Celebrities People Were Obsessed with in the Past

Milo of Croton being attacked by a lion. Wikimedia

2. Milo of Croton

Milo of Croton gained fame in Ancient Greece by winning the wrestling prize as a boy circa 540 BCE, and following that as a man in five straight Olympic Games. His career as a wrestler spanned more than two decades. The level of his celebrity in Ancient Greece is attested to by the number of legends, myths, and other tales of his prowess and prodigious strength. He was said to devour raw bull meat in the face of his opponent, drinking the blood of the animal before the match began. Like other champion athletes in Ancient Greece, he was frequently treated to free food, lodgings, and other amenities in return for his endorsement of the vendor.

Much of Milo’s life outside of his wrestling achievements is disputed, including whether he was related through marriage to Pythagoras, the mathematician and philosopher. He may have married the daughter of Pythagoras of Samos, whom some historians claimed was an athletic trainer, not the philosopher. Others believe the two were the same person. It is generally believed that Milo was killed by wolves, though most dispute that he attempted to separate the two halves of a tree he found with wedges driven into it. When he attempted to separate the tree with his hands the wedges fell out, pinning his hands within, and leaving him helpless prey to wolves.