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Title: Olympic Victor Monuments and Greek Athletic Art

Author: Walter Woodburn Hyde

Release date: April 8, 2020 [eBook #61792]

Language: English

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Published by the Carnegie Institution of Washington
Washington, 1921

Publication No. 268



The purpose of the present work is to study what is known of one of the most important genres of Greek sculpture—the monuments erected at Olympia and elsewhere in the Greek world in honor of victorious athletes at the Olympic games. Since only meagre remnants of these monuments have survived, the work is in the main concerned with the attempt to reconstruct their various types and poses.

The source-material on which the attempt is based has been indicated fully in the text; it is of two kinds, literary and archæological. To the former belong the explanatory inscriptions on the bases of victor statues found at Olympia and elsewhere, many of which agree verbally with epigrams preserved in the Greek Anthologies; the incidental statements of various kinds and value found in the classical writers and their scholiasts; and, above all, the detailed works of the two imperial writers, the elder Pliny and Pausanias. Pliny’s account of the Greek artists, which is inserted into his Historia Naturalis as a digression (Books XXXIV-XXXVI)—being artificially joined to the history of mineralogy on the pretext of the materials used—is, despite its uncritical and often untrustworthy character, one of our chief mines of information about Greek sculptors and painters. The portions of Pausanias’ Description of Greece which deal with Elis and the monuments of Olympia (Books V-VI), although they also evince little real understanding of art, are of far more direct importance to our subject, since they include a descriptive catalogue, doubtless based upon personal observation, of the greater part of the athlete monuments set up in the Altis at Olympia, the reconstruction of which is the chief purpose of the present work.

To the archæological sources, on the other hand, belong, first and foremost, the remnants of victor statues in stone and metal which have long been garnered in modern museums or have come to light during the excavation of the Altis. To this small number I hope I have added at least one marble fragment found at Olympia, the head of a statue by Lysippos, the last great sculptor of Greece (Frontispiece and Fig. 69). To this second kind of sources belong also the statue bases just mentioned, on many of which the extant footmarks enable us to determine the poses of the statues themselves which once stood upon them. Furthermore, an intimate knowledge of Greek athletic sculpture in all its periods and phases is, of course, essential in treating a problem of this nature. Here, as in the study of Greek sculpture in general, where the destruction of original masterpieces, apart from the few well-known but splendid exceptions, has been complete, we are almost entirely dependent upon second-hand evidence furnished by the numerous existing antique copies and adaptations of lost originals executed in marble and bronze by more or less skilled workmen for the Roman market.


Finally, not only are the innumerable statuettes and small bronzes surviving from antiquity of great value in any attempt to reconstruct the pose of a given athlete statue, but also the representations of various athlete figures on every sort of sculptured and painted work—vase-paintings, wall-paintings, reliefs, gems, coins, etc.

By using all such sources of information, it is possible to attain tolerable certainty in reconstructing the various types and poses of these lost monuments, and in identifying schools of athletic sculpture, masters, and even individual statues. But it must be stated at the outset that such identifications, from the very nature of the problem, are at best tentative in character. The attempt to see in Roman copies certain statues of athletes has often been made by archæologists. However probable such identifications may seem, we must not forget the simple fact that up to the present time not a single Roman copy has been conclusively proved to be that of an Olympic victor statue. Only as our knowledge of Greek sculpture is gradually extended by discoveries of additional works of art, and by future researches, will it be possible to attain an ever greater degree of probability. The further identification of these important monuments, as that of masterpieces of Greek sculpture generally, will thus remain one of the chief problems for the future archæologist. In the present book, where the body of material drawn upon is so immense and the scientific writings involved are so voluminous, manifestly the author can lay no claim to an exhaustive treatment. With due consciousness of the defects and shortcomings of the work, he can claim only to have made a small selection of such works of art as will best illustrate the various types of monuments under discussion.

The plan of the book is easily seen by a glance at the table of contents. After a preliminary chapter on the origin and development of Greek athletic games in general and on the custom of conferring athletic prizes on victors, the more specific subject of the work is introduced in Chapter II by brief discussions of the more general characteristics common to Olympic victor statues—their size, nudity, and hair-fashion, their portrait or non-portrait features, and the standard of beauty reached by some of them at least, as shown by the æsthetic judgments of certain ancient writers and by the fragmentary originals which have survived. The enumeration of these characteristics is followed by a brief account of the various canons of proportion assumed to have been used and taught by different schools of sculptors. The chapter ends with a more extended account of the little-known but important subject of the assimilation of this class of monuments to athlete types of gods and heroes.

In Chapters III and IV, which are the most important in developing the problem of reconstruction, a division has been made into two great statuary groups: those in which the victor was represented at rest, where the particular contest was indicated, if indicated at all, by veryv general motives or by particular athletic attributes; and those in which the victor was represented in movement, i. e., in the characteristic pose of the contest in which he won his victory.

Chapter V relates chiefly to the monuments of hippodrome victors, those in the various chariot-races and horse-races, and ends with a very brief notice of non-athlete victor dedications—those of musicians.

Chapter VI gives a stylistic analysis of what are conceived to be two original marble heads from lost victor statues, one of which is ascribed to Lysippos, the great bronze-founder and art-reformer of the fourth century B. C., while the other is regarded as an early Hellenistic work of eclectic tendencies. The publication of these marble heads and of the oldest-dated victor statue, which is also of marble and which is discussed in Chapter VII, reinforced by other evidence adduced in the latter chapter, overthrows the belief that all victor statues were uniformly made of bronze. The publication of the Olympia head also controverts the usual assumption of archæologists that Lysippos worked only in metal. The last chapter is concerned with a topographical study of the original positions in the Altis of the various athlete monuments discussed, and with a list of all the victor monuments known to have been erected outside Olympia in various cities of the ancient world. These last three chapters are based on papers which have already appeared in the American Journal of Archæology (Chapters VI, VII, and the first half of VIII) and in the Transactions of the American Philological Association (the last half of Chapter VIII). Permission to use them in the present book has been kindly granted to the author by Dr. James A. Paton, former editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Archæology, and by Professor Clarence P. Bill, the secretary of the American Philological Association.

Although it has been my aim throughout to present my own views in regard to the various works of art under discussion, I must, of course, acknowledge that the book is largely based upon the work and conclusions of preceding scholars who have treated various phases of the same subject. It would, however, be unnecessary and even impossible here to acknowledge all the works laid directly or indirectly under contribution in the composition of the book. Most of these have been recorded in the footnotes.

But I wish here to express, in a more general way, my indebtedness to the standard histories of Greek sculpture, by Brunn, Collignon, Gardiner, Lechat, Murray, Overbeck, Richardson, and others, which must form the foundation of the knowledge of any one who writes on any phase of the subject. Among these, two have been found especially valuable: Bulle’s Der schoene Mensch im Altertum, which is justly noted for its comprehensive views and sound judgments; and Furtwaengler’s Die Meisterwerke der griechischen Plastik, which, although it has been known to English readers in its enlarged edition by Miss Eugénie Sellers for over a quarter of a century, is still prized for its extensive firstvihand knowledge of the monuments and for its brilliant inductions, even if the latter at times are carried too far.

Perhaps my greatest debt has been to the excellent volume entitled Greek Athletic Sports and Festivals, by E. Norman Gardiner, M. A., a scholar whose practical knowledge of modern athletic sports and wide familiarity with the ancient source material, both literary and monumental, has well fitted him to deal afresh with the subject treated so learnedly over three quarters of a century ago in Krause’s Die Gymnastik und Agonistik der Hellenen. I have also constantly drawn upon Gardiner’s collection of vase-paintings which illustrate athletic scenes.

I should also note here several other works which have been of great assistance in writing this book, such as Juethner’s Ueber antike Turngeraethe and edition of Philostratos’ de Arte gymnastica, Reisch’s Griechische Weihgeschenke, Rouse’s Greek Votive Offerings, and Foerster’s Die Sieger in den Olympischen Spielen. The chronological list of victors in the latter compilation was, in large part, the foundation of my earlier work de olympionicarum Statuis.

I have also received most valuable help from the standard catalogues of modern museums, e. g., those by Amelung, Dickins, Helbig, Kabbadias, Lechat, Richter, de Ridder, Staïs, Svoronos, and especially the admirable ones of the classical collections in the British Museum. I regret that, owing to the recent war, some of the latest catalogues, those especially of the smaller foreign museums, have not been available.

For illustrative matter, I have made no effort to reproduce merely striking works of art, but have, for the most part, presented well-known works which readily illustrate the problems treated in the text. I have availed myself of collections of photographs kindly placed at my disposal by Professors Herbert E. Everett of the School of Fine Arts of the University of Pennsylvania, D. M. Robinson of the Johns Hopkins University, A. S. Cooley of the Moravian College at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and Dr. Mary H. Swindler of Bryn Mawr College. The various collections of plates and the books and journals from which I have taken illustrations are duly noted in the List of Illustrations.

In addition, I wish to thank the following corporations and individuals for permission to reproduce plates and text-cuts from the works cited: the Council of the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies, of London, for the use of four plates appearing in the Journal of Hellenic Studies (Figs. 44, 54, 55, and 59); the Trustees of the British Museum in London for seven plates from Marbles and Bronzes in the British Museum (Pls. 7A, 17, 19; Figs. 14, 28, 31, and 35); Professor E. A. Gardiner and his publishers, Duckworth and Co., of London, for two plates from Six Greek Sculptors (Pl. 30; Fig. 71); Mr. H. R. Hall, of the British Museum, and his publisher, Philip Lee Warner, of London, for one from Aegean Archæology (Fig. 1); Professor Allan Marquand, of Princeton University, for one text-cut from the American Journal ofvii Archæology (Fig. 49), and Dr. J. M. Paton, former editor-in-chief, for three other text-cuts from the same journal (Figs. 70, 72, 79).

To the following I am also indebted for individual photographs: Dr. J. N. Svoronos, Director of the Numismatic Museum, Athens, Greece, for one of the oldest-dated statues of an Olympic victor (Fig. 79), which has already appeared in the American Journal of Archæology; Dr. A. Fairbanks, of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, for those of the statue of a Charioteer(?) and of the fragmentary head of the Oil-pourer (Pl. 27; Fig. 23); Dr. Edward Robinson, of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, for those of the fine Kresilæan and Praxitelian heads (Pls. 15, 20), and of the bronze statuette of a diskobolos (Fig. 46); Prof. Alice Walton, of Wellesley College, for one of the Polykleitan athlete (Pl. 13); the Director of the Fogg Art Museum of Cambridge, Mass., for that of the so-called Meleager (Fig. 77); Dr. S. B. Luce, recently of the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania, for photographs of two vase-paintings showing athletic scenes (Figs. 50, 56), and Dr. Eleanor F. Rambo, formerly of the same Museum, for a copy of the Knossos wall-painting (Pl. 1).

A word might be added as to the spelling of Greek proper names. Since consistency in this matter seems unattainable, I have adopted the method outlined in the British School Annual (XV, 1908–09, p. 402), whereby the names of persons, places, buildings, festivals, etc., are transliterated from the Greek forms, except those which have become a part of the English language. But even here I have sometimes deviated from the practice of using familiar English forms.

In abbreviations of the names of journals (see pages XVI-XIX) I have largely conformed with the usage long recommended by the American Journal of Archæology.

For convenience in identifying the many works of art, discussed or mentioned in the text and foot-notes, I have constantly referred to well-known collections of plates, such as those of Brunn-Bruckmann, Bulle, Rayet, and von Mach. For further convenience, I have also in most cases referred to the outline drawings of statues in Reinach’s Répertoire de la statuaire grecque et romaine, and in some cases to the older ones found in Clarac’s Musée de sculpture antique et moderne, and in Mueller and Wieseler’s Denkmaeler der alten Kunst.

In closing, I have the pleasant duty of thanking generally the many friends who have given me valuable suggestions and assistance, especially Professor Lane Cooper, of Cornell University, for reading the proof-sheets of the entire work, and Professor Alfred Emerson, now of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, my former teacher, for revising the list of Corrigenda.

Walter Woodburn Hyde.

University of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, October, 1921.



Chapter I.
Early Greek Games and Prizes1-42
Sports in Crete1
Athletics in Homer7
Origin of Greek Games in the Cult of the Dead9
Early History of the Four National Games14
Early Prizes for Athletes18
Dedication of Athlete Prizes21
Dedication of Statues at Olympia and Elsewhere24
Honors Paid to Victors by their Native Cities32
Votive Character of Victor Dedications37
Miscellaneous Memorials to Victors40
Honorary Statues41
Chapter II.
General Characteristics of Victor Statues at Olympia43-98
Size of Victor Statues45
Nudity of Victor Statues47
The Athletic Hair-fashion50
Iconic and Aniconic Statues54
Portrait Statues55
Aniconic Statues58
Aesthetic Judgments of Classical Writers58
Greek Originals of Victor Statues62
Canons of Proportion65

Assimilation of Olympic Victor Statues to Types of Gods and Heroes

Athlete Statues Assimilated to Types of Hermes75
Athlete Statues Assimilated to Types of Apollo88
Athlete Statues Assimilated to Types of Herakles93
Athletes Represented as the Dioskouroi96
Chapter III.
Victor Statues Represented at Rest99-172
The Apollo Type100
The Affiliated Schools of Argos and Sikyon109
The School of Argos109
The School of Sikyon118
Aeginetan Sculptors122
Attic Sculptors126
General Motives of Statues at Rest130
Adoration and Prayer130
Resting after the Contest144
Attributes of Victor Statues147
Primary Attributes of Victor Statues148
The Victor Fillet148
The Crown of Wild Olive155
The Palm-branch160
Secondary Attributes of Victor Statues161
Hoplitodromoi161 x
Caps for Boxers, Pancratiasts, and Wrestlers165
The Swollen Ear167
Chapter IV.
Victor Statues Represented in Motion173-256
The Tyrannicides173
Antiquity of Motion Statues in Greece176
Pythagoras and Myron178
Motion Statues representing Victors in Various Contests188
Runners: Stadiodromoi, Diaulodromoi, Dolichodromoi190
The Statue of the Runner Ladas196
Statues of Boy Runners200
Chapter V.
Monuments of Hippodrome and Musical Victors257-285
Programme of Hippodrome Events259
Representations of the Chariot-race262
Chariot-groups at Olympia264
Remains of Chariot-groups269
The Apobates Chariot-race272
Statues of Charioteers274
Dedications of Victors in the Horse-race at Olympia and Elsewhere278
Monuments Illustrating the Horse-race280
The Apobates Horse-race282
Dedications of Musical Victors at Olympia and Elsewhere283
Chapter VI.
Two Marble Heads from Victor Statues286-320
The Group of Daochos at Delphi, and Lysippos286
The Apoxyomenos of the Vatican, and Lysippos288
The Agios and the Apoxyomenos compared, and the Style of Lysippos289
The Head from Olympia293
The Olympia Head and that of the Agias294
Identification of the Olympia Head298
The Dates of Philandridas and Lysippos300
Lysippos as a Worker in Marble, and Statue “Doubles”302
The Head of a Statue of a Boy from Sparta, and the Art of Skopas303
Comparison of the Tegea Heads and the Head from Sparta308
The Styles of Skopas and Lysippos Compared311
The Sparta Head Compared with that of the Philandridas316
The Sparta Head an Eclectic Work and an Example of Assimilation318
xiChapter VII.

The Materials of Olympic Victor Monuments, and the Oldest-dated Victor Statue

The Case for Bronze321
The Case for Stone323
The Statue of Arrhachion at Phigalia326
Egyptian Influence on Early Greek Sculpture328
Early Victor Statues and the “Apollo” Type334
Chapter VIII.

Positions of Victor Statues in the Altis; Olympic Victor Monuments Erected Outside Olympia; Statistics of Olympic Victor Statuaries

Statues Mentioned by Pausanias339
The First Ephodos of Pausanias341
The Second Ephodos of Pausanias348
Summary of Results352
Statues not Mentioned by Pausanias, but known from Recovered Bases353
Olympic Victor Monuments Erected Outside Olympia361
Summary of Results374
Statistics of Olympic Victor Statuaries375




Marble Head, from Olympia. Front view. Museum of Olympia. After Bildw. v. Ol., Tafelbd., Pl. LIV, 3


1. Bull-grappling Scene. Wall-painting, from Knossos. Museum of Candia. After Photograph from copy in watercolor by Gilliéron in the Museum of Liverpool


2. Marble Statue of a Girl Runner. Vatican Museum, Rome. After Photograph by Anderson


3. Bronze Head of an Olympic Victor. Glyptothek, Munich. After B. B., No. 8


4. Statue of the Doryphoros, from Pompeii, after Polykleitos. Museum of Naples. After Photograph by Alinari


5. Statue of Hermes, from Andros. National Museum, Athens. After Photograph by Rhomaïdes


6. Statue of the Standing Diskobolos, after Naukydes (?). Vatican Museum, Rome. After Photograph


7 A and B. Statues of so-called Apollos. A. The Apollo Choiseul-Gouffier. British Museum, London. After Marbles and Bronzes in the British Museum, Pl. III B. The Apollo-on-the-Omphalos. National Museum, Athens. After Photograph by Merlin


8 A and B. Statues of so-called Apollos. A. The Apollo of Tenea. Glyptothek, Munich. After Photograph by Bruckmann. B. Argive Apollo, from Delphi. Museum of Delphi. After Fouilles de Delphes, IV, 1904, Pl. I


9. Statue of an Athlete, by Stephanos. Villa Albani, Rome. After Photograph


10. Bronze statue of the Praying Boy. Museum of Berlin. After Photograph


11. Statue of so-called Oil-pourer. Glyptothek, Munich. After Photograph by Bruckmann


12. Statue of an Apoxyomenos. Uffizi Gallery, Florence. After B. B., No. 523


13. Statue of an Athlete, after Polykleitos. Farnsworth Museum, Wellesley College, U. S. A. After Photograph


14. Bronze Statue known as the Idolino. Museo Archeologico, Florence. After B. B., No. 274


15. Marble Head of an Athlete, after Kresilas (?). Metropolitan Museum, New York. After Photograph


16. Bronze Statue of the Seated Boxer. Museo delle Terme, Rome. After Ant. Denkm., I, I, 1886, Pl. IV


17. Statue known as the Farnese Diadoumenos. British Museum, London. After Marbles and Bronzes in the British Museum, Pl. VI


18. Statue of the Diadoumenos, from Delos. After Polykleitos. National Museum, Athens. After Photograph by Alinari


19. Statue known as the Westmacott Athlete. British Museum, London. After Marbles and Bronzes in the British Museum, Pl. XXII


20. Head of an Athlete, School of Praxiteles. Metropolitan Museum, New York. After Photograph


21. Statue of Diomedes with the Palladion. Glyptothek, Munich. After Photograph


22. Statue of the Diskobolos, from Castel Porziano, after Myron. Museo delle Terme, Rome. After Photograph by Anderson


23. Statue of the Diskobolos, after Myron. A bronzed Cast from the Statue in the Vatican and Head from the Statue in the Palazzo Lancellotti, Rome. After B. B., No. 566


24. Statue of a Kneeling Youth, from Subiaco. Museo delle Terme, Rome. After Photograph by Anderson


25. Marble Group of Pancratiasts. Uffizi Gallery, Florence. After Photo, by Alinari


26. Racing Chariot and Horses. From an archaic b.-f. Hydria. Museum of Berlin. After Gerhard, IV, Pls. CCXLIX-CCL


27. Statue of a Charioteer (?). Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. After Photo. by Coolidge


28. Statue of the Pancratiast Agias, from Delphi. Museum of Delphi. After Fouilles de Delphes, IV, Pl. LXIII


29. Statue of the Apoxyomenos. After Lysippos or his School. Vatican Museum, Rome. After B. B., No. 381


30. Statue of Herakles. Lansdowne House, London. After Gardner, Sculpt., Pl. LVI




A. The Altis at Olympia in the Greek Period (Third Century B. C.). After Doerpfeld, in Ergebnisse von Olympia, Karten und Plaene, No. III


B. The Altis at Olympia in the Roman Period (Second Century A. D.). After Doerpfeld, in Ergebnisse von Olympia, Karten und Plaene, No. IV



1. So-called Boxer Vase, from Hagia Triada. From a Cast (with handle restored) in the Museum of Candia. After H. R. Hall, Aegean Archæology, Pl. XVI


2. Bronze Statuette of a Victor, from Olympia. Museum of Olympia. After Bronz. v. Ol., Tafelbd., Pl. VIII, No. 57


3. Bronze Head of an Olympic Victor, from Beneventum. Louvre, Paris. After Photograph


4. Bronze Head of an Olympic Victor, from Herculaneum. Museum of Naples. After B. B., No. 323 (Right)


5. Bronze Portrait-statue of a Hellenistic Prince. Museo delle Terme, Rome. After Photograph by Alinari


6. Bronze Statuette of Hermes-Diskobolos, found in the Sea off Antikythera. National Museum, Athens. After Photograph by Rhomaïdes


7. Bronze Statue of a Youth, found in the Sea off Antikythera. National Museum, Athens. After Photograph by Rhomaïdes


8. Statue of the so-called Jason (Sandal-binder). Louvre, Paris. After Photograph by Giraudon


9. Statue of so-called Apollo of Thera. National Museum, Athens. After Photograph


10. Statue of so-called Apollo of Orchomenos. National Museum, Athens. After Photograph


11. Statue of so-called Apollo, from Mount Ptoion, Bœotia. National Museum, Athens. After Photograph


12. Statue of so-called Apollo of Melos. National Museum, Athens. After Photograph


13. Statues of so-called Apollos, from Mount Ptoion. National Museum, Athens. After Photograph


14. Statue known as the Strangford Apollo. British Museum, London. After Marbles and Bronzes in the British Museum, Pl. II


