‘Gladiators’ Arrested Outside Colosseum


Some 20 “gladiators” or “centurions” have been arrested outside some of Rome’s most famous tourist sites, in an undercover sting by police aimed at breaking up a violent racket targeting tourists, according to reports.

The AFP news agency said police had disguised themselves as gladiators, garbage men and members of the public to make the arrests.

The detained people are alleged to have attacked and intimidated competitors, the AFP said.

via ‘Gladiators’ arrested outside Rome’s Colosseum – World news – Europe – msnbc.com.

Dorothy King: A Crucified Man from 1st Century Jerusalem

An interesting read!  Quite fascinating!  Go read it now.  Here is a snippet:

In 1968 a tomb was excavated at the French Hill, Jerusalem, better known now as Givat ha-Mivtar. Because of pressure from religious Jews, all the bones found in the tomb were re-buried soon after. A right calcaneus or heel with evidence of crucifixion was found there. The nail is made of iron and was 4.5 inches long – it’s not clear if it bent when Jehohanan was being crucified, or when his family were trying to remove the nails from his body. Givat ha-Mivtar turned out to be a rich Jewish burial ground in use from the second century BC until AD 70.


Given how many tens even hundreds of thousands of people we know were crucified, it’s perhaps surprising more archaeological evidence of them has not been found. There are two sensible reasons for this – some were crucified using rope rather than nails, and many of those crucified under the Romans were the poor or slaves, whose bodies were then tossed onto rubbish heaps rather than buried.

One other reason is that both Christians and Jews assigned magical healing properties to nails used in crucifixions. In fact they were one of the few items Jews were allowed to carry on the Sabbath (Mishnah Shabbat 6.10):

via Dorothy King’s PhDiva: A Crucified Man from 1st century Jerusalem.

Defining Mythicism: Ovid Never Exiled

Seems that Classics has its own version of mythicism.  According to this source:

Then there’s another theory that has bounced around scholars for the last century or so: Ovid never was exiled. The main reason for this theory is that the only record of it is Ovid’s, except for “dubious” mentions by Pliny the Elder and Statius, but no one else until the 4th century CE. He did apparently die in Tomis in 17 CE, however, and has been adopted by Romanian nationalists as “The First Romanian Poet”.

* via The Longest Banned Book? | ILAB-LILA.

And as David Meadows observes:

I didn’t realize that the ‘phoney exile’ claim was still kicking around — near as I can tell, it hasn’t really been around (i.e. taken seriously) for at least twenty years or so. For a summary of the scholarship , check out the Wikipedia article’s section on ‘exile’ upon which the above appears to be based. Whatever the case, it’s one of those ‘literary oppositional arguments’ which can stand up because of the nature of our sources, but really is the Classics Department version of a conspiracy theory.

via Ovid Never Exiled? « rogueclassicism.

Quite so.  Of course this doesn’t speak towards the historicity of the figure of Jesus, but as its own subject substance, its interesting that this sort of thing exists in Classics.

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