n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - Exchanging gladiators for an aqueduct at Aphrodisias ( 50.1096)

Volume 51, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1141
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A letter of Hadrian to the magistrates, council, and people of Aphrodisias ( 50.1096) has been interpreted as evidence that nominees for the high priesthood became reluctant to assume the office, when the traditional liturgy of sponsoring gladiatorial shows was replaced by a financial contribution towards the building of an aqueduct. This article proposes that, instead, the nominees' reluctance was caused by the burden of providing gladiators, and that the alternative of contributing to the aqueduct was intended as a more attractive option to boost the pool of available candidates.

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