15. Bronze Statuette of a Palæstra Victor, from the Akropolis. Akropolis Museum, Athens. After Photograph


16. Bronze Statuette, from Ligourió. Museum of Berlin. After 50stes Berliner Winckelmannsprogramm, 1890, Pl. I (Center and Left)


17. Statue of an Ephebe, from the Akropolis. Akropolis Museum, Athens. After Photograph


18. Head of an Ephebe, from the Akropolis. Akropolis Museum, Athens. After Photograph by Rhomaïdes


19. Bronze Statuette of Apollo, found in the Sea off Piombino. Louvre, Paris. After Photograph by Giraudon


20. Figure, from the East Pediment of the Temple on Aegina. Glypothek, Munich. After Photograph by Bruckmann


21. Two Figures, from the West Pediment of the Temple on Aegina. Glyptothek, Munich. After Photograph by Bruckmann


22. Archaic Marble Head of a Youth. Jacobsen Collection, Ny-Carlsberg Museum, Copenhagen. After Arndt, La Glyplothèque Ny-Carlsberg, 1896, Pl. I


23. Head of so-called Oil-pourer. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. After Photograph


24. Bronze Statuette of an Athlete. Louvre, Paris. After Furtwaengler, Masterpieces, Pl. XIII


25. Bronze Head of an Athlete, from Herculaneum. Museum of Naples. After B. B., No. 339 (Left)


26. Marble Statue of an Athlete (?). National Museum, Athens. After Photograph


27. Head from Statue of the Seated Boxer (Pl. 16). Museo delle Terme, Rome. After Photograph by Anderson


28. Statue of the Diadoumenos, from Vaison, after Polykleitos. British Museum, London. After Marbles and Bronzes in the British Museum, Pl. IV


xiv 29. Head of the Diadoumenos, after Polykleitos. Albertinum, Dresden. After Furtwaengler, Masterpieces, Pl. X


30. Marble Heads of two Hoplitodromoi, from Olympia. Museum of Olympia. After Bildw. v. Ol., Tafelbd., Pl. VI, 1–2 and 9–10


31. Head of Herakles, from Genzano. British Museum, London. After Marbles and Bronzes in the British Museum, Pl. XXI


32. Statue of Harmodios. Museum of Naples. After B. B., No. 327


33. Head of an Athlete, from Perinthos. Albertinum, Dresden. After B. B., No. 542 (Right)


34. Statue of the Diskobolos, after Myron. Vatican Museum, Rome. After Photograph


35. Statue of the Diskobolos, after Myron. British Museum, London. After Marbles and Bronzes in the British Museum, Pl. XLVII


36. A and B. Athletic Scenes from a Bacchic Amphora in Rome. A. Stadiodromoi and Leaper. B. Diskobolos and Akontistai. After Gerhard, IV, Pl. CCLIX


37. Athletic Scenes from a Sixth-century B. C. Panathenaic Amphora. Stadiodromoi (Left) and Dolichodromoi (Right). After Mon. d. I., I, 1829–33, Pl. XXII, 6 b, 7 b


38. Statue of a Runner. Palazzo dei Conservatori, Rome. After Photograph by Anderson


39. Statue of a Runner. Palazzo dei Conservatori, Rome. After Photograph by Anderson


40. Statue of the so-called Thorn-puller (the Spinario). Palazzo dei Conservatori, Rome. After B. B., No. 321


41. Hoplitodromes. Scenes from a r.-f. Kylix. Museum of Berlin. After Gerhard, IV, Pl. CCLXI


42. Bronze Statuette of a Hoplitodrome (?). University Museum, Tuebingen. After Jb., I, 1886, Pl. IX (Right)


43. Statue of the so-called Borghese Warrior. Louvre, Paris. After Photograph


44. Pentathletes. Scene from a Panathenaic Amphora in the British Museum, London. After J. H. S., XXVII, 1907, Pl. XVIII


45. Statue of a Boy Victor (the Dresden Boy). Albertinum, Dresden. After Furtwaengler, Masterpieces, Pl. XII


46. Bronze Statuette of a Diskobolos. Metropolitan Museum, New York. After Photograph


47. Bust of the Doryphoros, after Polykleitos, by Apollonios. Museum of Naples. After Photograph by Alinari


48. Statue of the Doryphoros, after Polykleitos. Vatican Museum, Rome. After Photograph by Anderson


49. Wrestling Scenes. From Obverse of an Amphora, by Andokides. Museum of Berlin. After A. J. A., XI, 1896, P. 11, Fig. 9


50. Wrestling and Boxing Scenes. From a r.-f. Kylix. University of Pennsylvania Museum, Philadelphia. After Photograph


51. Bronze Statues of Wrestlers. Museum of Naples. After B. B., No. 354


52. Bronze Arm of Statue of a Boxer, found in the Sea off Antikythera. National Museum, Athens. After Svoronos, Pl. V, No. 4


53. Forearm with Glove. From the Statue of the Seated Boxer (Pl. 16). Museo delle Terme, Rome. After Juethner, Fig. 62


54. Boxing Scenes. From a r.-f. Kylix by Douris. British Museum, London. After J. H. S., XXVI, 1906, Pl. XII


55. Boxing and Pankration Scenes. From a r.-f. Kylix. British Museum, London. After J. H. S., XXVI, Pl. XIII


56. Boxing Scene. From a b.-f. Panathenaic Panel-amphora. University of Pennsylvania Museum, Philadelphia. After Photograph


57. Statue of a Boxer, from Sorrento. By Koblanos of Aphrodisias. Museum of Naples. After B. B., No. 614


58. Statue known as Pollux. Louvre, Paris. After Photograph by Giraudon


59. Pankration Scene. From a Panathenaic Amphora by Kittos. British Museum, London. After J. H. S., XXVI, 1906, Pl. III


60. Bronze Statuette of a Pancratiast (?), from Autun, France. Louvre, Paris. After Bulle, Pl. 96 (Right)


61. Bronze Head of a Boxer(?), from Olympia. A (Profile); B (Front). National Museum, Athens. After Bronz. v. Ol., Tafelbd., Pl. II, 2a and 2


xv 62. Bronze Foot of a Victor Statue, from Olympia. Museum of Olympia. After Bronz. v. Ol., Tafelbd., Pl. III, 3


63. Charioteer Mounting a Chariot. Bas-relief from the Akropolis. Akropolis Museum, Athens. After Photograph


64. Apobates and Chariot. Relief from the North Frieze of the Parthenon, Athens. After Photograph


65. Charioteer. Relief from the small Frieze of the Mausoleion, Halikarnassos. British Museum, London. After Photograph


66. Bronze Statue of the Delphi Charioteer. Museum of Delphi. After Fouilles de Delphes, IV, Pl. L


67. Horse-racer. From a Sixth-century B. C. b.-f. Panathenaic Vase. British Museum, London. After Gerhard, IV, Pl. CCLVII (Bottom).


68. Head from the Statue of Agias (Pl. 28). Museum of Delphi. After Fouilles de Delphes, IV, Pl. LXIV


69. Marble Head, from Olympia. Three-quarters Front View (Cf. Frontispiece). Museum of Olympia. After Bildw. v. Ol., Tafelbd., Pl. LIV, 4


70. Profile Drawings of the Heads of the Agias and the Philandridas. After A. J. A., XI, 1907, p. 403, Fig. 6


71. Head of the Statue of Herakles (Pl. 30). Lansdowne House, London. After Gardner, Sculpt., Pl. LVII


72. Marble Head of a Boy, found near the Akropolis, Sparta. In Private Possession in Philadelphia, U. S. A. After Photograph


73. So-called Head of Herakles from Tegea, by Skopas. National Museum, Athens. After B. C. H., XXV, 1901, Pl. VII


74. Attic Grave-relief, found in the Bed of the Ilissos, Athens. National Museum, Athens. After A. Conze, Attische Grabreliefs, Pl. CCXI


75. Statue of the so-called Meleager. Vatican Museum, Rome. After Photograph


76. Head of the so-called Meleager. Villa Medici, Rome. After Ant. Denkm., I, Pl. XI, 2a


77. Torso of the so-called Meleager. Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Mass. After Photograph


78. Small Marble Torso of a Boy Victor, from Olympia. Museum of Olympia. After Bildw. v. Ol., Tafelbd., Pl. LVI, 2


79. Stone Statue of the Olympic Victor, Arrhachion, from Phigalia. In the Guards’ House at Bassai (Phigalia). After Photograph


80. Statues of Ra-nefer and Tepemankh, from Sakkarah. Museum of Cairo. After Bulle, Pl. 5




A. A.

Archaeologischer Anzeiger, Beiblatt zum Jahrbuch, 1889-.


S. Iulii Africani Ὀλυμπιάδων ἀναγραφή, apud Euseb., Chron., ed. A. Schoene, I, pp. 194–220. Berlin, 1875. See also Rutgers.

A. G.

Anthologia Graeca, cur. F. Jacobs, I-III. Leipsic, 1813–1817.

A. Pl.

Anthologia Planudea, in A. G., II, 1814.

A. J. A.

American Journal of Archæology, 1st series, 1885–1896; 2d series, 1897-.

A. M.

Mitteilungen des kaiserlich deutschen archaeologischen Instituts, Athenische Abteilung. Athens, 1876-.

Amelung, Fuehrer

W. Amelung, Fuehrer durch die Antiken in Florenz. Munich, 1897.

Amelung, Vat.

W. Amelung, Die Skulpturen des Vatikanischen Museums, Textbd., I-II: Tafelbd., I-II. Berlin, 1903, 1908.


Annali dell’ Instituto di Corrispondenza archeologica. Rome, 1829–1885.

Ant. Denkm.

Antike Denkmaeler, herausgegeben vom kaiserlich deutschen archaeologischen Institut. Berlin, 1886-.

Arch. Eph.

Ἀρχαιολογικὴ Ἐφημερίς. Athens, 3d Per., 1883-. (The title before 1910 was Ἐφημερὶς Ἀρχαιολογική.)


Photographische Einzelaufnahmen antiker Skulpturen (with text). Munich, 1893–1902. Cited in German publications as Einzelverkauf.

A. Z.

Archaeologische Zeitung. Berlin, 1843–1885.


A. Baumeister, Denkmaeler des klassischen Altertums, I-III. Munich and Leipsic, 1889.

B. B.

Brunn-Bruckmann, Denkmaeler griechischer und roemischer Skulptur. Munich, 1888. Text from No. 500 (1897-) by F. Arndt. (Plates cited by number).

B. C. H.

Bulletin de Correspondance hellénique. Paris, 1877-.

Bildw. v. Ol.

Olympia, Die Ergebnisse, Text- und Tafelbd., III, Die Bildwerke von Olympia in Stein und Thon. By G. Treu. Berlin, 1897.

B. M. Bronz.

Catalogue of the Bronzes, Greek, Roman, and Etruscan, in the British Museum. By H. B. Walters. London, 1899.

B. M. Sculpt.

Catalogue of Sculpture in the British Museum, I-III. By A. H. Smith. London, 1892–1904.

B. M. Vases

Catalogue of the Greek and Etruscan Vases in the British Museum. I, 2, II, IV, by H. B. Walters; III, by C. H. Smith. London, 1893–1912.


A. Boeckh, Pindari Opera, II, Scholia. Leipsic, 1819.

Bronz. v. Ol.

Olympia, Die Ergebnisse, Text- und Tafelbd., IV, Die Bronzen und die uebrigen kleineren Funde von Olympia. By A. Furtwaengler. Berlin, 1890.


H. Brunn, Geschichte der griechischen Kuenstler, I (Bildhauer). Brunswick, 1853. (Reprinted, Stuttgart, 1889).

B. S. A.

Annual of the British School at Athens. London, 1894–1895-.


H. Bulle, Der schoene Mensch im Altertum. Second edition, Munich and Leipsic, 1912. (= Vol. I of G. Hirth’s Der Stil.)

B. Com. Rom.

Bulletino della Commissione Archeologica Comunale di Roma. Rome, 1872-.

Bull. d. Inst.

Bulletino dell’ Instituto di Corrispondenza archeologica. Rome, 1829–1885.

C. I. A.

Corpus Inscriptionum Atticarum, I-IV. Berlin, 1873–1897. (I, ed. A. Kirchhoff; II, Pts. 1–4, and IV, Pts. 1–2, ed. U. Koehler; III, Pts. 1–2, ed. W. Dittenberger).

C. I. G.

Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum, I-IV. Berlin, 1828–1877. (I-II, ed. A. Boeckh; III, ed. J. Franz: IV, ed. E. Curtius and A. Kirchhoff.)


F. de Clarac, Musée de sculpture antique et moderne. Text, I-VI: Plates, I-VI. Paris, 1826–1853. See also Reinach, Rép.


M. Collignon, Histoire de la sculpture grecque, I-II. Paris, 1892, 1897.

C. R. Acad. Inscr.

Comptes-Rendus de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. Paris, 1857-.


C. Daremberg, E. Saglio, et E. Pottier, Dictionnaire des antiquités grecques et romaines. Paris, 1877–1918.


G. Dickins, Catalogue of the Akropolis Museum, I (Archaic Sculpture). Cambridge, 1912.

xvii Duetschke

H. Duetschke, Antike Bildwerke in Oberitalien, I-IV. Leipsic, 1874–1880. (Works of art cited by number.)

F. H. G.

Fragmenta historiorum Graecorum, coll. C. Muellerus, I-IV. Paris, 1841–1851.


H. Foerster, Die Sieger in den Olympischen Spielen. Wissenschaftliche Beilage zum Programm des Gymnasiums zu Zwickau, 1891, 1892. (The numbers refer to victors in chronological order.)


Sir J. G. Frazer, Pausanias’s Description of Greece, I-VI. London, 1898.

Froehner, Notice

W. Froehner, Notice de la sculpture ant. du musée impérial du Louvre. Paris, 1869.

Furtw., Mp.

A. Furtwaengler, Masterpieces of Greek Sculpture. Translated and enlarged from the following work, by Miss Eugénie Sellers (now Mrs. Strong). London, 1895.

Furtw., Mw.

A. Furtwaengler, Meisterwerke der griechischen Plastik. Leipsic and Berlin, 1893.

F. W.

C. Friederichs, Bausteine zur Geschichte d. griech.-roem. Plastik, 1868. Revised edition, entitled Die Gipsabguesse antiker Bildwerke, by P. Wolters. Berlin, 1885.


E. Norman Gardiner, Greek Athletic Sports and Festivals. London, 1910.

Gardner, Hbk.

E. A. Gardner, A Handbook of Greek Sculpture. Second edition revised. London, 1915.

Gardner, Sculpt.

E. A. Gardner, Six Greek Sculptors. London, 1910.

Gaz. arch.

Gazette archéologique. Paris, 1875—.

Gaz. B.-A.

Gazette des Beaux-Arts. Paris, Pér. I, 1859–1868; II, 1869–1888; III, 1889—.


E. Gerhard, Auserlesene Vasenbilder, Vol. IV (Alltagsleben). Berlin, 1840.

Helbig, Fuehrer

W. Helbig, and others, Fuehrer durch die oeffentlichen Sammlungen klassischer Altertuemer in Rom. Third edition, I-II. Leipsic, 1912, 1913.

Helbig, Guide

Guide to the Public Collections of Classical Antiquities in Rome. Translation from the preceding work (1st ed.) by J. F. and F. Muirhead, I-II. Leipsic, 1895, 1896.


H. Hitzig et H. Bluemner, Pausaniae Graeciae Descriptio. I-III (Each in 2 Parts). Leipsic, 1896–1907.


Gualterus (= Walter Woodburn) Hyde, de olympionicarum Statuis a Pausania commemoratis. Halle, 1902; enlarged, 1903. Numbers cited refer to victors in the order given by Pausanias.

I. G.

Inscriptiones Graecae (for contents and numbering of volumes, see A. J. A., IX, 1905, pp. 96–97).

I. G. A.

Inscriptiones Graecae antiquissimae praeter Atticas in Attica repertas. Ed. H. Roehl. Berlin, 1882.

I. G. B.

Inschriften griechischer Bildhauer. Ed. E. Loewy. Leipsic, 1885.

Inschr. v. Ol.

Olympia, Die Ergebnisse, Textbd., V, Die Inschriften von Olympia. By W. Dittenberger and K. Purgold. Berlin, 1896.


Jahrbuch des kaiserlich deutschen archaeologischen Instituts. Berlin, 1886—.


K. Jex-Blake and E. Sellers, The Elder Pliny’s Chapters on the History of Art (chiefly Bks. XXXIV-XXXVI of the Historia Naturalis, cited as H. N.). London and New York, 1896.

Jh. oest. arch. Inst.

Jahreshefte des oesterreichischen archaeologischen Institutes in Wien. Vienna, 1898—.

J. H. S.

Journal of Hellenic Studies. London, 1880—.


A. Joubin, La Sculpture grecque entre les Guerres Médiques et l’Époque de Périclès. Paris, 1901.


J. Juethner, Ueber antike Turngeraethe. Vienna, 1896.

Juethner, Ph.

J. Juethner, Philostratos ueber Gymnastik. Leipsic and Berlin, 1909.


P. Kabbadias, Γλυπτὰ τοῦ Ἐθνικοῦ Μουσείου. Athens, 1890–1892.


W. Klein, Geschichte der griechischen Kunst, I-III. Leipsic, 1904–1907.


J. H. Krause, Die Gymnastik und Agonistik der Hellenen, I-II. Leipsic, 1841.


H. Lechat, La Sculpture attique avant Phidias. Paris, 1904.

Lechat, Au Musée

H. Lechat, Au Musée de l’Acropole d’Athènes. Lyon, 1903.

Mach, von

E. von Mach, A Handbook of Greek and Roman Sculpture, I-II (Text and University Prints). Boston, 1914.

xviii M. D.

F. Matz and F. von Duhn, Antike Bildwerke in Rom., I-III. Leipsic, 1881–1882.


A. Michaelis, Ancient Marbles in Great Britain. Translated from the German by C. A. M. Fennell. Cambridge, 1882.

Mon. d. I.

Monumenti inediti dell’ Instituto di Corrispondenza archeologica. Rome, 1829–1885.

Mon. ant.

Monumenti antichi publicati per cura della Reale Accademia dei Lincei. Rome, 1889—.

Mon. gr.

Monuments grecs publiés par l’Association pour l’Encouragement des Études grecques en France, 1872—. (Vol. I, containing reprints of articles from 1872, appeared in 1881).

Mon. Piot.

Monuments et Mémoires publiés par l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. Fondation Eugène Piot. Paris, 1894—.


A. S. Murray, A History of Greek Sculpture. Second edition, I-II. London, 1890.

Museum Marbles

A Description of the Ancient Marbles in the British Museum, Pts. I-XI. London, 1812–1861.

M. W.

K. O. Mueller and F. Wieseler, Denkmaeler der alten Kunst. Goettingen, 1854–1877.

Not. Scav.

Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità comunicate alla Reale Accademia dei Lincei. Rome, 1876—.


J. Overbeck, Geschichte der griech. Plastik. Fourth edition, I-II. Leipsic, 1893–1898.

Oxy. Pap.

The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, ed. by B. P. Grenfell and A. S. Hunt, II, pp. 22 f. London, 1899.


Pausaniae Graeciae descriptio, rec. F. Spiro, I-III. Leipsic, 1903.


G. Wissowa and W. Kroll, Pauly’s Real-encyclopaedie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft. Stuttgart, 1894—.


G. Perrot and Ch. Chipiez, Histoire de l’art dans l’antiquité: VI (La Grèce primitive); VIII, La Grèce archaïque. Paris, 1894, 1903.


Philostratos, de Arte gymnastica, ed. Juethner, 1909 (see Juethner, Ph.).

Pliny, H. N.

See Jex-Blake.

P. l. G.

Poetae lyrici Graeci, rec. Th. Bergk. Fourth edition, I-III. Leipsic, 1878–1882. I, Pt. 1 = ed. 5, rec. O. Schroeder, 1900.


O. Rayet, ed. Monuments de l’Art antique, I-II. Paris, 1884.

Reinach, Rép.

S. Reinach, Répertoire de la statuaire grecque et romaine, I, second edition; II, Pts. 1, 2, second edition; 111-IV, first edition. Paris 1904–1910. I = Reprint of Clarac = Clarac de poche.

Reinach, Têtes

S. Reinach, Recueil de têtes antiques ideales et idealisées. Paris, 1903.


E. Reisch, Griechische Weihgeschenke. Vienna, 1890.

R. Arch.

Revue Archéologique. Paris, Sér. 1, 1844–1860; II, 1860–1882; III, 1883–1902; IV, 1903—.

R. Ét. Gr.

Revue des Études grecques. Paris, 1888—.


R. B. Richardson, A History of Greek Sculpture. New York, 1911.

Ridder, de

A. de Ridder, Catalogue des bronzes trouves sur l’acropole d’Athenes. Paris, 1896.

R. M.

Mitteilungen des kaiserlich deutschen archaeologischen Instituts, Roemische Abteilung. Rome, 1886—.

Robert, O. S.

C. Robert, Die Ordnung der Olympischen Spiele und die Sieger der 75.-83. Olympiade: Hermes, XXXV, 1900, pp. 141 f.

Roscher, Lex.

W. H. Roscher, Lexikon der griechischen und roemischen Mythologie. Leipsic, 1884—.


W. D. Rouse, Greek Votive Offerings. Cambridge, 1902.


J. R. Rutgers, S. Julii Africani Ὀλυμπιάδων ἀναγραφή. Leyden, 1862.


Chr. Scherer, de olympionicarum Statuis, Diss. inaug., Goettingen, 1885.

