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But Posidonius, in the third, and also in the twentieth book of his Histories, says—“The Celtæ sometimes have single combats at their entertainments. For being collected in arms, they go through the exercise, and make feints at, and sometimes they even go so far as to wound one another. And being irritated by this, if the bystanders do not stop them, they will proceed even to kill one another. But in olden times,” he continues, “there was a custom that a hind quarter of pork was put on the table, and the bravest man took it; and if any one else laid claim to it, then the two rose up to fight till one of them was slain. And other men in the theatre having received some silver or gold money, and some even for a number of earthen vessels full of wine, having taken pledges that the gifts promised shall really be given, and having distributed them among their nearest connexions, have laid themselves down on doors with their faces upwards, and then allowed some bystander to cut their throats with a sword.” And Euphorion the Chalcidian, in his Historical Memorials, writes as follows—“But among the Romans it is common for five mine to be offered to any one who chooses to [p. 249] take it, to allow his head to be cut off with an axe, so that his heirs might receive the reward: and very often many have returned their names as willing, so that there has been a regular contest between them as to who had the best right to be beaten to death.”
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