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Milo of Croton
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Wrestler
    Born in Croton, Italy
    Lived during the 6th century BC
    Won six wrestling titles at the ancient Olympics
    Also won 7 titles at the Pythian Games, 10 at the Isthmian Games and 9 at the Nemean Games
    Pliny the Elder claimed the secret of his strength was eating the gizzard stones of roosters.
    Some of the legends about his feats of strength seem to be based on misinterpretations of his statues.
    For example, a story that he could burst a band tied around his head simply by inflating the veins of his temples may have been based on a statue of him with a victory ribbon fastened around his brow.
    During a battle between Croton and the nearby city of Sybaris, he allegedly led the troops in battle dressed in a lion skin like Hercules.
    He reportedly died when he tried to tear apart a tree with his bare hands, when his hands became trapped in the cleft of its trunk, after which a pack of wolves devoured him.
    He reportedly saved the life of Pythagorus by holding up a roof that was about to collapse on the philosopher.
    He allegedly carried his own bronze statue to its place of installation at Olympia.
    The story of his death was probably invented out of whole cloth to illustrate the folly of hubris.
    He was mentioned in Rabelais's 'Gargantua and Pantagruel' and Shakespeare's 'Troilus and Cressida.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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