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Painting of a lone gladiator as depicted in Chapter 19 of THE DEADLIEST LIE. Fighting a lioness, he is armed with only a thin sword and a frozen, tight-lipped smile. 

from the Merida Amphitheatre, Spain.

Public Domain


        Despite Despite this 19th century painting, scholars today differ as to how the thumb was turned to signal the fate of a fallen gladiator. In Chapter 20 of THE DEADLIEST HATE, the prefect, with a slight smirk creasing the corners of his mouth, surveys the crowd before turning his own thumb.

Painting by Jean-Leon Gerome

United States Public Domain


        Fourth Century CE mosaic of two gladiators, Astyanax and Kalendio. Kalendio’s raised dagger [upper right] shows him surrendering to his opponent. The “null” sign Ø next to his name means that he was ordered killed on the spot.

United States Public Domain

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