Gladiator fighting vase found in Britain, estimated to be over 1800 years old

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(ORDO NEWS) — It is generally accepted that gladiator fights are entertainment held exclusively in Rome.

However, new information proves the opposite: it turns out that bloody battles were also fought in Britain, and the proof of this is the found earthenware vase.

It turns out that it was possible to watch gladiator fights not only in the Colosseum!

A vase depicting two gladiators was found in a Roman-era tomb at West Lodge in 1853.

For a long time, experts conducted examinations of the vessel: it was originally intended for drinking, but ultimately it was used to bury the ashes.

It turned out that the vase was made in Camulodunum (now Colchester) – in the first capital of Roman Britain around 160-200 AD.

The fighters depicted on the vessel were Memnon (left) and Valentine (right). Next to Memnon’s name are the initials SAC and the number VIIII – they mean that he fought nine times and survived.

Special vase

Researchers have carefully studied the material from which the vase is made. This is Colchester clay.

The vessel was made in kilns to the west of the city – this is indicated by decorations similar to those on other pots made in these kilns.

Roman Colchester had three battle theaters – more than any other in Britain – and the only Roman circus for chariot racing.

In addition, the inscription about two fighting gladiators was applied to the vase at the time of manufacture, which means that it was probably a custom item.

Gladiator fighting vase found in Britain estimated to be over 1800 years old 2

In addition to Memnon and Valentine, two other significant events are depicted on the vase: one of them is two men poisoning a bear, and the other is a dog chasing two deer and a hare.

Thus, three types of entertainment were demonstrated in the Roman amphitheater: men fighting men, men fighting animals and animals fighting animals.


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