This is part of the famous inscription from the garden of S. Pietro in Vincoli in Rome, giving the career of the pancratiast M. Aurelius Asclepiades, who was at the height of his powers c. A.D. 180. Moretti describes it as ‘Certainly the most interesting of all agonistic inscriptions, not so much for its length and the number of victories and festivals recorded in it as for the abundance of expressions peculiar to the world of athletics’.
Moretti's explanations of most of these expressions will command general agreement, but of those quoted above it is possible to take another view. The words ἀνέκκλητος and μήτε ἐκκαλεσάμενος—ἐκκαλέσασθαι he connects with προκαλεῖσθαι, and explains that Asclepiades was never challenged and never challenged anyone else. It is not easy to see why this should be a merit in a pancratiast. Moretti suggests that inferior athletes challenged to matches those whom they believed they could defeat, these matches being outside the normal contests, in which, of course, the competitors were paired by the κλῆρος. This is possible, and is supported by the word τολμήσαντος, but it is difficult to believe that a περιοδονείκης would think it worth mentioning, still less that he would repeat it. Moretti connects ἐπεξελθών with συναξελθών, and interprets it ‘He never agreed with an opponent to abandon a contest’ or simply ‘He never abandoned a contest’.
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