Sitzb. Muen. Akad.

Sitzungsberichte der philosophisch-philologischen und der historischen Klasse der koeniglich Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Muenchen. Munich, 1871—.


Specimens of Ancient Sculpture ... Selected from different Collections in Great Britain by the Society of Dilettanti, I-III. London, 1809–1835.

xix Springer-Michaelis

A. Springer and A. Michaelis, Handbuch der Kunstgeschichte, I. Das Altertum. Ninth edition. Leipsic, 1911.

S. Q.

Die Antiken Schriftquellen zur Geschichte der bildenden Kuenste bei den Griechen, ed. J. Overbeck. Leipsic, 1868.

Staïs, Marbres et Bronzes

V. Staïs, Marbres et Bronzes du Musée National d’Athènes. Second edition. Athens, 1910.


J. N. Svoronos, Das Athener National Museum. Text and Plates, I-III. Athens, 1908–1911.

Other abbreviations will be readily understood.


Besides the following, there are a few other corrections which are so obvious that they scarcely need to be listed.

Page     2,

note 1, for ragmentary read fragmentary.


line 2, (and Index), for Archermoros read Archemoros.


note 2, after 202f. add Dar.-Sagl., IV, i, pp. 194 f., list 34 local Olympia.


line 6, for Dorian Eleans read Dorian allies, the Eleans.


line 27, for 173 A. D. read 173 or 174 A. D.


line 27, for archaistic read archaic.


lines 8–9, for Papyrus read Papyri; line 20, for Aigira read Aigeira.


note 1, line 2, add The Solonian cubit of 444 mm. gives 17.53 inches, the finger .73 inch, which makes Diagoros’ statue 6 feet 1.75 inches tall.


note 2, for statues of all read statues by all.


note 1, for Vespes read Vespae; note 5, for Koponios read Coponius.


line 18, for staute read statue; note 3, line 11, for Encrinomenos read Encrinomenus.


lines 14–15, for in and not outside read outside and not inside.


line 15, for Svonoros read Svoronos.


line 2 (and Index, s. v. Ball-playing), for φανίνδα read φαινίνδα.


note 1, line 6, for Hermes read Herakles.


line 20, and note 1, line 9 (and Index), for Argeidas read Argeiadas.


note 4, for Glyptothek read Glyptothèque.


line 12 (and Index, s. v. Praxiteles), for ψελιομένη read ψελιουμένη.


note 2, for ξωστήρ read ζωστήρ.


line 3, for arms read hands.


line 17, for Stronganoff read Stroganoff.


lines 4 and 8, and 186, line 3, for Lancelotti read Lancellotti.


note 8, line 3, for Perseus read Akrisios.


note 1, for Papyrus read Papyri; for Beilage read Beilag.


line 21, for eponymous read eponymus.


line 25, and 197, note 2, for Θῦμον read Θυμόν.


line 5, for αλμα read ἅλμα.


note 1, line 2, omit as.


line 27, for 1202 read 1204.


line 14, for Paunasias read Pausanias.


line 26 (and Index, s. v. Nikomachos and Victoria), for sublimine read sublime.


line 10 (and Index), for Tenerari read Tenerani.


line 29, for inventors read so-called inventors.


line 3, for stautes read statues.


line 33, last word of line should be δεξιᾷ.


line 28, for prothusis read prothysis.



Plate 1 and Figures 1 and 2.

Before attempting to trace historically the development of monuments of victors in the gymnic and hippic contests at Olympia, and before attempting to reconstruct their different types, it will be useful to devote a preliminary chapter to the early history of Greek athletics and victor prizes in general.

It is a truism that the origin of Greek athletics is not to be found in the recently discovered Aegean civilization of Crete, nor in the latest phase of the same culture on Mycenæan sites of the mainland of Greece. Their origin is not to be sought in the indigenous Mediterranean stock which produced that culture, but rather among the northern invaders of Greece, the fair-haired Achæans of the Homeric poems, and especially among the later Dorians in the Peloponnesus. It was to the physical vigor of these strangers rather than to the more artistic nature of the Mediterraneans that the later Greeks owed their interest in sports. As these invaders settled themselves most firmly in the Peloponnesus, Greek athletics may be said to be chiefly the product of South Greece. It was here that three of the four national festivals grew up—at Olympia, Nemea, and on the Corinthian Isthmus. It was in the schools of Argos and Sikyon that athletic sculpture flourished best and in later Greek history physical exercise was most fully developed among the Dorian Spartans.1


Centuries before the Achæan civilization of Greece had bloomed, there developed among the Minoans of Crete a passion for certain acrobatic performances and for gymnastics. These Cretans, though strongly influenced by Egypt and the East, did not borrow their love of sport from outside any more than did the later Achæans. On the walls of the tombs of Beni-Hasan on the Nile are pictured many athletic sports, including a series of several hundred wrestling groups,2 but these sports did not influence, so far as we know, Cretan athletics. At Knossos bull-grappling seems to have been the national sport, as we see from the frescoes on the palace walls. In the absence of the horse, which did not appear in early Aegean times in Crete, it is not difficult to understand the development of gymnastic sports with bulls. At Knossos a seal has been found which shows the rude drawing of a vessel with rowers seated under a canopy, superimposed on which is drawn the greater portion of a huge horse. In this design, dating from about 1600 B. C. and synchronizing with the earlier part of the eighteenth 2Egyptian dynasty, we doubtless see a graphic way of indicating the cargo, and consequently a contemporary record, it may be, of the first importation of horses from Libya into Crete.3

The Cretan bull seems to have been a much larger animal than the species found upon the island to-day.4 Bull-grappling at Knossos was the sport of female as well as male toreadors. A fragmentary rectangular fresco, dating from about 1500 B. C. (Pl. 1), was discovered there by Sir Arthur Evans in 1901 and is now in the Candia museum. It is executed with extraordinary spirit and shows a huge bull rushing forward with lowered head and tail straight out. A man is in the act of turning a somersault on its back, his legs in the air, his arms grasping the bull’s body and his head raised, looking back to the rear of the animal, where a cowgirl is standing, holding out her arms to catch his flying figure as soon as his feat is concluded. Another cowgirl, at the extreme left, seems to be suspended from the bull’s horns, which pass under her armpits, while she catches hold further up. However, she is not being tossed, but is taking position preliminary to leaping over the bull’s back. Both the man and the women wear striped boots and bracelets; the women are apparently distinguished by their white skin, short drawers, yellow sashes embroidered with red, and the red-and-blue diadems around their brows.[5] On the opposite wall a similar scene was pictured; among its stucco fragments was found the representation of the arm and shoulder of a woman grasping a bull by the horns. The fragmentary representation of another woman and man was also found.


Bull-grappling Scene.
Bull-grappling Scene. Wall-painting from Knossos. Museum of Candia.

A very similar scene has long been known from a fresco painting from Tiryns, now in Athens.6 A bull is represented galloping to the left, while a man7 clings to its horns with his right hand and is swept 3 along with one foot lightly touching the bull’s back and the other swung aloft. Most early writers interpreted this scene as a bull-hunt, the artist having drawn the hunter above the bull through ignorance of perspective. The execution is very inferior, three attempts of the bungling painter being visible in the painting of the tail and the front legs. Others saw in it the representation of an acrobat showing his dexterity by leaping upon the back of an animal in full career, recalling the description of such a trick in the Iliad, where Ajax is represented as rushing over the plain like a man who, while driving four horses, leaps from horse to horse.8 But this figure must take its place side by side with the one from Knossos just described as another bull-grappling scene. That such sports were not held in the open air, but in an enclosed courtyard, is shown by the seal from Praisos now in the Candia Museum, which depicts a man vaulting on the back of a gigantic ox within a paved enclosure.9 Doubtless the theatral areas discovered at Phaistos by the Italian Archæological Mission10 and at Knossos by Sir Arthur Evans in 190311 were not large enough for bull scenes and were used merely for ceremonial dancing and perhaps for the boxing matches to be described.12 Similar acrobats are doubtless to be recognized in the two beautiful ivory statuettes, only 11.5 inches in height, of so-called leapers, found by Dr. Evans at Knossos in 1901.13 These masterpieces of the late Minoan II period represent acrobats (one is probably a woman) darting through the air. “The life, the freedom, the élan of these figures is nothing short of marvellous,” writes Dr. Evans, who calls attention to the careful physical training shown in their slender legs and in the muscles, even the veins on the back of the hands and the finger-nails being plainly indicated as well as the details of the skinfolds at the joints. They doubtless formed a part of an ivory model of the bull-ring and are meant for miniature toreadors, who were hung in the air by fine gold wires14 over the backs of ivory bulls who stood on the solid ground. The heads of the figures are thrown backwards, a posture suitable for such vaulters, but not for leapers or divers. Minoan art culminated in these statuettes and in certain stucco figures in half relief found also at Knossos. Only a few fragments of these reliefs have survived, most of which were decorative or architectonic in character, though among them were also4 found human disjecta membra in high relief, such as the fragment of a left forearm holding a horn, and not a pointed vase, as Dr. Evans thought. Here the muscles are well indicated, though the veins are exaggerated.15 This fragment may well be a part of the same bull-grappling scenes as those in the frescoes, as also the life-like image of a bull, the details of whose head, mouth, eyes, and nostrils are full of expression, and whose muscles are perfectly indicated.

When compared with the monuments described, the similarity of details on the design of the Vapheio cups ornamented in repoussé, the “most splendid specimens known of the work of the Minoan goldsmith,”16 never again equalled until the Italian Renaissance, makes it more than possible that here again we have scenes of bull-grappling rather than of bull-hunting. On one cup is represented a quiet pastoral scene—a man tying the legs of a bull with a rope, while two other bulls stand near, amicably licking one another, and a third is quietly grazing. On the other, however, are represented scenes of a very different character. In the centre is a furious bull entangled in a net, which is fastened to a tree; to the left a figure, doubtless a woman, is holding on to a bull’s head, while a man has fallen on his head beside the animal, both man and woman being dressed in the Cretan fashion. A third bull rushes furiously by to the right. Most commentators have seen bull-hunting scenes on both these cups. Thus, on the first cup were represented three scenes in the drama of trapping a bull by means of a tame decoy cow; to the right the bull is starting to go to the rendezvous, while in the center the bull stands by the cow’s side and to the left he is finally trapped and tied.17 On the other cup the furious animal at the left was supposed to have thrown one hunter and to have caught another on its horns. But Mosso’s interpretation of this design seems to be the right one.18 The two persons struggling with the bull5 have no lasso and so can hardly be hunters; besides, if the bull had impaled a hunter with its horns, the hunter would have been represented with his head up and not down. The figure is, however, uninjured and holds on with its knee bent over one horn and its shoulder against the other; it is merely, therefore, intended for a woman acrobat. The net shown in the centre was never used for hunting wild bulls; more probably it was intended as an obstacle in racing. The fallen man has been standing on the netted bull, which, with the gymnast on its back, was expected to have leaped over the net, but has not succeeded; consequently, the acrobat has been tumbled over the bull’s head.

This ancient Cretan sport seems to have been similar to that known in Thessaly and elsewhere in historical days as τὰ ταυροκαθάψια.19 A survival of it still persists to our day in certain parts of Italy, as, e. g., in the province of Viterbo.20

Acrobatic feats of various sorts were attractive to the later Greeks from the time of Homer down. We have already mentioned one passage from the Iliad in which a driver of four horses leaps from horse to horse in motion. On the shield of Achilles tumblers appeared among the dancers on the dancing-place.21 Patroklos ironically remarks over the body of Kebriones, as the charioteer falls headlong like a diver from his chariot when hit by a missile, that there are tumblers also among the Trojans.22 In later centuries the Athenians evinced a great attraction to acrobatic feats. The story told of Hippokleides23 reveals that high-born Athenians did not disdain to practice them. They appear to have formed a sort of side-show attraction at the Panathenaic festival, as such scenes occur frequently on Attic vases. Thus on an early (imitation?) Panathenaic vase from Kameiros in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris,24 there is represented behind the driver a man standing on the back of a horse, armed with a helmet and two shields, while in front another appears to be balancing himself on a pole.

But such acrobatic scenes as those of Crete and later Greece can not properly be classed as athletic. They betoken more the love of excitement than of true sport. The only form of real athletics represented on Minoan monuments, one which was classed in later Greece as one of the national sports, was that of boxing, which seems to have been6 the favorite gymnastic contest of the Cretans, as it always was of the later Greeks. Boxing scenes appear on seals,25 on a steatite fragment of a pyxis found in 1901 at Knossos and, in conjunction with a bull-grappling Boxer Vase Fig. 1.—So-called Boxer Vase, from Hagia Triada (Cast). Museum of Candia. scene, on the so-called Boxer Vase found by the Italians at Hagia Triada (Fig. 1). The vase is a cone-shaped rhyton of steatite, 18 inches high, originally overlaid with gold foil. It belongs to the best period of Cretan art, late Minoan I.26 This vase alone, if no other monumental evidence were at hand, would suffice to show the physical prowess and love of sport of the Minoans. Because of its scenes of boxing and bull-grappling Mosso calls it “the most complete monument that we have of gymnastic exercise in the Mediterranean civilization.”27 The later Greek tradition of the high degree of physical development attained by the Cretans is proved by this monument.28

The reliefs are arranged in four horizontal zones.29 One of these, the second from the top, represents a bull-grappling scene, showing two racing bulls, upon the head and horns of one of which a gymnast has vaulted (not being tossed and helpless, as most interpreters think).30 The other7 three represent boxers in all attitudes of the prize-ring, hitting, guarding, falling, and even kicking, as in the later Greek pankration. Some are victorious, the left arm being extended on guard and the right drawn back to strike; one (in the top zone) is ready to spring, just as Hector was ready to spring on Achilles;31 others are prostrate on the ground with their feet in the air. The violence of the action recalls the boast of Epeios in the famous match in the Iliad that he will break his adversary’s bones.32

The method of attack by the right arm and defense by the left is the same as that formerly used by English pugilists. In the topmost zone the combatants wear helmets with visors, cheek-pieces, and horse-hair plumes, and also shoes; in the third zone down the pugilists also wear helmets, though of a different pattern, while the bottom zone shows figures, perhaps youths, with bare heads. Some of the boxers appear to wear boxing-gloves. In the lowest zone we see the well-known feat of swinging the antagonist up by the legs and throwing him—if we may so conclude from the contorted position of the vanquished, whose legs are in the air.

A similar figure appears in relief on the fragment of a pyxis found at Knossos.33 A youth with clenched fists stands with left arm extended as if to ward off a blow, while his right arm is drawn back and rests on his hip; below we see the bent knee of a prostrate figure, evidently that of his vanquished opponent. The boxer has a wasp-like waist and wears a metal girdle. His left leg is well modeled, the muscles not being exaggerated.


We have evidence, therefore, that the love of sport existed in Crete as it has existed in all countries since. But the comparatively unathletic character of the Aegean culture is shown by the complete absence of athletic representations—apart from bull-grappling scenes—in the art of its last phase at Mycenæ and Tiryns on the mainland. This is an independent argument for the view that the civilization of the mainland was chiefly the product of the old Mediterranean stock, which was finally conquered by the invading Achæans, who are represented in Homer as skilled gymnasts. In Homer we are immediately conscious of being in another world, for here we are in an atmosphere of true athletics, which are fully developed and quite secular in character.34 They are, however, wholly spontaneous, for there are as yet neither meets nor organized training, neither stadia, gymnasia, nor palæstræ; for such an organization of athletics did not exist until the sixth century B. C. But Homer’s account of the funeral games of8 Patroklos is pervaded by a spirit of true athletics and has a perennial attraction for every lover of sport. Walter Leaf says of the chariot-race, which is the culminating feature of the description, that it is “a piece of narrative as truthful in its characters as it is dramatic and masterly in description.”35 Such a description could have been composed only by a poet who belonged to a people long acquainted with athletics and intensely interested in them. Nestor often speaks of a remoter past, when the gods and heroes contended. Odysseus says he could not have fought with Herakles nor Eurytos, heroes of the olden time, “who contended with the immortal gods.” The Homeric warrior was distinguished from the merchant by his knowledge of sport. Thus Euryalos of the Phaiakians says in no complimentary tone to Odysseus: “No truly, stranger, nor do I think thee at all like one that is skilled in games ... rather art thou such an one as comes and goes in a benched ship, a master of sailors that are merchantmen, one with a memory for his freight, or that hath charge of a cargo homeward bound, and of greedily gotten gains.”36 It is beside the point whether the chief passages in the poems which relate to sports are late in origin or not, even if they are later than 776 B. C., the traditional first Olympiad. In any case the later poet merely followed an older tradition. At the funeral games of Patroklos all the events are practical in character, the natural amusements of men chiefly interested in war. They are, however, not merely military, but are truly athletic. The oldest and most aristocratic of all the events described is the chariot-race—in which the war-chariot is used—the monopoly of the nobles then, as it was always later the sport of kings and the rich.37 Boxing and wrestling come next in importance, already occupying the position of preëminence which they hold in the poems of Pindar. The foot-race between Ajax, the son of Oileus, and Odysseus follows. Of the last four events, three—the single combat between Ajax and Diomedes, the throwing of the solos, and the contest in archery—are admitted to be late additions. The last event of all, the casting of the spear, may be earlier, but we know little about it, as the contest did not take place, Achilles yielding the first prize to Agamemnon. Most of these later events are described in a lifeless manner and have not the vim and compelling interest of the earlier ones. Indeed the contest in archery seems to be treated with a certain amount of ridicule, which shows the contempt of the great nobles for so plebeian a sport. The armed contest, though it is9 pictured in art certainly as early as the sixth century B. C.,38 never had a place in the later Greek games.39 Jumping, an important part of the later pentathlon, is mentioned but once in the poems, as a feature of the sports of the Phaiakians. But the later pentathlon, as Gardiner says, is certainly not suggested in Homer’s account, though many have assumed it,40 merely because Nestor mentions his former contests at Bouprasion in boxing, in running, in hurling the spear, and in the chariot-race.41 This, however, is not the combination of contests known much later as the pentathlon, in which the same contestants had to compete in the series of events—running, jumping, wrestling, diskos-throwing, and javelin-throwing.


In these games described in the Iliad we see an example of the origin of the later athletic festivals in the cult of the dead. Homer knows only of funeral games42 and there is no trace in the poems of the later athletic meetings held in honor of a god.43 However, the association of the later games with religious festivals held at stated times can be traced to the games with which the funeral of the Homeric chief was celebrated. The oldest example of periodic funeral games in Greece of which we have knowledge were those held in Arkadia in honor of the dead Azan, the father of Kleitor and son of Arkas, at which prizes were offered at least for horse-racing.44

Though the origin of the four national religious festivals in Greece—at Olympia, Delphi, Nemea, and on the Isthmus—is buried in a mass of conflicting legend, certain writers agree in saying that all of them were founded on funeral games, though they were later dedicated to10 gods.45 Thus the Isthmian were instituted in honor of the dead Melikertes,46 the Nemean in honor of Opheltes or Archemoros,47 the Pythian in honor of the slain Python,48 the Olympian in honor of the hero Pelops.49 To both Pindar and Bacchylides the Olympian games were associated with the tomb of Pelops; Pausanias, on the other hand, records that the ancient Elean writers ascribed their origin to the Idæan Herakles of Crete.50 It was a common tradition that Herakles founded the games, some writers saying that it was the Cretan, others that it was the Greek hero, the son of Zeus and Alkmena.51

Despite the variation in legends relative to the institution of the four national games, we should not doubt the universal tradition that all were funerary in origin. The tradition is confirmed by many lines of argument: by the survival of funeral customs in their later rituals, by the later custom of instituting funeral games in honor of dead warriors both in antiquity and in modern times, and by the testimony of early athletic art in Greece.52 We shall now briefly consider these arguments.


As an example of the survival of funeral customs in later ritual, Pausanias says that the annual officers at Olympia, even in his day, sacrificed a black ram to Pelops.53 The fact that a black victim was offered over a trench instead of on an altar proves that Pelops was still worshipped as a hero and not as a god. The scholiast on Pindar, Ol., I, 146, says that all Peloponnesian lads each year lashed themselves on the grave of Pelops until the blood ran down their backs as a libation to the hero. Furthermore, all the contestants at Olympia sacrificed first to Pelops and then to Zeus.54

Funeral games were held in honor of departed warriors and eminent men all over the Greek world and at all periods, from the legendary games of Patroklos and Pelias and others to those celebrated at Thessalonika in Valerian’s time.55 Thus Miltiades was honored by games on the Thracian Chersonesus,56 Leonidas and Pausanias at Sparta,57 Brasidas at Amphipolis,58 Timoleon at Syracuse,59 and Mausolos at Halikarnassos.60 Alexander instituted games in honor of the dead Hephaistion61 and the conqueror himself was honored in a similar way.62 The Eleutheria were celebrated at Platæa at stated times in honor of the soldiers who fell there against the Medes in 479 B. C.,63 and in the Academy a festival was held under the direction of the polemarch in honor of the Athenian soldiers who had died for their country and were buried in the Kerameikos.64 Funeral games were also common in Italy. We find athletic scenes decorating Etruscan tombs—including boxing, wrestling, horse-racing, and chariot-racing.65 The Romans borrowed their funeral games from Etruria as well as their gladiatorial shows, which were doubtless also funerary in origin.66 Frazer cites examples of the custom of instituting games in honor of dead warriors among many modern peoples, Circassians, Chewsurs of the Caucasus,12 Siamese, Kirghiz, in India, and among the North American Indian tribes. Gardiner notes the Irish fairs in honor of a departed chief, which existed from pagan days down to the last century.67

The testimony of early Greek athletic art also points to the same funerary origin of the games. The funeral games of Pelias and those held by Akastos in honor of his father were depicted respectively on the two most famous monuments of early Greek decorative art, on the chest of Kypselos dedicated in the Heraion at Olympia and on the throne of Apollo at Amyklai in Lakonia, the latter being the work of the Ionian sculptor Bathykles. Though both these works are lost, the description of one of them at least, that of the chest, by Pausanias,68 is so detailed and precise that the scenes represented upon it have been paralleled figure for figure on early Ionian (especially Chalkidian) and Corinthian vases, contemporary or later, and on Corinthian and Argive decorative bronze reliefs. Many attempts have been made, therefore, to restore the chest, and as more monuments become known, which throw light on the composition and types, these attempts are constantly growing in certainty, even though conjecture may continue to enter in.69

The figures were wrought in relief, partly in ivory and gold and partly in the cedar wood itself, deployed on its surface in a series of bands, such as we commonly see on early vases. This use of gold and ivory is the first example in Greek art of the custom employed by Pheidias and other sculptors of the great age of Greek sculpture. We have already noted its use in the ivory acrobats from Crete, which were made, perhaps, a thousand years before the chest.70 Out of the thirty-three scenes depicted on its surface all but two or three were mythological, and among these were scenes from the funeral games of Pelias, including a two-horse chariot-race (P., §9), a boxing and wrestling13 match (§10), a foot-race, quoit-throwing, and a victor represented as being crowned (§10), and prize tripods (§11).

