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A farcical article at best. Interesting how he draws a stereotypical conclusion.

"Tests performed on bits of bone taken from the skeletons of some 70 gladiators buried at Ephesus seem to prove that they ate mainly barley, beans and dried fruit,"

"This diet, which has been mentioned in the oral history, is rather sad but it gave the gladiators a lot of strength even if it made them fat,"

Their diet doesn't prove how much they weighed.

"The bone density here was higher than usual, as is the case with modern athletes," he said.

Which only further goes to prove they probably weren't over weight. They were if anything in good shape.

"The bone density is particularly high in samples taken from the feet, which would suggest that the gladiators fought with their bare feet in sand," Kanz said.

I would say that the only thing this says is, not that they didn't wear sandles but that they didn't drive cars to the coliseum.
 

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Something is fishy here. Its just not possible to become obese on a diet of barley, legumes, and dried fruiteven if they were able to eat ad libitum. And this was centuries before the advent of modern food distribution networks. These guys probably ate 1500 calories a day, max.
 
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the romans who hug around in Britain a couple thousand years ago ate a whole bunch of shelled little sea-shore creatures and snails and the like. archaeologists near where i live find piles and piles of them when they excavate sites.

maybe these gladiators got fat bellies from partaking of all that barley in the form of beer?
 

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It's probably just poor science reporting which neglects to give enough details. I'll see what else I can dig up.
 

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I read about this ages ago (in a Norwegian pop-science mag), so this is old news to me
I think it could be entirely possible that they were "fat vegetarians" if we consider only the nutritional aspects (and assume they were eating other things in addition to barley, beans and dried fruit), although I think it sounds unlikely they chose to be completely vegetarian.
 

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Especially true when you consider the fact that small, hand-caught wild animals such as rodents and birds are the only source of free food in non-industrialized societies. The production of agricultural products requires a cooperative effort and therefore costs money. But if its running around and you can catch it, its a free meal.
 
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