainment