10.17.2008

Tomb of the 'Real' Gladiator Found
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Along the banks of the Tiber and running parallel to an undetected portion of the Via Flaminia (Flaminian Way) a marble mausoleum belonging to Marcus Nonius Macrinus, a confidante of the emperor Marcus Aurelius, was discovered in what experts are saying is probably the most significant Roman period archaeological find in two or three decades, uncovered during the routine demolition of an old warehouse.

Note the pristine condition of the road, buried as it was, under soil and loess.



Just over a year ago, a floor mosaic of the gladiator Montanus was discovered in an estate belonging to Commodus, son of Marcus Aurelius.

Macrinus was possibly related to the future Emperor Macrinus (217-218) who was the praetorian prefect under the emperor Caracalla, but this is uncertain.

The emperor's biography presented in the histories would appear to make this unlikely, however, note he was appointed procurator of the Via Flaminia, the road running right by his ostensible relative's important mausoleum, and this could be an important clue in solving this historiographical puzzle.

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