- An epitaph on an 1,800-year-old tombstone may be a criticism of a referee's call.
- New analysis suggests the words are meant to represent the voice of the slain gladiator.
- The grave sheds light into some of the rules governing gladiator battles.
The oldest evidence of a complaint about a ref's blown call lies written on stone, according to a close examination of an 1,800-year-old epitaph.
Belonging to a gladiator named Diodorus, the tombstone shows a combatant standing victoriously over his defeated opponent, who sits on the ground begging for mercy.
Since the victorious gladiator is holding two swords, some experts suggested that he was a dimachaerus, a type of gladiator who fought with two swords.
But according to Michael Carter, a professor at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, the tombstone tells a different story.
"In the epitaph Diodorus clearly states that he knocked over his opponent Demetrius, but did not kill him. He even holds Demetrius' weapon, as well as his own," Carter told Discovery News.