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by Archaeology Newsroom

True to the spirit of Antiquity

On account of the Ben Jonson story it was said that, even in antiquity, there were various ways of influencing the outcome of a sporting event. An order of 389 AD issued by the emperors Valentinian, Theodosius A and Arcadius, was later included in the Theodosian Code at the close of the decade 420-430 AD. The provision states that whoever should discover a wizard was obliged to hand him over to justice. The death sentence was given to whichever of the agitators “agitatores” dared kill the wizard in private. This provision with its entire latin text was added to the Justinian Code. A footnote explains the word “agitatores” as meaning the charioteers at the chariot races.