The most valuable parallel to some of the scenes described by Pausanias is found on the Amphiaraos vase in Berlin,71 dating from the sixth century B. C., on which the wrestling match and chariot-race correspond surprisingly well with the descriptions of Pausanias, despite certain differences in detail. Another archaic vase depicts a two-horse chariot-race and the parting of Amphiaraos and Eriphyle.72 The scenes on this latter vase appear to have been copied from those on the chest, and it is possible that the scenes on the Berlin vase had the same origin.

Funeral games are commonly pictured on early vases. Thus on a proto-Attic amphora, discovered by the British School of Athens in excavating the Gymnasion of Kynosarges, there are groups of wrestlers and chariot-racers. The wrestling bout here, however, seems to be to the death, as the victor has his adversary by the throat with both hands. It may be a mythological scene, perhaps representing the bout between Herakles and Antaios. A still earlier representation of funeral games is shown by a Dipylon geometric vase from the Akropolis now in Copenhagen, dating back possibly to the eighth century B. C.73 On one side two nude men, who have grasped each other by the arms, are ready to stab one another with swords. This may represent, however, as Gardiner suggests, only a mimic contest. On the other side are two boxers standing between groups of warriors and dancers. A similar scene in repoussé appears on a Cypriote silver vase from Etruria now in the Uffizi in Florence.74 We should also, in this connection, note again the reliefs representing funeral games, which appear on the sixth-century sarcophagus from Klazomenai already mentioned.75 Here is represented a combat of armed men; amid chariots stand groups of men armed with helmets, shields, and spears, while flute-players stand between them; at either end is a pillar with a prize vase upon it; against one leans a naked man with a staff, doubtless intended to represent the spirit of the deceased in whose honor the games are being held.

Games in honor of the dead tended to become periodic. The tomb of the honored warriors became a rallying-point for neighboring people,14 who would convene to see the games. While some of these games were destined never to transcend local importance, others developed into the Panhellenic festivals. As the worship of ancestors became metamorphosed into that of heroes, the games became part of hero cults, which antedated those of the Olympian gods. But as the gods gradually superseded the heroes in the popular religion, they usurped the sanctuaries and the games held there, which had long been a part of the earlier worship. We are not here concerned, however, with the difficult question of the origin of funeral games. They may have taken the place of earlier human sacrifices, which would explain the armed fight at the games of Patroklos and its appearance on archaic vases and sarcophagi; or they may have commemorated early contests of succession, which would explain many mythical contests like the chariot-race between Pelops and Oinomaos for Hippodameia, or the wrestling match between Zeus and Kronos. In any case such games would never have attained the importance which they did attain in Greece, if it had not been for the athletic spirit and love of competition so characteristic of the Hellenic race. Whatever their origin, therefore, there is little doubt that out of them developed the great games of historic Greece. The constant relationship between Greek religion and Greek athletics can be explained in no other way.76


By the beginning of the sixth century B. C. the athletic spirit displayed in the Homeric poems had given rise to the four national festivals—at Olympia, Delphi, Nemea, and on the Isthmus. On these four, many lesser games were modeled.77 The origin of all these, as we have already remarked, is lost in a mass of legend. The myths of the origin of Olympia are particularly conflicting. We are practically certain, however, that Olympia as a sanctuary preceded the advent of the Achæans into the Peloponnesus, and that the foundation of the games preceded the coming of the Dorians, but was probably later than that of the Achæans. The importance of the games dates from the time after the Dorian invasion of the Peloponnesus, when the warring peoples finally became pacified.78 For centuries Olympia was over15shadowed by Delphi and the Ionian festival on Delos. The importance of the latter festival in the eighth and seventh centuries B. C. is shown by the Homeric Hymn to the Delian Apollo. Only by the beginning of the seventh century had Olympia begun to gain its prestige. The pre-Dorian Pisatai, in whose territory the sanctuary was situated, probably controlled it early. The Dorian allies, the Eleans, whom legend had King Oxylos lead into the Peloponnesus from Aitolia,79 tried to wrest this control from the Pisatai, who, however, aided by religious reverence for the sanctuary, were able to maintain their rights. On account of the conflict the games languished, until finally a truce was made by the two factions and the games were re-established under their common management. This work was ascribed to Iphitos and Kleosthenes, kings respectively of Elis and Pisa, and to Lykourgos of Sparta.80 The dual control was not successful, as the jealous Pisatai constantly tried to regain their old honor; but the Eleans, supported by the Spartans, prevailed and finally, after the Persian wars, destroyed Pisa and the other revolting cities of Triphylia and henceforth remained in sole control. The restoration of the games under Iphitos and his colleagues took place in 776 B. C., from which date the festival was celebrated every fourth year, until it was finally abolished by the Roman emperor Theodosius at the end of the fourth century A. D. In 776 Koroibos of Elis won the foot-race and this was the first dated Olympiad in the Olympian register,81 and from it, as Pausanias says,82 the unbroken tradition of the Olympiads began. This history of Olympia is very different from the orthodox mythical story told by Pausanias and Strabo and based on the “ancient writings of the Eleans.”83 According to it the games were originally instituted by the Eleans under Oxylos and refounded by Iphitos, his descendant, together with Lykourgos, still under the management of the Eleans. In Ol. 8 the Pisatans invoked the aid of the Argive king Pheidon and dispossessed16 the Eleans, but they lost the control of Olympia in the next Olympiad. In Ol. 28 Elis, during a war with Dyme, allowed the Pisatans to celebrate the games. Six Olympiads later the king of Pisa came to Olympia with an army and took charge. The story leaves the Pisatans in control from about Olympiads 30 to 51, but some time between Ols. 48 and 52 the Eleans defeated Pisa and destroyed it, and henceforth controlled the games. Such a story was manifestly a contrivance by the later priests of Elis to justify their control of the games through a prior claim. It is contradicted by all the evidence.84 The antiquity of Olympia is known to us from the results of excavations and from its religious history. The latest excavations on the site have disclosed the remains of six prehistoric buildings with apsidal endings, below the geometric stratum, upon the site of what used to be considered the remnants of the great altar of Zeus.85 Such an inference is borne out by many primitive features in the religious history of the sanctuary. The altar of Kronos on the hill to the north of the Altis was earlier than that of Zeus; an earth altar antedated that of Zeus, while a survival of the earlier worship of the powers of the underworld is seen in the custom, lasting through later centuries, of allowing only one woman, the priestess of Demeter Chamyne, to witness the games. We also know that the worship of the Pelasgian Hera antedated that of the Hellenic Zeus; her temple, the Heraion, is the most ancient of which the foundations still stand, a temple built of stone, wood, and sun-dried bricks, whose origin is to be referred to the tenth, if not to the eleventh, century B. C.86 We have already remarked that the worship of the hero Pelops preceded that of the god Zeus.87 All such indications attest the high antiquity of Olympia. That it is not mentioned in Homer, while Delphi and Dodona are, only proves that in the poet’s time it was still merely a local shrine. Not until the beginning of the sixth century B. C. did it attain the distinction, which it retained ever afterwards, of being the foremost national festival of Hellas.88

The periodical celebration of the three other national festivals was not dated—except in legend—before the early years of the sixth century B. C., though local festivals must have existed also on these sites long before.89 The old music festival at Delphi, which finally was17 held every eight years,90 was changed in 586 B. C., in consequence of the Sacred War,91 into a Panhellenic festival celebrated thereafter every four years (pentaëteris). It was under the presidency of the Amphiktyonic League, which introduced athletic and equestrian events copied from those at Olympia92 and replaced the older money prizes with the simple bay wreath. About the same time the Nemean and Isthmian games were instituted. The local games at Nemea, said to have been founded by Adrastos in honor of a child, were reorganized some time before 573 B. C., the first Nemead.93 Thereafter they were celebrated every two years, in the second and fourth of the corresponding Olympiads.94 They were administered in honor of Zeus by the small town of Kleonai under Argive influence. The games were transferred to Argos some time between 460 B. C. and the close of the third century B. C. Centuries later, Hadrian revived the prestige of the games at Argos. The games held on the Isthmus also originated as an old local festival, which was revived in 586 or 582 B. C. We are not sure whether they were refounded in Poseidon’s honor by Periandros or after the death of Psammetichos in commemoration of the ending of the tyranny at Corinth. The geographical location of Corinth, the meeting-place of East and West, involved it in many wars, and therefore the Isthmian games never attained the prestige of the other national festivals; they were held every two years in the spring of the second and fourth years of the corresponding Olympiads and were administered by Corinth.95

Besides the four national games, many Greek cities had purely local ones, some of which originated in prehistoric days in honor of hero cults, while others were founded at historical dates. Athens was particularly favored in having many such local festivals. The most important of these were the Panathenaic games in honor of Athena, which developed from earlier annual Athenaia or Panathenaia. The festival was remodeled, or perhaps founded, just before Peisistratos seized the tyranny (561–560 B. C.), possibly by Solon, who died 560–559 B. C. The name certainly points to the unity of Athens promoted by18 Solon, if not to the earlier unification of the village communities of Attika ascribed to Theseus. In any case, under Peisistratos it became something more than a local festival, as the recitation of Homer became a feature of it. Following the games at Delphi and Olympia, the Great Panathenaia were held every four years (the third year of each Olympiad) in the month of Hekatombaion (July), while the more ancient annual festival continued yearly under the name of the Little Panathenaia. There were musical, literary, and athletic contests. The central feature of the festival was the procession which ascended from the lower city to the Parthenon on the Akropolis to offer the goddess a robe woven by noble Athenian maidens and matrons.96 This procession is known to us in detail from the great Parthenon frieze. The Theseia exemplify a festival whose origin can be definitely dated. Kimon, the son of the hero of Marathon, in 469 B. C., discovered the supposed bones of the national hero Theseus on the island of Skyros. The Delphic oracle counseled the Athenians to place them in an honorable resting-place. Perhaps there was a legend that the hero was buried on Skyros; in any case a grave was found there which contained the corpse of a warrior of great size, and this was brought back to Athens as the actual remains of Theseus. Thereafter an annual festival was celebrated by the Athenian epheboi, comprising military contests and athletic events—stade, dolichos, and diaulos running races, wrestling, boxing, pankration, hoplite running, etc. It began on the sixth of Pyanepsion (October), and was followed by the Epitaphia, a funeral festival in honor of national heroes and youths who had fallen fighting for Athens.97 Athletic games were held at the Herakleia in honor of Herakles at Marathon in the month of Metageitnion, and had attained great popularity by the time of Pindar.98 The Eleusinia, in honor of Demeter, took place annually in Athens in the month of Boëdromion, when horse-races and musical and other contests were held. This Attic festival claimed a greater antiquity even than Olympia. The great national festivals encouraged these smaller local ones, so that they attracted competitors from the whole Greek world.


The prizes which were offered at the early games in Greece were uniformly articles of value. Their value, however, was regarded not so much in the light of rewards to the victors as proofs of the generous19 spirit of the holders of the games, who thereby celebrated the dead in whose honor the contest was held. In Homer’s account of the funeral games of Patroklos, each contestant, whether victorious or not, received a prize. In one case a prize was given where the contest was not held. In the chariot-race five prizes were offered: for the winner a slave girl and a tripod; for the second best a six-year-old mare in foal; for the third a cauldron; for the fourth two talents of gold; and for the last a two-handled cup.99 For the wrestling match the winner received a tripod worth twelve oxen, while the vanquished received a skilled slave woman worth four oxen.100 For the boxing match a mule was the first prize and a two-handled cup the second.101 For the foot-race a silver bowl of Sidonian make, an ox, and half a talent of gold were the prizes.102

Hesiod records his winning a tripod for a victory gained in singing at the games of Amphidamas at Chalkis.103 Tripods were the commonest prizes at all early games and it was not till later that they became connected especially with Apollo’s worship. They were presented for all sorts of contests, for chariot-racing,104 horse-racing,105 the foot-race,106 boxing,107 and wrestling.108 They were presented at various games in honor of different gods and heroes: e. g., those in honor of Apollo at the Triopia109 and Panionia of Mykale;110 of Dionysos at Athens and Rhodes;111 of Herakles at the Herakleia of Thebes and elsewhere;112 of Pelias;113 of Patroklos.114 They were kept in temples dedicated to various gods: e. g., in those of Apollo at Delphi, at Amyklai,115 and on Delos,116 at the Ptoian sanctuary117 and in the Ismenion at Thebes;118 in the temples of Zeus at Olympia and Dodona;119 of Herakles at Thebes;120 at the Hierothesion in Messene,121 etc. Later, because it served the Pythian priestess, the tripod became a part of the Apolline cult and the special attribute of that god.122 Gold and silver vessels and articles of bronze were everywhere used as prizes. In early days bronze was very valuable. Pindar proves20 this for games held in Achaia and Arkadia;123 and it continued to be used in later times, as, e. g., at the Panathenaia, where a hydria of bronze was a prize in the torch-race.124 At the lesser games all sorts of articles were offered, merely for their value. Thus a shield was offered at the Argive Heraia,125 a bowl at the games in honor of Aiakos on Aegina,126 silver cups at the Marathonian Herakleia127 and at the Sikyonian Pythia,128 a cloak at Pellene,129 apparently a cuirass at Argos,130 and jars of oil from sacred trees at the Panathenaia.131 A kettle is mentioned in the Anthology;132 an inscribed cauldron from Cumae, which was a prize at the games there in honor of Onomastos, is in the British Museum,133 while measures of barley and corn were prizes at the Eleusinia.134 While presents of value continued to be given at the local games,135 a simple wreath of leaves gradually came to be the prize offered the victor at the great national festivals. Pausanias136 says that this was composed of wild olive (κότινος) at Olympia, of laurel (δάφνη) at Delphi, of pine (πίτυς) at the Isthmus, and of celery (σέλινον) at Nemea. Phlegon says that the olive wreath was first used by Iphitos in Ol. 7 ( = 752 B. C.), when it was given to the Messenian runner Daïkles,137 and that for the preceding Olympiads there was no crown.138 Probably before that date tripods and other articles of value were the prizes at Olympia, as we know they were elsewhere. Pausanias says that the wild olive came from the land of the Hyperboreans.139 Pindar calls it merely olive (ἐλαία), and not wild olive.140 The Athenian tradition was that the olive which Herakles planted at Olympia was a shoot of a sacred tree which grew on the banks of the Ilissos in Attica.141 Phlegon also says that the first crown came from Attika. In later days the Olympic wreaths were cut from the “Olive of the Faircrown”;142 its branches were cut with a golden sickle by a boy whose parents must be living;143 it grew at Olympia in a21 spot near the so-called Pantheion,144 which was probably a grove behind the temple of Zeus.145 The laurel prize at the Pythian games replaced the older articles of value or money in 582 B. C.146 It came from Tempe and was plucked by a boy whose parents must be living.147 The wreath is seen on late Delphian coins of the imperial age.148 Lucian also states that apples were given as prizes at Delphi.149 Wild celery was the prize at the Isthmus in the time of Pindar.150 It was dried or withered to differentiate it from the fresh celery used at Nemea.151 Later writers say that the wreath was of the leaves of the pine,152 which was the tree sacred to Poseidon. Probably pine leaves composed the older wreath, a practice certainly revived again in later Roman imperial days;153 for while on coins of Augustus and Nero celery is represented, those of Antoninus Pius and Lucius Verus show pine.154 A row of pine trees lined the approach to Poseidon’s sanctuary.155 The prize at Nemea was celery and not parsley, as many wrongly interpret the wreath appearing on Selinuntian coins.156 Pausanias also states that at most Greek games a palm wreath was placed in the victor’s right hand.157 The palm as a symbol of victory occurs first toward the end of the fifth century B. C.158


Just as soldiers on returning from successful campaigns might dedicate their spoils of victory, victors in athletic contests might consecrate to the gods their prizes. In the Homeric poems we have no certain evidence of such a custom. A Delphic tripod was ascribed to Diomedes and possibly this was a prize won at the funeral games in honor of Patroklos.159 The first literary example of such a dedication of which we are certain is the prize tripod dedicated to the Helikonian Muses by22 Hesiod.160 Frequently such dedications were tripods; thus a Pythian tripod was dedicated to Herakles at Thebes by the Arkadian musician Echembrotos in 586 B. C.;161 a tripod was dedicated in the sixth century B. C. or perhaps earlier at Athens for some acrobatic or juggling trick;162 a victorious boxer dedicated one at Thebes.163 It became customary by the fifth century B. C. for victors at the Triopia to offer prize tripods to Apollo.164 Tripods or fragments of them have been found at Olympia165 and elsewhere. Many other objects were also offered.166 Sometimes a victor would dedicate the object by which he won his victory instead of his prize, just as a soldier might dedicate his arms instead of his spoils of war. Certain types of victors, e. g., those especially in running, the race in armor, singing, etc., would be excluded from making such dedications owing to the nature of the contest. Pausanias167 tells us, for instance, that twenty-five bronze shields were kept in the temple of Zeus at Olympia for the use of hoplite runners, which shows that these runners did not use all at least of their own armor. In some cases diskoi were lent to pentathletes. Pausanias168 says that three quoits were kept in the treasury of the Sikyonians at Olympia for use in the pentathlon. There are, however, as we shall see, instances of quoits being dedicated by victors. The pentathlete might consecrate either his diskos, javelin, or jumping-weights.169 Perhaps the huge red-sandstone block of the sixth century B. C., weighing 315 pounds and inscribed with the name and feat of Bybon, may have been such an ex voto,170 since Pausanias says the contestants at Olympia originally used stones for quoits.171 A stone, weighing 480 kilograms (about 1,056 pounds), was found on Thera, inscribed “Eumastos raised me from the ground.”172 Poplios (Publius) Asklepiades, who won the pentathlon at Olympia in the third century A. D.,173 dedicated a bronze diskos to Zeus, showing the old custom was kept up till late. Many bronze diskoi have been found in the excavations of the Altis.174 We have instances of the dedication of jumping-weights (ἁλτῆρες).175 Examples of dedicated strigils have been found at Olympia.176 Torches were dedicated at Athens.177 Actors dedicated their masks,178 while23 some of the ivory lyres and plectra conserved in the Parthenon were probably offerings of musical victors at the Panathenaic games.179 Equestrian victors dedicated their chariots, or models of them, and their horses. These models might be large or small. We have notices of large chariot-groups at Olympia of Kleosthenes,180 Gelo,181 and Hiero of Syracuse;182 of small ones of Euagoras,183 Glaukon,184 Kyniska,185 and Polypeithes.186 A large number of miniature models of chariots and horses in bronze and terra cotta have been found at Olympia,187 some of which have no wheels. Many very thin foil wheels have also been found.188 Furtwaengler189 believes that these wheels are conventional reductions of whole chariots. Some of them are cast190 and they are generally four-spoked, but two mule-car wheels are five-spoked.191 These various models are so common and of so little value, however, that they may have had nothing to do with chariot-races.192

Many great artists, e. g., Kalamis,193 Euphranor,194 and Lysippos,195 are known to have made chariot-groups and it is reasonable to assume that some of these were votive in character. Besides dedications of chariot victors, we find at Olympia also those of horse-racers. These were similarly both large and small, with and without jockeys. Thus jockeys on horseback by Kalamis stood on either side of Hiero’s chariot.196 Krokon of Eretria, who won the horse-race at the end of the sixth century B. C.,197 dedicated a small bronze horse at Olympia.198 The monument of the sons of Pheidolas of Corinth,199 representing a horse on the top of a column, must have been small. Pausanias, in mentioning the two statues24 of the Spartan chariot victor Lykinos by Myron,200 says that one of the horses which the victor brought to Olympia was not allowed to enter the foal-race, and therefore was entered in the horse-race. This story was probably told Pausanias by the Olympia guides and may have arisen from the smallness of one of the horses in the monument.201 The sculptors Kalamis,202 Kanachos,203 and Hegias204 are known to have made groups representing horse-victors, and Pliny derives the whole genre of equestrian monuments from the Greeks.205 Great numbers of small figures of horses and riders have been excavated at Olympia206 and elsewhere.207 Equestrian groups of various kinds were also known outside Olympia. Thus Arkesilas IV of Kyrene offered a chariot model at Delphi for a victory in 466 B. C;208 the base found on the Akropolis of Athens and inscribed with the name Onatas probably upheld such a group;209 the equestrian statue of Isokrates on the Akropolis was also probably a dedication for a victory in horse-racing.210


Not only did equestrian contests and the pentathlon give the victor an opportunity to represent the means by which he gained his prize, but any victorious athlete could set up a statue of himself in his own honor, which might either represent him in the characteristic attitude of his contest (perhaps with its distinguishing attributes) or might be a simple monument showing neither action nor attribute. This brings us to the main subject of the present work—the discussion of the different types of victor statues at Olympia.

