Ancient Document Verifies Bribery!


Constructed between 510 and 500 B.C., the base of a funerary kouros in Athens is decorated with the image of wrestlers fighting. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Fingalo)

This papyrus, found in Oxyrhynchus, Egypt, and dating to A.D. 267, is apparently the first known bribery contract in ancient sports. In the text, recently deciphered, translated and interpreted by Dominic Rathbone of King’s College London, Demetrius agrees to throw the match for 3,800 drachmas, about enough to buy one donkey. Read more in the Smithsonian article, “Wrestling was fixed even in ancient Rome“.

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