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Neither Ronaldo, Nor Messi, The Highest Paid Athlete Of All Time Was Gaius Appuleius Diocles

According to Forbes, the top five highest-paid athletes in 2016 were Cristiano Ronaldo ($88 million), Lionel Messi ($81.4 million), LeBron James ($77.2 million), Roger Federer ($67.8 million) and Kevin Durant ($56.2 million).




Whether it's the top-notch football stars or the highly-decorative Olympic athletes, the world is undoubtedly in awe over the ridiculous amount of money these icons make. 


According to Forbes, the top five highest-paid athletes in 2016 were Cristiano Ronaldo ($88 million), Lionel Messi ($81.4 million), LeBron James ($77.2 million), Roger Federer ($67.8 million) and Kevin Durant ($56.2 million).



But, all of these modern-day icons are made to look like paupers, though, when compared to an iconic figure who strutted his stuff in ancient Rome. Even the few sports stars that have managed to break $1 billion in total revenues, including Tiger Woods, are still far behind the earnings of the fearless entertainer of the Circus Maximus.



Gaius Appuleius Diocles may not be a name instantly recognisable to a 21st century audience, but he was arguably an athlete of the highest order in his day and a man who can undoubtedly lay claim to being the highest-earning sportsperson of all time.



Diocles, a 2nd century charioteer, bagged $15 billion over the course of a career that saw him become the most prolific charioteer of his era. Wait, what? That's over four times the amount of Real Madrid's valuation of $3.645 billion - currently world's richest football club.



Who Is Gaius Appuleius Diocles






Born in approximately 104 AD, Diocles was born in Lamecum - the capital of Lusitania which was a province of Emerita Augusta (modern-day Portugal). He began racing at a tender age of 18 in Ilerda (modern-day Catalonia) and quickly gained reputation that propelled him to the big leagues in Rome.



Diocles, who was known as Lamecus (his racing name), rapidly rose through the ranks and soon became a crowd favourite. Out of the 4,257 races he participated in, Diocles won 1,462 and was placed in an additional 1,438 races (mostly finishing in second place).



The Lusitanian finally called time on his 24-year-long career at the age of 42, with his achievements noted to stand the test of time.




Highest-Earning Sportsperson Of All Time





Diocles, whose signature move was the strong final dash, put his life on the line each and every time he clambered aboard his chariot, with competitors armed with curved swords in case their rivals got too close.



Twenty-four years of winnings brought Diocles, likely an illiterate man, the staggering sum of 35,863,120 sesterces (around $15 billion) in prize money. His total take home amounted to five times the earnings of the highest-paid provincial governors over a similar period - enough to provide grain for the entire city of Rome for a year.



And unlike the modern-era sportspersons, Diocles did not make his money through sponsorships or marketing gambits. Instead, the earnings of the "champion of all charioteers" came solely from the prizes he won during his highly-decorated career.




Legend Of Circus Maximus






Rome's Circus Maximus, considered to be the beating heart at the centre of the empire, accommodated a quarter million people for weekly chariot races. These outdrew stage plays, the disembowelling of slaves and exotic carnivores in the gladiatorial combats of the Coliseum.



The drivers for the chariot races were drawn from the lower strata of the society. They were affiliated with teams supported by large businesses that invested heavily in training and upkeep of the horses and equipment. The colours of the team jerseys provided them with names - Reds, Blues, Whites and Greens.



The equipment consisted of a leather helmet, shin guards, chest protector, a jersey, whip and a curved knife - handy for cutting opponents who got too close during the race. After seven savage laps, those who managed not to be upended or killed and finish in the top three took home prizes.



The best drivers were made legends by poets who sung their exploits and graffiti artists who scrawled crude renderings of their faces on walls around the Mediterranean.



It's quite surprising how we all drool over the earnings of modern-day legends like Ronaldo, Messi or even Tiger Woods. But, against a 2nd century legend like Diocles, the wages of these sports icons look like peanuts.



So, the next time someone brags about the earnings of their favourite sports star, you would know how to pull out the big gun on them.





Source:MensXp

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B3infoarena: Neither Ronaldo, Nor Messi, The Highest Paid Athlete Of All Time Was Gaius Appuleius Diocles
Neither Ronaldo, Nor Messi, The Highest Paid Athlete Of All Time Was Gaius Appuleius Diocles
According to Forbes, the top five highest-paid athletes in 2016 were Cristiano Ronaldo ($88 million), Lionel Messi ($81.4 million), LeBron James ($77.2 million), Roger Federer ($67.8 million) and Kevin Durant ($56.2 million).
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