Real Gladiators Ate Barley!

News.telegraph: Cemetery research has discovered that the diet of the Roman gladiator consisted mainly of barley and beans. Today's vegetarians may proudly point to Roman gladiators as fine examples of healthy eaters if recent research on gladiator cemeteries is true. Dietary scientists from the University of Vienna analyzed the bones of 70 gladiators and found that, contrary to Hollywood images, their diet consisted mostly of beans and barley, used to bulk themselves out. Researchers now understand puzzling contemporary references to "barley crunchers."

The cemetery study also shows that Roman gladiators fought in their bare feet and that death blows often had victors plunging a sword down the victim's throat to reach his heart.

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