Of all the national games of Hellas, our knowledge of Olympia is fullest, both because of the detailed account of its monuments by Pausanias, who visited Elis in 173 or 174 A. D., and because of the systematic excavation of the Altis by the German government in the seventies of the last century. We shall not be concerned, except incidentally, with monuments set up at the other national games, which are known to us in no such degree as those of Olympia. The interest of Pausanias in Delphi was almost entirely of a religious nature, and the lesser renown of both Nemea and the Isthmus caused him to treat their topography and monuments in a most summary manner. Though the Pythia as a festival were second only to the Olympia, as an athletic meet25 they scarcely equalled the Nemea or the Isthmia. From the earliest days music was the chief competition at Delphi; the oldest and most important event in the musical programme there all through Greek history was the Hymn to Apollo, sung with the accompaniment of the lyre, in which was celebrated the victory of the god over the Python. By 582 B. C. singing to the flute (αὐλῳδία) was also added, but was almost immediately discontinued. In the same year a flute solo was also inaugurated.211 In 558 B. C. lyre-playing was introduced. Under the Roman Empire poetic and dramatic competitions were prominent, but the date of their introduction is not known. Pliny mentions contests in painting.212 After music the equestrian contests were the most important, even rivalling those of Olympia. By 586 B. C., as we have seen, athletic events were inaugurated. The athletic importance of the games on the Isthmus was inferior to that of Olympia and its religious character to that of Delphi, though these games were the most frequented of all the great national ones, because of the accessibility of the place and its nearness to Corinth.213 The inferiority of the athletics here may be judged by the fact that Solon assigned only 100 drachmæ to an Isthmian victor, while 500 were given to one from Olympia.214 We have little knowledge of these games through the great period of Greek history, only a reference here and there to a victor.215 We know much more of them under the Romans, when the prosperity of Corinth was revived; at that time, however, there was little true interest in athletics. Corinth then spent great sums in procuring wild animals for the arena.216 Excavations have added little to our knowledge of these games.217 The interest at Nemea in athletics was second only to that of Olympia.218 While music was the most important feature at Delphi, and the Isthmian games were attended chiefly for the attractions of the neighboring Corinth, there was nothing but the games themselves to attract people to the retired valley of Nemea. Athletic contests were the only feature here until late times and great attention was paid to those of boys.219 The records of the victors at these games are very scanty.220


At all these three games victor monuments were set up, though in no such profusion as at Olympia.

Of those set up at Delphi, Pausanias shows his disdain by these words: “As to the athletes and musical competitors who have attracted no notice from the majority of mankind, I hold them hardly worthy of attention; and the athletes who have made themselves a name have already been set forth by me in my account of Elis.”221 He mentions the statue of only one victor, that of Phaÿllos, who won at Delphi twice in the pentathlon and once in running. A score or more of inscriptions in honor of these men whom Pausanias treats so contemptuously have been recovered. Some of them record offerings dedicated for victories, though most of them record decrees passed by the Delphians, who voted the victors not only wreaths of laurel, but seats of honor at the games and other privileges.222 Victor statues seem to have stood outside the sacred precinct at Delphi and not within it, as at Olympia, since Pausanias mentions the sanctuary after mentioning the statue of Phaÿllos.223 Other Greek and Roman writers give us stray hints of these statues. Thus, Pliny mentions a statue at Delphi of a pancratiastes by Pythagoras of Rhegion224 and says that Myron made Delphicos pentathlos, pancratiastas.225 A scholion on Pindar226 mentions the helmeted statue of the hoplite runner Telisikrates as standing in the precinct. Justin, in speaking of the Gallic invasion of Delphi, mentions statuasque cum quadrigis, quarum ingens copia procul visebatur, thus referring to large chariot-groups, which would be very sightly on the slope of the precinct.227 An idea of the beauty of such groups may be gathered from the remnant of one, the bronze Charioteer discovered by the French excavators, which is one of the most important archaic sculptures from antiquity (Fig. 66).228

We know from the words of Pausanias229 that victor statues also stood on the Isthmus, and we should assume the same for Nemea, though in both places they must have been few in number. At the various local games it was customary for victors to erect statues of themselves. Thus we know of such dedications at the Bœotian games in Thebes,230 at the Didymaion,231 and at the Lykaia in Arkadia.232 Many such victor statues decorated different localities of Athens. Thus, on the27 Akropolis, we know of the statues of the hoplite runner Epicharinos,233 of the pancratiast Hermolykos,234 of a helmeted man by the sculptor Kleoitas,235 of a παῖς κελητίζων representing Isokrates;236 in the Prytaneion, of the statue of the pancratiast Autolykos.237 Lykourgos, the rhetor, mentions victor statues in the agora of Athens.238 Some of these Athenian statues may have been those of Olympic victors;239 and of victors certainly Olympic we know of the statues of Kallias the pancratiast,240 of the charioteer Hermokrates,241 and of the bronze mares of Kimon.242 Of the statues of Nemean victors at Athens we know of that of Hegestratos, victor in an unknown contest.243 Of Isthmian victors there we know of that of the pancratiast Diophanes,244 and of other examples.245 We have inscriptional record of the statues at Athens of a boy victor at the Panathenaia and the Thargelia in chariot-racing,246 of a victor at the Pythia, Isthmia, Nemea, and the Panathenaia,247 of one at the Nemea and Herakleia at Thebes,248 of one at the Eleusinia,249 of one at the Panathenaia and Dionysia,250 and of others at several games.251

The erection of a statue in the Altis at Olympia was an honor which the Elean officers in charge of the games252 gave to victors to glorify their victory.253 Pliny, in a well-known passage of the Historia Naturalis,254 says it was customary for all victors to set up statues, while Pausanias255 says not all athletes did this, for “some of those who specially distinguished themselves in the games ... have had no statues.” This apparent contradiction in the statements of the two writers is to be explained, as Dittenberger256 and others have pointed out, on the ground that Pliny states the general privilege extended to the victor, while Pausanias states its practical working out, since the setting up of a statue was an undertaking which would be limited by the early death, poverty, or some other disability of the victorious athlete. The cost of making, transporting, and setting up a statue was considerable, and very often a victor must have been too poor to do it. In such a case he would often be contented to set up merely a statuette or small 28 figure in bronze or marble. Several such bronze figures have been unearthed at Olympia,257 one of which we reproduce in Fig. 2, and we have many examples found outside the Altis: e. g., a group of wrestlers,258 Bronze Statuette of a Victor Fig. 2.—Bronze Statuette of a Victor, from Olympia. Museum of Olympia. a boxer,259 and the arm of a quoit-thrower260 from the Athenian Akropolis, an archaic girl runner from Dodona,261 an archaic statuette from Delphi with a loin-cloth,262 a bronze quoit-thrower dedicated in the Kabeirion,263 the Tuebingen bronze hoplite runner264 (Fig. 42), and the statuette of a παῖς κέλης from Dodona.265 We should also mention the great number of statuettes of diskos-throwers in modern museums.266 Boy victors especially would use the less expensive marble for such statuettes and we have the remnants of many such found in the excavations of the Altis.267 Pausanias mentions several monuments which were less than life-size, e. g., a horse among the offerings of Phormis, which he says was “much inferior in size and shape to all other statues of horses in the Altis,”268 and the equestrian monuments already discussed. Even reliefs and paintings, in some cases, were offered in lieu of larger monuments, not only for reasons of economy, but also because they gave a better representation of the contest. This custom was common at the29 lesser games, especially at the Panathenaia.269 Pausanias mentions painted iconic reliefs vowed by girl runners at the games in honor of Hera at Olympia.270 On an Attic vase in Munich a victor is represented as holding an iconic votive pinax in his hands.271 Pausanias speaks of a painting by Timainetos at Athens, which represented a boy carrying hydriæ,272 and one of a wrestler by the same artist in the Pinakotheke on the Akropolis. Pliny mentions paintings, the works of great masters, representing victors: thus the currentes quadrigae by the elder Aristeides of Thebes,273 a victor certamine gymnico palmam tenens by Eupompos,274 an athlete by Zeuxis,275 the victor Aratos with a trophy by Leontiskos,276 an athlete by Protogenes,277 two hoplite runners by Parrhasios,278 a luctator tubicenque by Antidotos and a warrior by the same artist, in Athens,279 which represented a man fighting with a shield, and a man anointing himself, the work of the painter Theoros.280

Apparently the Hellanodikai allowed but one statue for each victory. Aischines the Elean had two victories and two statues.281 Dikon of Kaulonia and Syracuse had three victories and three statues.282 The Spartan Lykinos had two victories and two statues by Myron, but we have already said that the second statue was probably that of his charioteer, the two forming part of an equestrian group.283 Kapros of Elis won two victories and had as many statues.284 On the other hand Troilos of Elis, who won in two events, had only one statue.285 Similarly Arkesilaos of Sparta had two victories in the chariot-race and only one statue.286 Xenombrotos of Cos, who appears to have won once only, had, however, two monuments, one mentioned by Pausanias and the other known to us from the recovered inscription.287 But this last case seems to be the only known exception.


When the victor was unable to set up his monument, whether because of youth, poverty, early death, or other reason, sometimes the privilege was utilized by a relative, a friend, or by his native city. In any case it was a private affair with which the Elean officials had no concern. We have examples, consequently, of the statue being set up by the son,288 father (especially in recovered inscriptions after the time of Augustus),289 mother,290 and brother;291 also several examples of statues reared in honor of athletes by fellow citizens.292 There are cases in which the trainer set up the statue.293 Frequently the native city performed the duty, dedicating the statue either at Olympia or in the victor’s city. Thus Oibotas, who won the stade-race in Ol. 6 ( = 756 B. C.), had a statue at Olympia which was erected by the Achæan state out of deference to a command of the Delphian oracle in Ol. 80 ( = 460 B. C.).294 The statue of Agenor, by Polykleitos the Younger, a boy wrestler from Thebes, was dedicated by the confederacy of Phokis, because his father was a public friend of the nation.295 The boy runner Herodotos of Klazomenai had a statue erected by his native town at Olympia because he was the first victor from there.296 Philinos of Kos had a statue set up by the people of Kos at Olympia “because of glory won,” for he was victor five times in running at Olympia, four at Delphi, four at Nemea, and eleven at the Isthmus.297 Hermesianax of Kolophon had a statue at Olympia erected by his city.298 The pancratiast31 Promachos of Pellene had two statues erected to him by his fellow citizens, one at Olympia, the other in Pellene.299 We know of three state dedications of statues at Olympia from inscriptions, those of Aristophon of Athens,300 of Epitherses of Erythrai,301 and of Polyxenos by the people of Zakynthos.302 Lichas of Sparta, at a date when the Spartans were excluded from the games, entered his chariot in the name of the Theban people, and Pausanias says that his victory was so entered on the Elean register.303 We learn from the OxyrhynchusPapyri that the public horse of the Argives won at Olympia in Ol. 75 ( = 480 B. C.) and the public chariot in Ol. 77 ( = 472 B. C.).304 In these latter two cases the public was directly interested, and had there been monuments erected to commemorate the victories they would naturally have been set up by the state.

It has been wrongly assumed that monuments of boy victors were dedicated in the name of their parents or relatives.305 On the contrary, we have examples dating back to the fifth century B. C. of boys setting up statues at Olympia. Thus the inscription from the base of the statue of Tellon, who won in the boys’ boxing match in Ol. 77 ( = 472 B. C.), states that he dedicated his own statue.306 Pausanias says that the Eleans allowed the boy wrestler Kratinos from Aigeira to erect a statue of his trainer.307 Of course the boy might need assistance in the undertaking, but this again was no concern of the Elean officials, who granted the privilege to the victor and not to his relatives. Usually the statue of a victor was erected soon after the victory. We have some examples of the statue being erected immediately after the victory, especially in the case of men victors. Thus Pausanias says that the victor Eubotas of Kyrene, in consequence of a Libyan oracle foretelling his victory in the foot-race, had his statue made before coming to Olympia and erected it “the very day on which he was proclaimed victor.”308 The famous Milo of Kroton spectacularly carried his statue into the Altis on his back before he entered the contest.309 There are32 also examples of statues being erected long after the victory, sometimes centuries later. We have already mentioned that a statue was erected to Oibotas in Ol. 80, though his victory was won in Ol. 6. Chionis, who won in running races in Ols. 28–31 ( = 668–656 B. C.) had a statue by Myron erected to his memory Ol. 77 or 78 ( = 472 or 468 B. C.).310 Cheilon of Patrai, twice victor in wrestling between Ols. (?) 103 and 115 ( = 368 and 320 B. C.), had his statue set up after his death.311 Polydamas of Skotoussa won his victory in the pankration in Ol. 93 ( = 408 B. C.), but his statue by Lysippos could not have been erected until many years later.312 Glaukos, who won the boys’ boxing-match in Ol. 65 ( = 520 B. C.), had a statue by the Aeginetan sculptor Glaukias much later.313 In the case of boy victors, the time between boyhood and coming of age was often so short that in many cases we may assume that the statue was set up some time after the victory.314


Since the victor was deemed the representative of the state, he often received a more substantial reward than a statue erected at the cost of his fellow citizens. The herald, in proclaiming his victory, proclaimed also the name of his town, which thus shared in his success. At Athens it was customary for a victor at the great games to receive a reward of money. To encourage an interest in athletics there, Solon established money prizes for victorious athletes. We have already said that 100 drachmæ were given to a victor at the Isthmus, while 500 were allotted to one at Olympia. Solon further ordained that victors should eat at the Prytaneion at the public expense.315 Probably other Greek states followed the Athenian custom. We know from an33 inscription that the Panathenaic victors in the stade-race received 50 amphoræ of oil, the pancratiast 40, and others 30.316 Later, in Rome, victors had special privileges granted them, including maintenance at the public expense, a privilege which Mæcenas advised the emperor Augustus to limit to victors at Olympia, Delphi, and Rome.317 Augustus in other ways enlarged the privileges of athletes.318 When we consider the intimate connection between religion and athletics and the Panhellenic fame of a victor at the great games, we can easily understand the indignation of the native town when its athletes did anything dishonorable. Sometimes a victor was bribed to appear as the citizen of some other state. Thus Astylos of Kroton, who won in running races in Ols. 73–76 ( = 488–476 B. C.), had himself proclaimed in his last two contests a Syracusan to please King Hiero. The citizens of his native town burned his house and pulled down his statue, which had been placed there in the temple of Hera.319 The Cretan Sotades, who won the long running race in Ol. 99 ( = 384 B. C.), was bribed at the next Olympiad by the city of Ephesos to proclaim himself an Ephesian, and was in consequence exiled.320 Dikon, a victor in running races at the beginning of the fourth century B. C., proclaimed himself first a citizen of Kaulonia, but later, “for a sum of money,” entered the men’s contest as a Syracusan.321 Sometimes such attempts at bribery proved unsuccessful. Thus the father of the boy boxer Antipatros of Miletos, who won in Ol. 98 ( = 388 B. C.), accepted a bribe from some Syracusans, who were bringing an offering to Olympia from Dionysios, to let the boy be proclaimed a Syracusan. But the boy himself refused the bribe and had inscribed on his statue by the younger Polykleitos that he was a Milesian, the first Ionian to dedicate a statue at Olympia.322 The Spartan chariot victor Lichas has already been mentioned as having entered his chariot in the name of Thebes. The reason was that at the time the Spartans were excluded from entering the games at Olympia. He won, and in his excitement tied a ribbon on his charioteer with his own hands, thereby showing that the horses belonged to him and not to Thebes. For this infraction of the rules he, though an aged man, was punished by the umpires by scourging.323 A more disgraceful act was selling out, of which we have two examples at Olympia. The Thessalian Eupolos bribed his three adversaries in boxing to let him win. All four were fined and from the money six bronze statues of Zeus, known as Zanes, were erected at the entrance to the stadion, inscribed with elegiac verses which warned future athletes against repeating such34 attempts.324 More than fifty years later Kallippos, a pentathlete of Athens, bribed his opponents and, being detected, all were fined and from the money, finally collected from the recalcitrant Athenians through the influence of the oracle at Delphi, six more Zanes were erected.325 Straton (or Stratonikos), of Alexandria, won in wrestling and the pankration on the same day in Ol. 178 ( = 68 B. C.). In the wrestling match he had two adversaries, Eudelos and Philostratos of Rhodes. The latter had bribed Eudelos to sell out and, being detected, had to pay a fine. Out of this money another Zan was set up and still another at the cost of the Rhodians.326 In Ol. 192 ( = 12 B. C.) and in Ol. 226 ( = 125 A. D.), we hear of fines for such corruption out of which additional Zanes were erected.327 In Ol. 201 ( = 25 A. D.) Sarapion, a pancratiast from Alexandria, became so afraid of his antagonist that he fled the day before the contest and was fined—the only case recorded of an athlete being fined for cowardice at Olympia.328 In Ol. 218 ( = 93 A. D.) another Alexandrine, named Apollonios, was fined for arriving too late for the games at Olympia. His excuse of being detained by winds was found to be false, and it was discovered that he had been making money on the games in Ionia.329

Cases of bribery were known at other games. A third-century B. C. inscription from Epidauros records how three athletes were fined one thousand staters each διὰ τὸ φθείρειν τοὺς ἀγῶνας.330 The venality of Isthmian victors is shown by the account of a competitor who promised a rival three thousand drachmæ to let him win and then, on winning on his merits, refused to pay, though the defeated contestant swore on the altar of Poseidon that he had been promised the amount.331 The emperor Nero, in order to win in singing at the Isthmus, had to resort to force. A certain Epeirote singer refused to withdraw unless he received ten talents. Nero, to save himself from defeat, sent a band of men who pummelled his antagonist so that he could not sing.332

Often the home-coming of a victor at one of the national games was the occasion for a public celebration. Sometimes the whole city turned out to meet the hero.333 The victory was recorded on pillars, and poets composed songs in its honor which were sung by choruses of girls and boys. Sometimes a statue was set up in the agora or on the Akropolis.35 In the cities of Magna Græcia and Sicily such adulation of Olympic victors became at times very extravagant. Thus Exainetos of Akragas, who won the stade-race in Ols. 91 and 92 ( = 416–412 B. C.), was brought into the city in a four-horse chariot drawn by his fellow-citizens, and was escorted by 300 men in two-horse chariots drawn by white horses.334 It is also in the West that we first hear of victors being worshipped as heroes or gods, though the custom soon took root in Greece. It was but natural to account for the great strength of famous athletes by assigning to them divine origin and by worshipping them after death.335 Philippos of Kroton, who won in an unknown contest about Ol. 65 ( = 520 B. C.), had a heroön erected in his honor by the people of Egesta in Sicily on account of his beauty, in which he surpassed all his contemporaries, and he was worshipped after his death as a hero.336 The famous boxer Euthymos of Lokroi Epizephyrioi, who won in Ols. 74, 76, 77 ( = 484, 476, 472 B. C.), was worshipped even before his death and was looked upon as the son of no earthly father, but of the river-god Kaikinos.337 Fabulous feats were ascribed to him, e. g., the expulsion of the Black Spirit from Temessa.338 During and after his lifetime sacrifices were offered in his honor.339 The equally famed boxer and pancratiast Theagenes of Thasos, the opponent of Euthymos, who won in Ols. 75 and 76 ( = 480 and 476 B. C.), was heroized after his death.340 The Thasians maintained that his father was Herakles.341 The boxer Kleomedes of Astypalaia, who won in Ol. 71 ( = 496 B. C.), was honored as a hero after death.342 Having killed Ikkos, his opponent, he became crazed with grief. Pausanias recounts his curious death.343 The worship of such athletes was supposed to bestow physical strength on their adorers and consequently statues were erected to them in many places and were thought to be able to cure illnesses.344 The life of a successful36 athlete was looked upon as especially happy. In Aristophanes’ Plutus, Hermes deserts the gods and serves Plutus “the presider over contests,” thinking no service more profitable to the god of wealth than holding contests in music and athletics.345 Plato thought an Olympic victor’s life was the most blessed of all from a material point of view.346 In the myth of Er the soul of Atalanta chooses the body of an athlete, on seeing “the great rewards bestowed on an athlete.”347 The great Rhodian pancratiast Dorieus, who won in Ols. 87, 88, 89 ( = 432–424 B. C.), was taken prisoner by Athens during the Peloponnesian war, but was freed because of his exploits at Olympia.348 The honor in which a victor was held may also be judged by the story of the Spartan ephor Cheilon, who died of joy while embracing his victorious son Damagetos.349 To quote from Ernest Gardner: “The extraordinary, almost superhuman honours paid to the victors at the great national contests made them a theme for the sculptor hardly less noble than gods and heroes, and more adapted for the display of his skill, as trained by the observation of those exercises which led to the victory.”350 Some of the greatest artists were employed, and great poets from Simonides of Keos down, including such names as Bacchylides and Pindar, were employed in singing their praises. Although it must be confessed that the majority of the artists of victor statues at Olympia are little known or wholly unknown masters, Pausanias mentions among them such renowned names as Hagelaïdas, Pythagoras, Kalamis, Myron, Polykleitos, Lysippos, and possibly Pheidias. Certain other great names, however, are absent from his lists, e. g., Euphranor, Kresilas, Praxiteles, and Skopas. Such extravagant reverence of Olympic and other victors as we have outlined met, of course, with violent protests all through Greek history, just as the excessive popularity of athletics has in our time. The philosopher Xenophanes of Kolophon, who died 480 B. C., was scandalized at the offering of divine honors to athletes.351 While he denounced the popularity of athletics, Euripides later denounced the professionalism which had begun to creep in after the middle of the fifth century B. C.352 Plato, though a strong advocate of practical physical training for war, was opposed to the vain spirit of competition in the athletics of his day. He complained that professional athletes paid excessive attention to diet, slept their lives away, and were in danger of becoming brutalized.353 The last attack on professional athletics in point of time was made in the second century A. D. by Galen, in his37 Exhortation to the Arts.354 In this essay the eminent physician contended that the athlete was a benefit neither to himself nor to the state. When we study the brutal portraits of prize-fighters on the contemporary mosaics of the Baths of Caracalla at Rome, we can see to what depths the old athletic ideal had sunk, and the justness of his rebuke.355


