|Gaius Appuleius Diocles was born in 104 A.D in Lamecum, Portugal the capital city of Lusitania, province of Emerita Augusta (modern-day Mérida, Spain). His father owned a transport business and the family was well off. Diocles is believed to have started racing at the age of 18 in Ilerda.|
|Roman obsession with panem et circenses (bread and games) showed what the people valued most, the grain dole and chariot races in the Circus. Life expectancy of a charioteer was short. One such celebrity driver was Scorpus, who won 2,048 races before being killed when he was about 26.|
Diocles survived until his retirement at age 42.
|Diocles earned 35,863,120 Roman sesterces in his lifetime - a figure that would amount to about $15 billion in today's money. The number is inscribed on a monument in Rome, erected for Diocles by his fans at the end of a 24-year career. The most famous races took place at Circus Maximus, a sports arena in Rome.|
|Races began when the emperor dropped his napkin and ended seven laps later. Those who didn't get maimed or killed and finished in the top three won prizes.|
Diocles 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.