Getting a thumbs up in the gladiator Coliseum was actually a bad thing…

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In the gladiator Coliseum, getting a “thumbs up” by the Emperor meant a death sentence to the fallen contender. The thumb being pointed upwards was meant to resemble a drawn sword.  If the life was to be spared, the thumb was tucked away inside of a closed fist, as to resemble a sheathed weapon. This is contrary to Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator” where the Emperor gave the fighter a thumbs down.

http://www.historynotes.info/romans-thumbs-up-for-the-death-1365/

Just a minor overlooked detail.

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Posted August 8, 2013