That chariot and hippic monuments were votive in character can scarcely be doubted. Pausanias distinguishes between gymnic victors and equestrian ones.356 All authorities agree that equestrian monuments were different in origin and character from those of other victors.357 Gardiner believes that if the Olympic games developed out of a single event, it was not the stade-race, but the chariot-race or heavy-armed-race. He shows that the custom of making the stade runner eponymous for the Olympiad is not earlier than the third century B. C., and did not arise from the importance of that event, but from the accident of its coming first on the program and first on the list of victors.358 Equestrian monuments were dedicated at Olympia all through antiquity, from the sixth century B. C. to the second A. D. The oldest was that of the Spartan Euagoras already mentioned, who won in the chariot-race three times in Ols. (?) 58–60 ( = 548–540 B. C.).359 The latest dated example is that of L. Minicius Natalis of Rome, who won in Ol. 227 ( = 129 A. D.).360 Some of the inscriptions pertaining to equestrian groups are in verse,361 while others are in prose.362 Most of them have the usual dedicatory word ἀνέθηκε,363 or the formula Διὶ Ὀλυμπίῳ,364 while others have the word ἔστησε365 and a few have no dedicatory word at all.366

The question arises, then, whether ordinary victor monuments in the Altis were votive in the sense that these equestrian ones were, or merely honors granted to the victors. The crown of wild olive was merely a temporary reward suiting the occasion of the victory. The privilege of setting up a statue was granted in order to perpetuate the fame of that occasion. In a well-known passage Pausanias38 makes a sweeping generalization about monuments at Athens and Olympia.367 He says that all objects on the Akropolis—including statues—were ἀναθήματα or votive offerings, while some of those at Olympia were dedicated to the god, but that the statues of athletes were mere prizes of victory. In another passage368 also, in distinguishing the various sorts of monuments at Olympia, he expressly says that the statues of athletes were not devoted to Zeus, but were marks of honor (ἐν ἄθλου λόγῳ) bestowed on the victors. These statements of the Periegete have given rise to a good deal of fruitless discussion. Furtwaengler follows Pausanias in saying that the right of setting up statues was ein wesentlicher Theil des Siegespreises.369 That such erections at Olympia were considered as high honors is implied by the wording of many of the inscriptions which have been recovered from the bases of the statues. Thus on that of the boxer Euthymos are the words εἰκόνα δ’ ἔστησεν τήνδε βροτοῖς ἐσορᾶν.370 Furtwaengler, therefore, has promulgated the theory that the victor statues at Olympia were in no sense votive, though they were considered to be the property of the god in whose grove they stood. He cites the fact that the inscribed bases of such monuments down to the first century B. C., with the exception of a few metrical epigrams, make no mention of dedications, and that in these exceptions the word ἀνέθηκε was added for metrical reasons,371 while during the same centuries regular votive offerings (ἀναθῆματα) invariably have the word ἀνέθηκε.372 One inscription, that from the base of the statue of Euthymos of Lokroi, is both metrical and in prose;373 but it seems to have been changed later in two places, the second line originally ending in a pentameter, and the third line, with ἀνέθηκε, being added afterwards.374 Also the prose inscription375 referred by Roehl to the39 statue of the wrestler Milo is rejected by Dittenberger. The oldest prose inscription which makes a votive offering out of a victor statue at Olympia is that of Thaliarchos, who won his second victory in boxing some time between 40 and 30 B. C.376 Then follow certain prose inscriptions of imperial times.377 Dittenberger concludes that for four hundred years there is no case of such a dedication.378 From the evidence of the inscriptions from statue bases, therefore, it is clear that the distinction made by Pausanias between honor and victor statues did not hold good in his day, since the words ἀνάθημα and ἀνέθηκε were then used on victor monuments at Olympia, as the inscriptions of the imperial age just cited show, but that it did hold good for centuries before the Roman period. Pausanias must have based his statement, therefore, not on observation, but on the words of some earlier writer.379 Furtwaengler’s reasoning has been followed pretty generally by archæologists.380 While some, however, leave the question in doubt,381 others are opposed to the idea that these statues were not votive. Thus R. Schoell believes that the victor monuments were as truly ἀναθήματα as the olive crowns.382 Reisch, who has discussed the question at length,383 believes, in opposition to the earlier view of Furtwaengler, that everything within the Altis must always ipso facto have been regarded as dedications to the god. This would explain the frequent omission of the name of the god, which would be superfluous, the victor being content with inscribing his own name and the contest in which he was victorious. Even the name of the contest does not always appear.384 Reisch explains the omission of the formula ἀνέθηκε in earlier inscriptions on the ground of epigrammatic brevity.385

The truth must lie somewhere between the extremes represented by the views of Furtwaengler and Reisch. Some athlete statues may have been votive, while others were not. Thus Rouse argues386 that origi40nally all victor statues at Olympia were as truly votive as equestrian groups, and as truly as those athlete statues continued to be, which were dedicated in the victors’ native towns. Those inscribed with ἀνέθηκε at Olympia must have been votive, for we should take the dedicator at his word, instead of believing the formula to be added merely to make the verse scan.387 There is no reason why an athlete should not dedicate a statue of himself, representing himself as forever standing in the presence of the god, as well as a diskos or jumping-weights; for it was customary to make votive offerings representative of the events, and this could be done best by presenting the athlete in a statue which showed the characteristic attitude or the appropriate attributes. Rouse furthermore believes that a change was slowly wrought in the course of centuries, by which the original votive offering became a means of self-glorification. Equestrian victors owed their victories not to themselves, but to their horses, cars, drivers, and jockeys; in such cases the group was a thing apart from the owner. Only seldom did such victors dedicate statues of themselves alone. Even when the victor added a statue of himself to the group, still it was the chariot and not the statue which was emphasized.388 On the other hand the ordinary gymnic victor relied on himself—on his strength, endurance, courage, and other qualities; and in representing the contest the victor himself had to be represented. Consequently, by the fifth century B. C., if not earlier, the statues of athletes had become memorials of personal glory.


A statue was not the only memorial erected in honor of an Olympic victor, though it was by far the commonest. We have already mentioned the bronze inscribed diskos dedicated by the pentathlete P. Asklepiades in the third century A. D.389 A green stone leaping-weight inscribed with the name Κῳδίας appears to have been dedicated by a victor.390 In two cases stelæ were set up in honor of victors.391 A41 curious dedication was a bronze chapel, which the Sikyonian tyrant Myron dedicated to Apollo at Olympia.392 In later days it became part of the treasury of the Sikyonians.393 Outside Olympia various monuments commemorating Olympic victors were set up. These will be discussed in Chapter VIII.


At Olympia, as elsewhere in Greece, statues were set up to men honoris causa. Such statues would be dedicated by admirers, either individuals or states. They were in no sense intended to honor the god, though at Olympia they might be classed as ἀναθήματα, just as victor statues, merely because they were erected in the sacred precinct. They were granted to individuals not as a privilege, as victor statues were, but as free gifts. Dio Chrysostom gives the difference between victor statues—which he classes as ἀναθήματα—and such honor statues in these words: ταῦτα (i. e., victor statues) γάρ ἐστιν ἀναθήματα· αἱ δ’ εἰκόνες τιμαί· κἀκεῖνα (victor statues) δέδοται τοῖς θεοῖς, ταῦτα δὲ (honor statues) τοῖς ἀγαθοῖς ἀνδράσιν οἵπερ εἰσὶν ἔγγιστα αὐτῶν.394 Pliny records that the Athenians inaugurated the custom of a state setting up statues in honor of men at the public expense with the statues of the tyrannicides Harmodios and Aristogeiton by the sculptor Antenor, which were erected in 509 B. C., the year in which the tyrants were expelled.395 He adds that a “refined ambition” led to a universal adoption of the custom and that statues began to adorn public places everywhere and later on even private houses. The custom grew apace in the later history of Greece. Demetrios of Phaleron is said to have had over three hundred statues erected in his honor during his short régime of about a year in Athens. The Diadochoi and the Roman emperors enthusiastically took over the custom. Pliny gives several Roman examples of it.396

At Olympia Pausanias mentions honorary statues erected to thirty-five men for various reasons.397 To several of these men more than one statue was erected.398 The greater number of these statues were erected to kings and princes, to those of Sparta,399 Athens,400 Epeiros,401 Sicily,40242 Macedonia, and Alexander’s Empire.403 One was erected in honor of the philosopher Aristotle,404 one in honor of the rhetorician Gorgias of Leontini,405 one in honor of a hunter,406 another in honor of a flute-player,407 and many others in honor of public and private men. These statues were set up for various reasons. Archidamas III of Sparta had his statues erected to his memory because he was the only Spartan king who died abroad and did not receive a formal burial. Kylon had a statue erected by the Aitolians because he freed the Eleans from the tyranny of Aristotimos.408 Pythes of Abdera was thus honored by his soldiers because of his military prowess.409 Philonides of Crete was, as we learn from the recovered inscription on his statue base, the courier of Alexander the Great.410 Pythokritos was honored for his flute-playing, though he does not appear to have been a victor.411 The Palaians of Kephallenia honored Timoptolis of Elis,412 and the Aitolians honored the Elean Olaidas413 for unknown reasons. At least seven, if not eight, of those thus honored with statues were Eleans. Some of the men who had honor statues were also victors at Olympia, a fact which would appear on the inscribed base. Thus Aratos, the son of Kleinias of Sikyon, the statesman, had a statue erected to him by the Corinthians. This was doubtless an honor statue, though Pausanias also says he was a chariot-victor.414 On the other hand, the statue erected in honor of the pentathlete Stomios was probably a victor monument, though Pausanias says that its inscription records that he was an Elean cavalry general who challenged the enemy to a duel, in which he was slain.415 In some cases it is hard to decide whether the statue is honorary or victor in character. In the course of time honor statues multiplied, while those of athletes decreased. The recovered inscriptions on the latter decrease steadily in the fourth and third centuries B. C., revive again in the second and first, and decrease in the first Christian century. They cease almost entirely after the middle of the second century A. D.



Plates 2–7 and Figures 3–8.

Only a few insignificant remnants of the forest of victor statues which once stood in the Altis at Olympia were unearthed by the German excavators. Most of these statues already in antiquity had been carried off to Italy,416 while those which escaped the spoliation of the Roman masters of Greece were destroyed at the hands of the invading hordes of barbarians in the early Dark Ages. Consequently only here and there in modern museums can isolated fragments of these originals be discovered, which have accidentally survived the ravages of time and man.

In the almost complete absence of originals, therefore, we depend for our knowledge of them on a variety of sources. In attempting to reconstruct them we have two main sources of information to aid us, the literary and the archæological. To the former belong the many inscriptions found on the statue bases recovered at Olympia, which contain the name and native city of the victor, the athletic contest in which his victory was won, and frequently some account of his former athletic history; epigrams preserved in the Greek anthologies and elsewhere, some of which agree with those inscribed on the statue bases; more or less definite statements of scholiasts and the classical writers in general, especially the detailed account of the monuments of Olympia contained in the fifth and sixth books of the Ἑλλάδος περιήγησις of Pausanias, who visited the Altis during the reign of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus,417 and also the somewhat systematic treatment of Greek sculptors and their works in the elder Pliny’s chapters on the History of Art.418 To the latter source belong the remnants of statues in bronze and marble found at Olympia, as well as the recovered bases, on many of which the extant footmarks enable us to recover the pose of the44 statues which formerly stood upon them. Finally, in reconstructing these athlete statues, an intimate knowledge of Greek sculpture in all its phases and periods is essential. Here, as in the general study of Greek sculpture, where the destruction of originals has been almost complete, we are largely dependent on Roman copies which were executed by more or less skilled workmen, chiefly for wealthy Roman patrons of art who wished to use them to decorate the public buildings, baths, palaces, and villas of Rome and other Italian cities. A careful study of these copies has evolved a series of groups, which have been assigned with more or less probability to this or that artist.419 Representations of the various poses of the athlete statues of Olympia and elsewhere are found also on every sort of sculptured and painted works—reliefs, vases, coins, gems—which are, therefore, valuable in any attempt to reconstruct the attitude of a given statue.

Taking into account all these sources of knowledge, it has been possible to reach tolerable certainty in reconstructing the main types of these victor monuments, and in identifying schools, masters, and individual works. This identification of athlete statues, especially those belonging to the fifth and fourth centuries B. C., among the countless Roman works which people modern museums, has already been achieved in many cases by archælogical investigations. The work of many masters of the archaic period and of the most important bronze sculptors of the great period of Greek art has been illustrated by such ascriptions; especially that of Myron, who represented figures in rhythmic action full of life and vigor; of the elder Polykleitos, who was a master in representing standing figures at rest fashioned according to a mathematical system of proportions; of Lysippos, who introduced a new canon of proportions in opposition to that of his predecessor Polykleitos, and who inaugurated the naturalistic tendency in Greek art, which was destined to he carried to such unbecoming lengths in succeeding centuries. The further identification of such statues, as our knowledge of the tendencies and traditions of the schools of Greek sculpture and our sources of information about athletic art become more and more extended, will be one of the most important tasks of the archæologist in the future.

Before discussing the appearance of individual types of these monuments, we shall consider certain general characteristics common to all of them. Long ago K. O. Mueller420 summed up the common features of victor statues in these words: Kurzgelocktes Haar, tuechtige Glieder, eine kraeftige Ausbildung der Gestalt und verhaeltnissmaessig kleine Koepfe characterisiren die ganze Gattung von Figuren; die zerschlagenen Ohren und die hervorgetriebenen Muskeln insbesondere die Faustkaempfer45 und Pankratiasten. Though in the main this excellent summary still holds good, we are now in a position to correct it in part and to add other equally characteristic features to it. We shall briefly discuss, therefore, in the light of recent investigations, certain of the characteristics common to this genre of sculpture—the material and size of these statues, their nudity and fashion of wearing the hair, their twofold division into iconic and aniconic, their proportions, and, lastly, the assimilation of their appearance to well-known types of hero or god.


In another section421 we show that the overwhelming majority of the statues in the Altis were of bronze, though other materials, stone and wood, were also used in some cases. As to the size of these statues, no hard and fast rule seems to have been followed, but we may assume from the evidence at hand that they were in general life-size.422 Lucian would have us believe that the Hellanodikai did not allow victors to set up statues larger than life.423 We know, however, that there were exceptions to such a rule. In all probability the statue of Polydamas of Skotoussa by Lysippos, which Pausanias says stood on a high pedestal, was larger than life-size, if we may conjecture from its elevated position and the probable source of Pausanias’ remark that he “was the tallest of men, if we except the so-called heroes and the mortal race which preceded the heroes.”424 The traces of footprints on the recovered pedestal of the statue of the Athenian pancratiast Kallias by the sculptor Mikon show that the statue was larger than life-size.425 The footprints on the base of the statue of the Rhodian boxer Eukles by the Argive Naukydes are about 33 cm. long, and so the statue was slightly over life-size.426 We know the actual size of at least two of these Olympic statues. The scholiast on Pindar, Ol. VII, Argum., on the basis of a fragment from Aristotle’s lost work on the Olympic victors and one from the little-known writer Apollas Ponticus,427 says that the statue of the Rhodian boxer Diagoras was 4 cubits and 5 fingers 46tall,428 i. e., about 6 feet 4.5 inches, somewhat over life-size.429 From the same scholiast we learn that the statue of the son of Diagoras, the pancratiast Damagetos, was 4 cubits high, or less than that of the father by 5 fingers, and consequently just under 6 feet.430 The footprints on the base of the statue of the boxer Aristion by the elder Polykleitos are 29 cm. long, and so the statue was just life-size.431 There are several examples of such life-size statues,432 while others are slightly below life-size.433 The Polykleitan statue of a boxer in Kassel is under life-size.434 The marble head of a statue found at Olympia, which we ascribe to Philandridas, the Akarnanian pancratiast, by Lysippos, (Frontispiece and Fig. 69) is also under life-size,435 as is also that of the pancratiast Agias found at Delphi (Pl. 27 and Fig. 68). These two are in harmony with Pliny’s statement that Lysippos made the heads of his statues relatively small.436 Perhaps this statement of Pliny was the basis of the opinion of Mueller recorded above that “comparatively small heads” characterize the whole genre of victor statues. We have in the preceding chapter mentioned the marble fragments of the statues of boy victors, two-fifths to two-thirds life-size, found at Olympia.437 The two marble helmeted heads of the archaic period found there, which we shall later ascribe to hoplite victors (Fig. 30), are exactly life-size.438 Of the bronze fragments recovered at Olympia,439 the head of a boxer of the fourth century B. C. (Fig. 61, A and B) is life-size,440 while the extraordinarily beautifully sculptured right arm ascribed to a boy victor by Furtwaengler441 is a little under life-size.



Most of the victor statues at Olympia were nude.442 In the early period all athletes wore the loin-cloth. Cretan frescoes show it was the custom in the early Mediterranean world. The athletes of Homer girded themselves on entering the games of Patroklos,443 and the girdle appears in the earliest athletic scenes on vases.444 Throughout the historic period, however, the Greeks entered their contests in complete nudity, and this nudity naturally was carried over into athletic sculpture. Pliny’s445 statement, Graeca res nihil velare, is, therefore, correct, despite another of Philostratos to the effect that at Delphi, at the Isthmus, and everywhere except at Olympia, the athlete wore the coarse mantle.446 The beginning of the change from wearing the loin-cloth to complete nudity was ascribed to an accident. The Megarian runner Orsippos in the 15th Ol. ( = 720 B. C.) dropped his loin-cloth while running, either accidentally or because it impeded him.447 The story was commemorated by an epigram, perhaps by Simonides, which was inscribed on his tomb at Megara.448 A copy of this epigram in the Megarian dialect, executed in late Roman or Byzantine times, when the original had become illegible, was discovered at Megara in 1769 and shows that its original was the source of Pausanias’ remarks.449 Philostratos says that athletes contended nude at Olympia, either because of the summer heat or a mishap which befell the woman Pherenike of Rhodes. She accompanied her son, the boy boxer Peisirhodos,48 to Olympia disguised as a trainer, and in her joy at his victory she leaped over the barrier and disclosed her sex.450 The practice does not appear to have become universal with all athletes in all the competitions at Olympia until some time after Orsippos’ day, since Thukydides says the abandonment of the girdle took place shortly before his time and that in his day it was still retained by certain foreigners, notably Asiatics, in boxing and wrestling matches.451 The change is not illustrated in sculpture. The earliest victor statues, i. e., those of the “Apollo” type, are all nude. The nudity of this type shows an essential difference between Greek and foreigner and also between the later Greek and his rude ancestor. Plato gives the use of the loin-cloth as an example of convention, by which what seems peculiar to one generation becomes usual to another.452 We see the change, however, in vase-paintings. The loin-cloth is common on seventh-century vases, but is gradually left off in later ones.

There were exceptions to the rule of nudity. Statues of charioteers were usually partly or wholly dressed in the long chiton, a custom explained in various ways.453 The Delphi bronze Charioteer (Fig. 66) is a good example of a draped one. Another auriga almost nude is shown on a decadrachm of Akragas in the British Museum, dating from the end of the fifth century B. C.454 There are also several examples of nude charioteers.455 The Olympic runners and athletes generally were also bareheaded and barefoot. The only exceptions were the hoplite-runners, who wore helmets, and possibly charioteers, who wore sandals.456 Statues of women victors also were draped.49 Though Ionian women could witness games,457 and Spartan girls took part in athletic contests with boys,458 women were rigorously excluded from crossing the Alpheios during the festival at Olympia.459 They were allowed, however, to enter horses for the chariot-race and, if victorious, to set up monuments.460 Only one woman was allowed to witness the games, the priestess of the old earth cult of Demeter Chamyne, who could sit at the altar in the stadion during the contests.461 Pausanias notes but one exception of a woman infringing the rule of admission, Pherenike, the mother of the Rhodian victor Peisirhodos already mentioned. She was pardoned because her father, brothers, and son were victors, but the umpires passed a law that thereafter even trainers should be nude.462 While excluded from the games proper, women had their own festival at Olympia in honor of Hera, which was known as the Heraia. These games occurred every four years463 and included a foot-race between virgins, in which the course was one-sixth less than the stadion. The victress received an olive crown and also a share of the cow sacrificed to Hera, and was allowed to set up a painted picture of herself in the Heraion.464 It has been generally assumed that the statue of a girl runner in the Galleria dei Candelabri of the Vatican represents one of these victresses (Plate 2),465 since Pausanias says they ran with their hair50 down and wore a tunic which reached to just above the knees, leaving the right shoulder bare to the breast. That the statue represents a girl runner seems certain,466 but that it can be referred to one of the Olympic girl victresses is doubtful. The description of Pausanias fits it in many respects, except that the chiton of the statue is too short, and he does not mention the girdle just below the bosom. Furthermore, he does not mention statues of girl victresses, but only pictures. Nothing can be argued from the palm-branch on the tree-stump, except that the Roman copyist thought it the statue of a victress. It does not necessarily refer to a victress at Olympia, for Pausanias elsewhere says that the palm-branch was given at many contests.467 The statue represents a young girl leaning forward awaiting the signal to start,468 but it is impossible to say to what games we should refer it. There were girls’ contests in and out of Greece—such as at the Dionysia in Sparta469 and in her colony Kyrene.470 Such games were also held in the stadion of Domitian at Rome.471 In fact the Palatine estate of the Barberini, from whom the Vatican acquired the statue, embraced the area of the old stadion of Domitian on the Palatine. It is probably of Doric workmanship, as it certainly represents a Dorian victress, though not necessarily by a Peloponnesian sculptor.472



Marble Statue of a Girl Runner.
Marble Statue of a Girl Runner. Vatican Museum, Rome.

