Best Paid Athlete ever .
13 Feb 2014
After nearly 2 000 years Gaius Appuleius Diocles is still remembered .
1.He won 34% of his races .
2.He lasted till age 42 and retired with his boots on in a notoriously lethal professional sport .
3.He made the present equivalent of US $15 Billion .
A Super-Sportsman by any measure .
See Appendix A and Appendix B .
4. The gene-pool is still there .
Ronaldo , Eusebio , Figo , etc .
Extremely fast reflexes , 0.5 percentile top hand-eye coordination , cool tactical brain .
An interesting aside:
There is strong suspicion that this was inculcated by paleo-hispanic language .
If this is correct , there should be a disproportionate number of very good soccer players from south-western Portugal .
Phoenician ,to be exact . Thus , we would expect a higher than normal number of talented soccer players from old Phoenician territories . Look to the southern parts of Ireland and England , especially to the harbours of the old flint mines .
Anybody here who can kick a ball and speaks paleo-hispanic ?
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gaius Appuleius Diocles was an illiterate ancient Hispano-Roman, a Lusitanian of the 2nd century AD, notable for racing chariots. At age 18, he began driving for the White team. After six years, at the age of 24, he switched to the Green team. After three years there, at age 27, he finally began driving for the Red team until his retirement at age 42. Diocles’ career was unusually long—many a charioteer died quite young.
He most commonly raced four-horse chariots, and most of his races he came from behind to win. Diocles is also notable for owning an extremely rare ducenarius, or a horse that had won at least 200 races. Records show that he won 1,462 out of the 4,257 four-horse races he competed in. His winnings reportedly totaled 35 863 120 sesterces, an amount which could provide a year's supply of grain to the entire city of Rome, or pay the Roman army at its height for a fifth of a year. Classics professor Peter Struck describes him as "the best paid athlete of all time".
Wealth of today's sports stars is 'no match for the fortunes of Rome's chariot racers'
Roman charioteers earned far more than even the best-paid footballers and international sports stars of today, according to academic research.
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Golfer Tiger Woods was heralded last year as the first athlete to earn over $1 billion Photo: AP
Murray Wardop By Murray Wardrop11:30AM BST 13 Aug 2010
While golfer Tiger Woods was heralded last year as the first athlete to earn over $1 billion, the figure would apparently have been small beer for the fearless entertainers of the Circus Maximus.
One charioteer, named Gaius Appuleius Diocles, amassed a fortune 35,863,120 sesterces in prize money – the equivalent of $15 billion (£9.6 billion), claims Peter Struck, a professor of classical studies.
The 2nd century “champion of all charioteers” made his fortune even without the sponsorship and marketing fees that bolster the pay of his modern counterparts in the sporting world.
The extent of his riches is recorded on a monumental inscription erected in Rome in 146AD by his fellow charioteers and fans.
Prof Struck, from the University of Chicago, calculated that Diocles’s wealth would have been enough to fund the entire Roman Army for more than two months at the height of its imperial reach.
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“By today’s standards that last figure, assuming the apt comparison is what it takes to pay the wages of the American armed forces for the same period, would cash out to about $15 billion,” said Prof Struck.
“Even without his dalliances, it is doubtful Tiger could have matched it. Tiger was never all that well paid when compared with the charioteers of ancient Rome.”
The higher level of pay did not come without its perils for Diocles and his contemporaries. With little more than a leather helmet, shin guards and simple chest armour for protection, racers endured seven gruelling laps of competition, which often ended in the deaths of rivals unfortunate enough to be upended.
Competitors were affiliated to teams – not dissimilar to those of today’s Formula 1 – which invested in training and development of horses and equipment. Like Diocles, who retired aged 42, they were usually drawn from the lower orders of society.
Writing in the history magazine Lapham's Quarterly, Prof Struck, undergraduate chair of classical studies, says: “The very best paid of these – in fact, the best paid athlete of all time – was a Lusitanian Spaniard named Gaius Appuleius Diocles.
“Twenty-four years of winnings brought Diocles – likely an illiterate man whose signature move was the strong final dash – the staggering sum of 35,863,120 sesterces in prize money.
“His total take home amounted to five times the earnings of the highest paid provincial governors over a similar period—enough to provide grain for the entire city of Rome for one year, or to pay all the ordinary soldiers of the Roman Army at the height of its imperial reach for a fifth of a year.