Between the first and the sixth century a single theological and several medical authors reported on the consumption of gladiator’s blood or liver to cure epileptics. The origins of the sacred or apoplectic properties of blood of a slain gladiator, likely lie in Etruscan funeral rites. Although the influence of this religious background faded during the Roman Republic, the magical use of gladiators’ blood continued for centuries. After the prohibition of gladiatorial combat in about 400 AD, an executed individual (particularly had he been beheaded) became the “legitimate” successor to the gladiator.

via Mind Hacks: Gladiator’s blood as a cure for epilepsy.

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