Gaius Appuleius Diocles (104-146) was a Roman charioteer.
A native of Lamego, Lusitania (now Lamego, Portugal), his first notable victory outside his native land was in Ilerda (now Lleida, Spain)
This success brought him international fame and encouraged him to go to Rome.
He became known as Lamecus and henceforth brought fame and renown to Lamego, his native city. Within the city, they erected a statue on top the fountain in front of the garden known today as Jardim do Campo, located in the centre of town.
He most commonly raced four-horse chariots, and in most of his races he came from behind to win. Diocles is also notable for owning an extremely rare ducenarius, a horse that had won at least 200 races. Records show that he won 1,462 out of the 4,257 four-horse races he competed in. His winnings reportedly totaled 35,863,120 sesterces, an amount which could provide a year's supply of grain to the entire city of Rome, or pay the Roman army at its height for a fifth of a year. Classics professor Peter Struck describes him as "the best paid athlete of all time".
Other Wikipedia language sources
- 'Cayo Apuleyo Diocles', Wikipedia Spanish, with original Latin epitaph written in stone plaque.