The assumption long held that short hair was always characteristic of the athlete is incorrect.473 It is controverted equally by literary evidence and by the monuments. The Homeric Greek took pride in 51his long hair,474 and doubtless the contestants at the games of Patroklos in the Iliad had long hair. Long hair was worn by some Athenians throughout Athenian history. From the end of the fifth century B. C., long hair was regarded as a mark of effeminacy475 and was regularly worn only by the knights.476 Short hair was worn as a sign of mourning in Athens from early days down.477 Only the slaves regularly wore very short hair in the fifth century B. C.478 The change to short hair in Athens was certainly due to the influence of the palæstra and to athletics in general.479 We see just the opposite custom in vogue in Sparta. There, according to the code of Lykourgos,480 men were compelled to wear long hair and children short hair. Thus the heroes of Leonidas entered the battle of Thermopylæ after combing their long locks.481 After the Persian wars only children and men with laconizing or aristocratic sympathies482 wore their hair long at Athens. When boys arrived at the age of ἔφηβοι, they had their hair cut at the feast of the οἰνιστήρια483 and dedicated it to a god.484 Soon after the Persian war period, athletes wore their hair short. Before that time, the wearing of long hair had already been discarded for obvious reasons in wrestling.485 Similarly, in boxing and the pankration long hair was in the way, and was therefore early braided into two long plaits which were wound around the head in a peculiar way and tied into a knot at the top, the so-called Attic κρωβύλος, the oftenest mentioned manner of dressing the hair in Greek literature.486 The oldest notice52 of this style of wearing the hair is found in a fragment of Asios.487 Herakleides Ponticus488 says it was used up to the time of the Persian wars. The locus classicus is in Thukydides, who says it was worn in his day by old people only.489 Earlier young men wore it,490 but it went out of fashion between 470 and 460 B. C. In this connection we should mention that the professional athlete under the Roman Empire wore his hair uncut and tied up in an unsightly topknot known as the cirrus.491

The monumental evidence bears out the literary. Thus, on old Corinthian clay tablets freemen are represented with long hair, while slaves have short hair.492 Hydrias from Caere (Cerveteri) and paintings from Klazomenai show that the Ionians wore their hair short for the first time in the sixth century B. C., the custom not becoming general until the fifth. Older Spartan monuments represent the hair long.493 Attic vases show long hair on men until the second half of the sixth century B. C., when the black-figured vase masters began to represent them with short hair, a custom becoming general in the first half of the fifth. In statuary the Diskobolos of Myron (Pls. 21, 26, and Figs. 34, 35) has short hair, and most statues of athletes before it have long hair, while most after it have short. Before the time of the Diskobolos, b.-f. and early r.-f. vase-painters often represented athletes with braided hair in the fashion of the warriors on the Aegina pediments. When short hair began to be used on athlete statues, these older braids were often replaced by victor bands.494 We may roughly summarize by saying that statues before the date of the Diskobolos which do not have long hair are probably those of athletes and not of gods, and, in any case, if they have braids bound up in the fashion of the κρωβύλος, they are almost always statues of athletes.495 As for short hair on representations of gods, Furtwaengler has shown that it appears only after the middle of the fifth century B. C.496 Prior to that date the hair of divinities fell over the neck and shoulders in curls, as in the statue of the Olympian Zeus by Pheidias. By the time of Perikles, however, short curly hair reached only to the nape of the neck on statues of Zeus,53 and this style frequently appears on figures of the god on Attic vases of that period. Dionysos has short hair for the first time on the Parthenon frieze.497 Furtwaengler has shown that Pheidias did not invent the short bound-up hair for goddess types, as we see it in the Lemnian Athena, but that he borrowed it from works already in existence.498 Though the style was unknown in the archaic period, it appears on helmeted heads of Athena of the early fifth century B. C. showing Peloponnesian style—on coins, statuettes, reliefs, etc. It appears in Attic art exclusively on bareheaded types of Athena of the period just prior to that of the Lemnia.

Bulle499 has gone carefully into the technique of the hair by different Greek artists. In archaic times this was “ein, man darf sagen, unmoegliches Problem.” The primitive means at the disposal of the early artist made it impossible to render the hair naturally and hence it was conventionalized. Two styles arose in archaic times, which endured with modifications all through Greek art. The one was the pictorial (malerisch), where only the general appearance of the hair was represented, the merest necessary plastic form being added.500 Painting here helped the shortcomings of the sculptor to some extent. The second style was the plastic (plastisch), where individual locks were attempted. The plastic use of light and shade made the use of color now less necessary. Such examples as the Korai of the Akropolis Museum and the Rampin head in the Louvre show the difficulty which the early artist encountered in representing hair plastically. In the Rampin head501 we see examples of three sorts of plastic hair treatment: the pearl-string (Perlschnuerre) on the neck, grained hair (Koerner) in the beard, and snail-volutes (geperlte Schnecken) on the forehead. None of the three seems to belong integrally to the head, but each appears to have been pasted on. The pearl-string fashion was first used in the soft poros stone and was only later successfully transferred to marble. During the severe style of Greek sculpture, both fashions, pictorial and plastic, were used, as we see them in the pediment groups from the temple of Zeus at Olympia. In the period of Pheidias the plastic treatment was used almost exclusively, as we see in the Lemnian Athena. In the next century impressionism came in, though the plastic treatment still continued, for we see it in the bronze work of Lysippos and the marble work of Praxiteles. The old pictorial treatment was revived again in the later Hellenistic age.



In a well-known passage Pliny says that “the ancients did not make any statue of individuals unless they deserved immortality by some distinction, originally by a victory at some sacred games, especially those of Olympia, where it was the custom to dedicate statues of all those who had conquered, and portrait statues if they had conquered three times. These are called iconic.”502 Many solutions of this passage have been offered. Older commentators, as Hirt and Visconti,503 interpreted Pliny’s word iconicas as life-size statues. Scherer, however, easily refuted this idea and showed that the adjective εἰκονικός, though ambiguous in its meaning, had nothing to do with size, but referred rather to an individual as opposed to a typical sense in relation to statuary. In his explanation he referred to the words of Lessing in the Laokoön: es ist das Ideal eines gewissen Menschen, nicht das Ideal eines Menschen ueberhaupt.504 Nowadays all scholars agree that Pliny’s word refers to portrait statues.505 However, Pliny’s dictum about the right of setting up portrait statues is certainly open to doubt.506 It can not have been true of monuments erected before the fourth century B. C., when portrait statues were rare. Portraiture was a form of realism and was a product of the later period of Greek art—especially after the time of Lysippos. In the fourth century B. C. we find one well-attested exception to Pliny’s rule. The discovered inscription from the base of a monument erected to the horse-racer Xenombrotos of Cos,507 reads (fifth line): τοῖ[ος], ὁποῖο[ν] ὁ[ρ]ᾷς Ξεινόμβροτο[ς]. These words indubitably point to a portrait statue. However,55 neither the recovered epigram nor Pausanias indicates anything about this victor being a τρισολυμπιονίκης, and consequently he appears not to have merited a portrait statue.508 Pliny’s statement can be explained in many ways: it may be apocryphal, or different usages may have fitted different periods; or the rule may have held good only for gymnic victors and not for equestrian ones, which, being strictly votive in character, may not have been restricted to its operation.509

Portrait Statues.

Pausanias mentions the monuments of several victors at Olympia who were entitled to portrait statues on the strength of Pliny’s rule, though we have no indication that they were so honored. Thus he mentions the statues of Dikon,510 Sostratos,511 Philinos,512 and Gorgos.513 The early fifth-century boxer Euthymos514 also won three victories, but at a time before we should expect a portrait statue. The Periegete also mentions several victors who won three or more times, though he does not say that they had any statues, portrait or otherwise.515 Percy Gardner516 has shown how erroneous is the prevailing view that the Greeks neglected portraiture in their art and left it for the Romans to develop. He shows that Greek artists of the third and second centuries B. C. left a great many portraits of the highest artistic value and that portraits of Romans before the time of Augustus, and the best Roman examples during the Empire, were made by Greek sculptors. The56 number of Greek portraits in our museums, especially in Rome, is very great.517 From archaic times down to the middle of the fifth century B. C. we should not expect portraiture. In the earlier period, therefore, it is difficult to distinguish between statues of gods and those of men. In the great period of Greek art, from the time of Perikles on to that of Alexander, the general tendency of Greek sculpture was so ideal that portraits, when they existed, seem impersonal. The later copyists of portraits also idealized them. Thus Pliny, in speaking of Kresilas’ portrait of Perikles, says that this artist nobiles viros nobiliores fecit—in other words, that he idealized them.518 The portraits of Alexander were especially idealized. In the first half of the fourth century we first hear of realistic portraiture. Thus Demetrios, who flourished 380–360 B. C.,519 made a “very beautiful” statue of a Corinthian general named Pelichos, which Lucian520 says had a fat belly, bald head, hair floating in the wind, and prominent veins, “like the man himself.”521 Except for the hair this description by the satirist seems to have been correct. At the end of the fourth century B. C. anatomical detail began to be shown in sculpture. Largely under the influence of Lysippos, the personality of victors began to be emphasized in figure and face in a very realistic way. We can distinguish between such portraits of victors before and after the time of Lysippos.522 Pliny523 says that Lysistratos, the brother of Lysippos, was the first to obtain portraits by making a plaster mould on the features and so to render likenesses exactly, as “previous artists had only tried to make them as beautiful as possible.” In any case, by the time of Lysippos realistic portraiture began to be emphasized. We see it at Olympia in the57 later bronze pancratiast’s head found there (Fig. 61, A and B), and in a still more revolting style in the Seated Boxer of the Museo delle Terme (Pl. 16, and Fig. 27).

The reason why the privilege of erecting portrait statues was given so seldom to Olympic victors was probably not because it was a highly esteemed honor. The real reason seems to have been that portraiture, with its tendency to realism, subordinated beauty to that realism and so conflicted with the Greek artistic ideal. The Thebans had a law which forbade caricature and commanded artists to make their statues more beautiful than the models. The Greeks worshiped beauty and hated ugliness. Many games in Greece were held in honor of personal beauty. Thus a contest of manly beauty among old men (ἀγὼν εὐανδρίας) was a part of the Panathenaic games at Athens.524 A contest of beauty among women, originating in the time of Kypselos, king of Arkadia, was kept up until the time of Athenæus.525 We hear of contests of beauty in Elis, at which three prizes were given,526 and of similar ones on the islands of Tenedos and Lesbos.527 The Crotonian Philippos, who won at Olympia in an unknown contest about 520 B. C., was honored after his death by the people of Egesta with a heroön and sacrifices because of his beauty.528 At Tanagra, in Bœotia, the most beautiful ephebe was chosen to carry a ram on his shoulders around the city wall at the festival of Hermes Kriophoros.529 At Aigion in Achaia the most beautiful boy was anciently chosen to be priest of Zeus.530 The most beautiful youths among the Spartans and Cretans dedicated offerings to Eros before battle.531 These and similar examples show the Greek feeling for beauty. The representation of passion and violence was foreign to the spirit of the best Greek art; it was rather the “quiet grandeur” (Stille Groesse) or “repose,” of which Winckelmann made so much, that was characteristic of that art. In Homer both men and gods, when wounded, shriek. Philoktetes, in the drama of Sophokles, wails throughout a whole act, when suffering from a gangrened foot. With the poets Zeus casts his thunderbolt in anger, but Pheidias has him hold it quietly in his hand. So we can see why portrait statues were rare at Olympia, where the representation of manly beauty and vigor was the rule. They were ruled out,58 not because of their increasing the honor accorded to the victor, but rather because they honored his egotism.532

Aniconic Statues.

Accordingly, since only victors who had won three or more contests at Olympia could set up iconic statues, the great majority of statues there represented some ideal type of common applicability, in which there was no attempt to show the individual features of this or that victor, but rather the typical athlete of muscular build. The older statues were merely variations of a few types which were held to be appropriate to the purpose. In process of time these few types in their treatment of details gradually approached truth to nature; this was especially characteristic of the Peloponnesian schools, which adopted the Doryphoros of Polykleitos as their norm of proportions. Statues of victors were the stock subject of the closely related schools of Argos and Sikyon.533 Doubtless, as E. A. Gardner says,534 there existed at Olympia itself a school of subordinate artists, who filled the regular demand for victor statues. However, some of these statues, especially those of the fifth and fourth centuries B. C., as we see them in originals and in Roman copies, and read the æsthetic judgments of them in Greek writers, were real works of art.


The literary evidence for Greek sculpture is, for the most part, very unsatisfactory. Though classical writers were uncritical and not fond of analysis, still they have left us some useful opinions about works of sculpture and painting. The history and criticism of sculpture began in Greece, in the fourth century B. C., with the Peripatetics. Aristotle, whose observations on painting and sculpture were slight, did not despise the “mimetic” arts as did the Socrates of Plato.535 In the Rhetoric536 he speaks of the beautiful bodies of youths who trained as pentathletes, since the varied exercises of the pentathlon made them so. We have a similar opinion expressed by Xenophon in what is, perhaps, the most59 interesting passage in Greek literature on criticism of art.537 He has Sokrates go to the sculptor Kleito and compliment him on his power of representing different physical types produced by various contests, noting differences between statues of runners and wrestlers and between those of boxers and pancratiasts. When asked how he makes statues lifelike, Kleito has no answer, and the philosopher says it is by the imitation of real men, i. e., nature. He adds: “Must you not then imitate the threatening eyes of those who are fighting and the triumphant expression of those who are victorious?” Though some have thought that these words refer to portrait statues, which were spoken of as a matter of course at the beginning of the fourth century B. C., it is more reasonable to suspect that Sokrates was speaking of the older sculptors—for we may recognize Polykleitos in Kleito538—and consequently that he is not referring to portraiture. In the Symposium of Xenophon539 Sokrates also complains that the long-distance runners (δολιχοδρόμοι) have thick legs and narrow shoulders, while boxers have broad shoulders and small legs, and he therefore recommends dancing as a better exercise than athletics. As such differences in physique occur in vase-paintings of the date, but not in statuary, the philosopher seems to be speaking of athletics and not of sculpture. From these quotations of Aristotle and Xenophon, we gather that the all-round development of the pentathlon made beautiful athletes, and this beauty must have been carried over into their statues. It is essentially the young man’s contest,540 and some of the pentathlete victors at Olympia and elsewhere were noted for their strength in after life. Thus Ikkos of Tarentum, who won at Olympia in Ol. 76 ( = 476 B. C.), was the best teacher of gymnastics of his day.541 Gorgos of Elis was the only athlete to win the pentathlon four times at Olympia, besides winning in two running races.542 Another Elean, Stomios, who won three prizes at Olympia and Nemea, later became a leader of cavalry and beat his enemy in single combat.543 The Argive Eurybates, victor in the pentathlon at Nemea, was very strong, and later, in a battle with the Aeginetans, killed three opponents in single combats, but succumbed to the fourth.544 The Spar60tans and Krotonians seem to have been the best pentathletes.545 Noted sculptors made statues of these athletes.546 Plato, in the de Leg.,547 has the Athenian stranger praise Egyptian art because of its stationary character. This bespeaks but little artistic insight for the philosopher, though he was surrounded by the wonderful artistic creations of the end of the great fifth century B. C. The later classical writers were fond of expressing criticisms of art. Thus Pasiteles, a Greek sculptor living in Rome in the first century B. C., wrote five books on celebrated works of art throughout the world.548 The opinions on art of the Roman Varro appear in the pages of Pliny.549 Of all the ancient critics, Cicero was perhaps the most superficial. In a passage in the Brutus550 he gives us his judgment of several sculptors. He finds the works of Kanachos too rigid to imitate nature truthfully, while those of Kalamis, though softer than those of Kanachos, are hard; Myron, though not completely faithful to nature, produced beautiful works and Polykleitos was quite perfect. The most trustworthy critic of sculpture in antiquity, on the other hand, was certainly Lucian, as we see from many of his utterances, especially from his account of an ideal statue, which combined the highest excellences of several noted sculptures.551 His criticism of Hegias, Kritios, and Nesiotes, to the effect that their works were “concise, sinewy, hard, and exactly strained in their lines,” might have been made in the presence of the group of the Tyrannicides (Fig. 32).552 Unfortunately he touches the subject only casually, though he might have written a fine history of Greek art. We must also refer to two other imperial writers, the elder Pliny and Pausanias. Pliny’s abstracts on art, though our chief ancient literary authority on Greek sculpture and painting, are neither critical nor trustworthy. A careful analysis of his chapters shows that he was a borrower many times removed, though he seldom acknowledged it. This is excusable when we consider the custom of literary borrowing in antiquity and also the fact that his chapters on art form merely an appendix to his Natural History, being joined on to it by a very artificial bond, for his abstract on bronze statuary (Bk. XXXIV) is brought in merely to complete his account of the metals. His knowledge of the older periods of Greek61 art is small and his bias in favor of the two Sikyonian sculptors Lysippos and Xenokrates is very evident. His worst mistakes are in chronology. He puts Pythagoras after Myron, and both after Polykleitos, while Hagelaïdas, who is made the teacher of Myron and Polykleitos, lives on to the beginning of the Peloponnesian war. His real criticism of sculpture is seen in his dictum of the Laokoön group, that it is a “work superior to all the pictures and bronzes of the world.”553 Our debt to Pausanias, especially for our knowledge of the victor monuments at Olympia, is immense. This debt may be gauged by the fact that he mentions in his work many times more statues than any other writer and that a large portion of the Schriftquellen of Overbeck is concerned with him. However, he shows little real understanding for art. His interest in statues is confined almost entirely to those which are noted for their antiquity or sanctity, and his account of them is usually the pivot around which he spins religious or mythological stories. Throughout his work his chief interest is religious; his interest in art for its own sake is very small. He devotes many pages to the throne of Zeus at Olympia, and describes the temple sculptures merely because the statue of Zeus is within. His detailed account of the athlete statues in the Altis is made chiefly because of his religious and antiquarian interest. Though imitating the style of Herodotos, he does it badly, so that his book is without much charm. In concluding this rough estimate of the ancient criticism of art, we might mention the fragmentary information to be gathered from many other writers, Dio Chrysostom, Quintilian,554 Plutarch, and others, whose names occur frequently in the footnotes. All such references to works of art in ancient writers are conveniently collected in the great compilation of Overbeck so often quoted.555

As for æsthetic judgments of the statues of victors at Olympia we have a few direct hints from different writers. The epigram from the base of the statue of the boy wrestler Theognetos by Ptolichos of Aegina reads in part: Κάλλιστον μὲν ἰδεῖν, ἀθλεῖν δ’ οὐ χείρονα μόρ[φης].556 Pliny says of the sculptor Mikon, who made the statue of the62 Athenian pancratiast Kallias: Micon athletis spectatur.557 The same writer says of the horses of Kalamis: equis sine aemulo expressis.558 Kalamis with Onatas of Aegina made a chariot-group for the Syracusan king Hiero.559 Pausanias, in mentioning the statue of the boxer Euthymos by Pythagoras, says that it is καὶ θέας ἐς τὰ μάλιστα ἄξιος.560 In mentioning the statue by the same sculptor of the wrestler Leontiskos, he says: εἴπερ τις καὶ ἄλλος ἀγαθὸς τὰ ἐς πλαστικήν.561 Of the Argive sculptor Naukydes he says, when speaking of the statue of the wrestler Cheimon, that it is among the finest works of that artist.562 In another passage, in which he describes the dedication of Phormis at Olympia, he speaks of an ugly horse, which, besides being smaller than other sculptured horses in the Altis, has “its tail cut off, and this makes it still uglier.”563 However, here he is not so much interested in its lack of beauty as in the curious fact which he adds, that despite its ugliness this bronze mare attracted stallions.



Bronze Head of an Olympic Victor.
Bronze Head of an Olympic Victor. Glyptothek, Munich.

