Event: Leonas

Event ID 30168
Person Leonas son of ___ from ___
Festival Capitolia in Rome (Italy)
Discipline combat sports: pale
Date 140 - 192
Comment: Leonas had wrestled his way to the finale of wrestling at the Capitoleia, but wasn't allowed to wrestle the finale by a bribed trainer. Thonemann (2020), An ancient dream manual : Artemidorus' the interpretation of dreams, p. 171: "The most detailed account [in Artemidorus' Oneirocritia - CT] of athletic cheating comes in the context of a remarkable dream set at the Capitolia games at Rome, the significance of which rests on the association between death and athletic victory (4.82.1). The Syrian wrestler Leonas was about to compete in the games at Rome when he dreamt that he had died and was being carried out for burial, but a trainer came on the scene and was angry at the undertakers for being so quick and officious to carry him out, saying that he could come back to life. Then the trainer applied warm olive oil and wool to his chest and brought him back to life. Leonas had a good day at the games and distinguished himself in the wrestling, but when he was set to go for the crown he was prevented by the trainer, who had previously fixed the way that the crowning bout would work: he had been bribed to disbar Leonas from going on to compete for the wrestling crown. Outright corruption of this kind, especially the ‘throwing’ of wrestling-bouts for money, was a major problem at international athletic festivals in the Roman imperial period (Pausanias 5.21)."