Nero competed in the four-horse chariot race using a 10-horse chariot; Trump also allegedly "cheats like hell"by Ian Irvine / April 17, 2018 / Leave a comment
Pausanias in his 2nd century AD guide to Greece mentions cheating at the Olympic Games:
“On the way to the stadium at Olympia there is a stone terrace on which stand bronze images of Zeus. These were paid for with the fines imposed on athletes who wantonly violated the rules of the games. The first six were set up in the 98th Olympiad after Eupolus, a Thessalian, bribed his opponents in the boxing ring—Agetor, an Arcadian, Prytanis of Cyzicus, and Phormio of Halicarnassus, the last of whom had been victorious in the preceding Olympiad…
Pausanias describes another athlete, Callippus of Athens, caught cheating at the pentathalon by trying to bribe his opponents. A fine was imposed, but “the Athenians disdained to pay the money and boycotted the Olympic Games. Only when the god at Delphi declared that he would deliver no oracle on any matter to Athenians until they paid the fine was the matter resolved.”
The Roman historian Suetonius describes the Emperor Nero’s lust for winning:
“From his earliest years he had a special passion for horses and talked constantly about the games in the Circus. As emperor he soon longed to drive a chariot himself and even to show himself frequently to the public.”
Nero ordered the Olympic games to be held two years early, in 67AD, so that he could attend. He competed in the four-horse chariot race using a 10-horse chariot.
“But after he had been thrown from the car and put back in it, he was unable to hold out and gave up before the end of the course. Nevertheless the judges declared him champion. On his departure he presented the entire province with freedom and at the same time gave the judges Roman citizenship and a large sum of money.”
After his death, Nero’s Olympic achievements were removed from the public records and the games of 67AD declared null and void.
Mary Russell Mitford, author of Our Village, famous for its lyrical description of village cricket, writes to the painter Benjamin Haydon in 1823:
“When I wrote to you last I was just going to see a grand match in a fine old park near us, Bramshill, between Hampshire, with Mr Budd, and All England. I anticipated great pleasure…