We are not, however, dependent upon such meagre scraps of evidence from classical writers, nor upon contested Roman copies,564 for an idea of the workmanship of some of the Olympic victor statues. We can judge it in no uncertain way by the few originals found at Olympia and by others which are to be found in European museums. As an example of the former we have only to recall the life-size bronze bearded head of a boxer or pancratiast of the third century B. C., which is now in the National Museum at Athens565 (Fig. 61, A and B). Its only decoration, an olive crown whose leaves have disappeared, proves it to be from the statue of a victor, and its wild locks, brutal look, flattened nose, and wide mouth represent a naturalistic study of the utmost strength and fineness, which could only have been produced after the time of Lysippos. We shall discuss this remarkable head more fully in Chapter IV. As examples of original victor 63 monuments in European museums we shall mention three. The bronze head of a boxer in the Glyptothek at Munich (Pl. 3) is an original of the first rank.566 It is from a statue found near Naples in 1730, which was later destroyed, and it probably represents the head of a boy of about twelve years, a victor in boxing, to judge from the victor band in the hair and the fact that the visible part of the right ear is swollen. Like the head of the Diadoumenos of Polykleitos (Figs. 28, 29) this beautiful head exemplifies fully the “ethical grace” or modesty567 so characteristic of the best Greek art, and it certainly merits Furtwaengler’s praise of being the “most precious treasure of the Glyptothek.”568 Another head, found in Beneventum and now in the Louvre (Fig. 3)569 is a splendid Greek original of the last decade of the fifth century B. C., and, as Mrs. Strong says, should arouse in us a sense of what precious relics may still lie hidden in our museums.570 The victor fillet in the hair, consisting of two sprays of what seems to be wild olive (remnants of which appear in front), shows that the statue must once have ornamented the Altis. Like the one in Munich, this head shows Polykleitan inspiration tempered by Attic influence.571 Lastly, the bronze head of a youth from the tablinum, of the so-called villa of the Pisos at Herculaneum, now in Naples,572 is, to judge from its technique, an excellent original Greek work (Fig. 4). Here again the hair fillet shows it is from a victor statue, though its provenience from Olympia can not be established.


Bronze Head of an Olympic Victor.
Fig. 3.—Bronze Head of an Olympic Victor, from Beneventum. Louvre, Paris.

Such beautiful works of art as these last show the influence which the great athletic festivals, and especially the Olympian, exerted on the development of Greek sculpture. In the gymnastic training carried on in the gymnasium and palæstra, which culminated in these festivals, the Greek sculptor found an unrivaled opportunity to study the naked human figure in its best muscular development and in every pose. In fact, we may say with Furtwaengler that without athletics Greek art would be inconceivable.573 To quote from another work of the same scholar:

“The gymnastically trained bodies of these slim boys and youths and vigorous men are evidence of the ennobling effect of athletics. Presented in complete nudity they are not faithful portraits from life, but motives or models from the palæstra transformed and exalted to the highest ideal of physical 65beauty and strength. They are the most splendid human beings that the art of any period has created.”574


In attempting to identify a given statue as the copy of a work by this or that master, certain well-known canons of proportion, which were taught and practiced by various Greek sculptors and schools, must be taken into consideration.

Bronze Head of an Olympic Victor
Fig. 4.—Bronze Head of an Olympic Victor, from Herculaneum. Museum of Naples.

Greek art may, like Greek philosophy and poetry, be summarized under the names of three qualities which constantly occur in classical literature—συμμετρία, εὐρυθμία or ῥυθμός, and ἀναλογία.575 Symmetry may be defined as “that technical regard for the placing of the parts to the best advantage,” the symmetrical arrangement of the parts of66 a statue or group of figures.576 Rhythm, following Vitruvius,577 is that tertium quid which is indispensable to true art. Analogy (Latin proportio)578 refers to the measured ratio of part to part in any given work of art, whether in architecture, painting, or sculpture. Most scholars nowadays interpret symmetry and analogy as the same thing. Pliny579 says that symmetria has no Latin equivalent, and in several passages580 keeps the Greek word, as does Vitruvius. Here Otto Jahn rightly says proportio or commensus would have adequately translated it.581 P. Gardner explains the word properly as “the proportion of one part of the body as measured against another.”582 Brunn held that, as symmetry was the relation of part to part in a statue at rest, rhythm expressed this relationship in one represented in motion.583 The simplest illustration of rhythm is seen in walking: when the right foot is advanced the left arm swings out in rhythm, and so the balance of the body is kept. Rhythm, therefore, has to do with balance in motion, and may refer equally to cadence in poetry and music and to movement in sculpture. An excellent example in sculpture is afforded by Myron’s Diskobolos (Pls. 21, 22, and Figs. 34, 35), while the balancing of figures on many Greek reliefs—especially on Attic funerary stelæ—illustrates symmetry (cf. Fig. 75). Pliny characterizes certain artists by their success in effecting symmetry and rhythm. Thus Myron surpassed Polykleitos in being more rhythmic and in paying more attention to symmetry.584 He says that Lysippos most diligently preserved symmetry by bringing unthought-of innovations into the square canon 67of earlier artists.585 Parrhasios was the first to introduce symmetry into painting.586 Diogenes Laertios says that the sculptor Pythagoras was the first to aim at rhythm as well as symmetry.587 In all such passages it is clear that canons of proportion are meant.

The doctrine of human proportions is very ancient, originating in Egyptian art.588 It appears early in Greek architecture in the proportions of columns and other members of a temple,589 and it was soon transferred to sculpture. As Greek sculpture evolved on traditional lines,590 we should assume that it paid attention to the doctrine of proportions in the human figure, based on numerical ratios, and that such a doctrine would vary from age to age in the various schools of sculpture. Such an assumption is borne out by both literary and archæological evidence. Toward the end of Hellenism many writers refer to just such a measured basis of proportion in Greek art.591 Archæologists have shown by the careful study of multitudes of statues that such proportions exist in Greek sculpture. Thus A. Kalkmann592 has proved that there are sets of ratios in the treatment of the face used by successive schools of sculpture, which were canonical, whether formulated or not. G. Fritsch593 has done for the whole body68 what Kalkman has done for the face. In fact, anthropometry in relation to Greek sculpture has now become an exact science.594

The greatest artists—architects, painters, and sculptors—of all times have taught and practised the doctrine that certain proportions are beautiful, e. g., the proportion of the height of the head or the length of the foot to the whole body, or the length of parts of the head or body to other parts. In modern times we have only to mention such names as those of da Vinci, Duerer, Raphael Mengs, and Flaxman.595 In Greek days there were many artists who formulated such canons of proportions. Greek sculptors followed ratios of proportions so closely that we have statues of various schools, which are distinguished by fixed proportions of parts, such as the Old Attic, Old Argive, Polykleitan, Argive-Sikyonian or Lysippan, etc. Some of these schools used the foot as the common measure, while others used the palm, finger, or other member.596 The earliest works on Greek art were treatises, now lost, by artists in which they worked out their theories of the principles underlying the proportions of the human figure.597 We shall briefly consider a few of these canons, together with the usual pose of body which conformed with them. The earliest Peloponnesian canon, which we can analyze, was that followed by Hagelaïdas of Argos and his school, a canon which was still used in the Polykleitan circle. Here the weight of the body rested upon the left leg, while the right one was slightly bent at the knee, its foot resting flat on the ground; the right arm hung by the side and the left was usually in action, and the head was slightly inclined to the left side; the shoulders were extraordinarily broad in comparison with the hips, the right one being slightly raised. These qualities produced a short stocky figure, firmly placed.598 In the middle of the fifth century B. C., Polykleitos worked out a theory of proportions in the form of a commentary on his famous statue known as the Doryphoros. This canon was characterized by squareness and massiveness of build. The weight of the body generally rested on the right foot, while the left was drawn back, its foot touching the ground with the ball only. Sometimes this pose was reversed, the left foot carrying the body-weight, as in the three bases of statues by the master found at Olympia (i. e., those of the athletes Pythokles, Aristion, and69 Kyniskos, to be discussed later), and in the works of some of his pupils, notably in those of Naukydes, Daidalos, and Kleon.599 Euphranor, who flourished, according to Pliny, in Ol. 104 ( = 364–361 B. C.), and wrote works on symmetry and color, was the “first” to master the theory of symmetry.600 Pliny, however, found his bodies too slender and his heads and limbs too large, a criticism of his painting which must have been equally applicable to his sculpture. His canon did not make much headway, as the majority of sculptors in his century were still under the domination of the canon of Polykleitos. It was left for Lysippos, in the second half of the fourth century B. C., finally to break this domination of the great fifth-century sculptor. Pliny quotes Douris as saying that he was the pupil of no man, and that because of the advice of the painter Eupompos he was a follower of nature—which appears to be a cut at the schools which mechanically followed fixed rules.601 His statues had smaller heads, and more slender and less fleshy limbs, than those of his predecessors, in order that the apparent height of the figure might be increased.602 While Polykleitos made his heads one-seventh of the total height of the statue, Lysippos made his one-eighth—if this change may be seen in the Apoxyomenos (Pl. 28), which is certainly a work of his school, if not of the master himself. Pliny further records his saying that while his predecessors represented men as they were, Lysippos represented them as they appeared to be. This means that Pliny regarded him as the first impressionistic artist.603 Pliny mentions other artists who wrote on art, and it is probable that theories of proportions formed the main element of such works.604

The best example of symmetry, i. e., of the ratio of proportions, in Greek sculpture is afforded by the Doryphoros of Polykleitos, which Pliny says was called the Canon, and he adds that this sculptor was the only one who embodied his art in a single work.605 The identity70 of the canon with this statue seems to be attested by the anecdote told of Lysippos that the Doryphoros was his master,606 and by Quintilian’s statement that sculptors took it as a model.607 The best-preserved copy of the Doryphoros, despite its rather lifeless character, is the one discovered in Pompeii and now in Naples (Pl. 4).608 As other late Roman copies do not conform to the identical proportions of this copy, it is perhaps difficult to say exactly what the canon of Polykleitos was. Possibly the original, if it had been preserved, would also strike us as somewhat lifeless; but we must remember that the statue was made merely to illustrate a theory of proportions. The dimensions of the Naples statue are known from very careful measurements and the proportions agree with those given in the description by Galen to be mentioned. It is almost exactly 2 meters, or 6 feet 8 inches, high.609 The length of the foot is 0.33 meter, or one-sixth of the total height, while the length of the face is 0.20 meter, or one-tenth of the height. E. Guillaume610 has made a careful analysis of it in reference to Galen’s611 statement that Chrysippos found beauty in the proportion of the parts, “of finger to finger, and of all the fingers to the palm and wrist, and of these to the forearm, and of the forearm to the upper arm, and of all the parts to each other, as they are set forth in the canon of Polykleitos.” He has found that the palm, i. e., the breadth of the hand at the base of the fingers, is a common measure of the proportions of the body. This palm is one-third the length of the foot, one-sixth that of the lower leg, one-sixth that of the thigh, and one-sixth that of the distance from the navel to the ear, etc. Such a remarkable correspondence in measurements would seem to show, if we had no other proofs, that the Naples statue reproduces the canon of Polykleitos more closely than any other.


Statue of the Doryphoros
Statue of the Doryphoros, after Polykleitos. Museum of Naples.

A good example of asymmetry is afforded by the so-called Spinario of the Palazzo dei Conservatori in Rome612 (Fig. 40). This justly prized statue shows more asymmetry, perhaps, than any other down to its date—just before the middle of the fifth century B. C. Though its composition is such that there is no vantage-point from which it forms 71 a harmonious whole, still its effect on the beholder is far from displeasing. Such a creation shows that a Greek artist, even without paying attention to the symmetrical arrangement of parts, could at times produce an attractive piece of sculpture.


Since Greek art in the main was idealistic, we should not be surprised to discover in athletic sculpture a tendency toward assimilating victor statues to well-known types of gods or heroes, especially to those of Hermes, Apollo, and Herakles, who presided over contests or gymnasia and palæstræ. This phenomenon is only a further example of the extraordinary, almost superhuman, honors which were paid to victors at the great games. In the absence of sufficient means of identification, it is often very difficult to distinguish with certainty between statues of victors and those of the gods and heroes to whom they were assimilated. This difficulty, as we shall see, is especially observable in the case of Herakles. Even later antiquity recognized that statues of athletes were sometimes confused with those of heroes, just as those of heroes were with those of gods, as we learn from a passage in Dio Chrysostom’s oration on Rhodian affairs.613 This difficulty is one of the most perplexing problems that still face the student of Greek sculpture.

It was not an uncommon custom in Greece to heroize in this way an ordinary dead man.614 One of the most striking instances of this custom is afforded by the so-called Hermes of Andros, a statue found in a grave-chamber on the island in 1833 and now in Athens615 (Pl. 5). It has been a matter of dispute among archæologists whether this statue represents the god Hermes or a mortal in his guise. Although Staïs616 looks on it as un problème peut-être à jamais insoluble, there seems little reason for doubting that it represents a defunct mortal. Its place of finding in a tomb along with the statue of a woman of the Muse type, which probably represents the man’s consort,617 the presence of a snake on the adjacent tree trunk, the absence of sandals and kerykeion, and the portrait—like features—all point to the conclusion that a man and not a god is represented. The downcast, almost melancholy, look72 seems also to make it a funereal figure. The powerful proportions of a perfectly developed athlete, displaying no tendency toward the representation of brute force, show that the man is idealized into the type of Hermes, the god of the palæstra, rather than into the light-winged messenger of Olympos. The Belvedere Hermes of the Vatican,618 and a better one known as the Farnese Hermes of the British Museum,619 are noteworthy replicas of the type. The latter carries the kerykeion in the left hand and wears sandals, with a small chlamys over the left arm and shoulder. These attributes show that Hermes was intended in this copy. Probably the original of these various replicas, a work dating from the end of the fourth century B. C., and ascribed to Praxiteles or his school in consequence of similarity in pose and build of body and head to the Hermes of Olympia, was intended to represent Hermes. In the one from Andros, at least, the copyist intended to heroize a mortal under the type of the god. Similarly, the statue known as the Standing Hermes in the Galleria delle Statue of the Vatican,620 which has the kerykeion and chlamys, whether its original represented Hermes, hero or mortal, has been made by the copyist to represent Hermes, the god of athletics, as the late attribute of wings in the hair proves. Other examples of dead men represented as Hermes are not uncommon. Thus a Greek grave-stele in Verona621 shows the dead portrayed as a winged Hermes, and a similar figure appears on a stele from Tanagra.622 The so-called Commodus in Mantua623 is interpreted by Conze and Duetschke as the figure of a dead youth in Hermes’ guise. But this custom of representing defunct mortals as gods was less common in Roman art. The bust of a dead youth on a Roman grave-stone in Turin,624 set up in honor of L. Mussius, is a good example. Here the cock, sheep, and kerykeion, symbols of the god, show that the youth is represented as Hermes.


Statue of Hermes
Statue of Hermes, from Andros. National Museum, Athens.

Not only dead men, however, were heroized in this manner. It was not an uncommon practice in later Greece for living men, especially princes, to have their statues assimilated to types of gods and heroes, 73a practice which was very common in imperial Rome.625 Thus many of the Hellenistic princes were pleased to have their statues assimilated to those of the heroic Alexander. One of the best examples of this process is furnished by the original Bronze Portrait-statue of a Hellenistic Prince Fig. 5.—Bronze Portrait-statue of a Hellenistic Prince. Museo delle Terme, Rome. bronze portrait statue of such a prince, which was unearthed in Rome in 1884 and is now in the Museo delle Terme there (Fig. 5).626 It has been identified as the portrait of several kings of Macedon and elsewhere,627 but the similarity of the head of the statue to heads portrayed on Macedonian coins is only superficial.628 All that we can say is that this beautiful work, representing the prince in the heroic guise of a nude athlete of about thirty years, belongs to the third century B. C., the epoch following Lysippos. The sculptor, wishing to combine the ideal with the real, appears to have copied the motive directly from a bronze statue by Lysippos, which represented Alexander leaning with his left hand high on a staff.629 The pose also recalls that of the third-century B. C. statue of Poseidon found on74 Melos and now in Athens.630 The free leg, body, and head modeling correspond so nearly with the Apoxyomenos (Pl. 28) that it was at first called a work of Lysippos, but its lack of repose631 shows that it must be a continuation of the work of that sculptor by some pupil, who wished to outdo his master in both form and expression.

Before discussing the subject of the assimilation of victor statues to types of god and hero, we must make it clear that often, for certain reasons, statues of athletes were later converted into those of gods, and vice versa. Such examples of metamorphosing statues have nothing to do with the process of assimilation under discussion. A few examples will make this clear. An archaic bronze statuette from Naxos,632 reproducing the type of the Philesian Apollo of Kanachos, since it has the same position of hands as in the original, as we see it later reproduced on coins of Miletos and in other copies,633 holds an aryballos in the right hand instead of a fawn. As it is absurd to represent Apollo with the bow in one hand and an oil-flask in the other, it seems clear that in this statuette the copyist has converted a well-known Apollo into an athlete by addition of an athletic attribute. Famous statues were put to many different uses by later copyists. Thus Furtwaengler has shown that the statue of the boy boxer Kyniskos by Polykleitos at Olympia,634 which represented the athlete crowning himself, was modified to represent various deities, heroes, etc. Thus a copy from Eleusis of the fourth century B. C., because of its provenience and the soft lines of the face, suggests a divinity, perhaps Triptolemos.635 A copy of the same type in the Villa Albani (no. 222) has an antique piece of a boar’s head on the nearby tree-stump and, consequently, may represent Adonis or Meleager. A torso in the Museo Torlonia (no. 22) represents Dionysos, another in the Museo delle Terme has a mantle and caduceus and so represents Hermes, while on coins of Commodus the same figure, with the lion’s skin and club, represents Herakles.636 No ancient statue was used more extensively as a model for other types than the famous Doryphoros of Polykleitos. Furtwaengler637 has collected a long list of later conversions of this work into statues both marble and bronze, statuettes, reliefs, etc., representing Pan, Ares, Hermes, and in one case an ordinary mortal.638 Other75 examples of the conversion of statues will be given in our treatment of assimilation.

Athlete Statues Assimilated to Types of Hermes.

Hermes was one of the principal ἐναγώνιοι or ἀγώνιοι θεοί, i. e., gods who presided over contests, or who were overseers of gymnasia and palæstræ, or were teachers of gymnastics (γυμνάσται).639 Greek writers often mention these athletic gods. Thus Aischylos640 often uses the term, not in the sense of ἀγοραῖοι θεοί, “the great assembled gods,” (ἀγὼν = ἀγορά),641 but in the sense of gods who presided over contests.642 This is evident from the fact that Zeus, Apollo, Poseidon, and Hermes are the gods especially mentioned by Aischylos in this sense, and the first three correspond with the Olympian and Nemean games (Zeus), the Pythian (Apollo), and the Isthmian (Poseidon), while Hermes is concerned in them all. Thus the epithet ἀγώνιοι, in the Agamemnon of Aischylos refers to Zeus,643 Apollo,644 and Hermes.645 If the word referred to the twelve greater gods, as some have thought, other deities more important than Hermes would have been included. Elsewhere the word ἀγώνιος always refers to contests.646 Hermes was worshipped at Athens and elsewhere as a god of contests.647 The agonistic character of this god is shown by the fact that statues and altars were erected to him all over Greece.648 He was sometimes coupled with Herakles as the protector of contests,649 and the images of the two often stood in gymnasia.650 A fragmentary votive relief of the second century A. D. is inscribed with a dedication to both by a certain Horarios, victor in torch-racing.651 Athenian ephebes made offerings to Hermes,652 and to Hermes and Herakles in common, after their training was over. Thus Dorykleides of Thera, a victor in boxing and76 the pankration at unknown games, dedicated a thank-offering to the two.653 Hermes was early the god of youthful life and sports, especially those of the palæstra. He is said to have founded wrestling654 and inaugurated the sports of the palæstra.655 Pausanias mentions a Gymnasion of Hermes at Athens656 and an altar of Hermes ἐναγώνιος together with one of Opportunity (Καιρός) at the entrance to the Stadion at Olympia.657 He says that the people of Pheneus in Arkadia held games in his honor called the Hermaia,658 and he records the defeat of the god by Apollo in running.659 With such an athletic record there is little wonder that the Greek sculptor would often take his ideal of Hermes from the god of the palæstra and gymnasium, representing him as an athletic youth harmoniously developed by gymnastic exercises. It was but natural that a victor at Olympia or elsewhere should wish to have his statue—which rarely could be a portrait—conform with that athletic type.


Statue of the Standing Diskobolos
Statue of the Standing Diskobolos, after Naukydes (?). Vatican Museum, Rome.

An excellent instance of this tendency seems to be afforded by the so-called Standing Diskobolos in the Sala della Biga of the Vatican (Pl. 6),660 known since its discovery by Gavin Hamilton in 1792. It represents a youth who is apparently taking position for throwing the diskos, the weight of the body resting on the left leg, the knees slightly bent, the feet firmly planted, and the diskos held in the left hand, just prior to its being passed to the right. This position is one which immediately precedes that of Myron’s great statue. The bronze original dates from the second half of the fifth century B. C., and has been variously assigned to Myron by Brunn, to Alkamenes by Kekulé, followed by Overbeck, Michaelis and Furtwaengler,661 and to Naukydes, the brother and pupil of Polykleitos.662 The head of the Vatican statue shows no trace of Peloponnesian art, but rather resembles Attic types 77of the end of the fifth century B. C. However, as we shall see, this head does not appear to belong to the statue. Among the works of Alkamenes Pliny mentions a bronze pentathlete,663 called the Enkrinomenos, and this work has been identified with the statue under discussion.664 Such an assumption is tenable only if the statue fits Pliny’s epithet. This epithet appears to mean “undergoing a test,” and should refer not to the statue, for we know nothing of any principle of selecting statues, but to the athlete represented, the ἔγκρισις referring to the selection of athletes before the contest.665 Pliny’s statue, then, presumably, represented a pentathlete, not in action as the Vatican statue does, but standing at rest before his judges. An all-round athlete like a pentathlete would especially fit such an ordeal, and his statue, albeit lighter and more graceful, would be an ideal one like the Doryphoros of Polykleitos.666 We know how Alkamenes treated Hermes from the bearded herma of that god found in Pergamon in 1903 and inscribed with his name.667 Its massive features, broad forehead, and wide-opened eyes bear no analogy to the head on the Vatican statue, nor to the one with which Helbig would replace it. The ascription of the statue to Naukydes is better founded. As the head of the statue is Attic and not Argive, it is difficult to connect the work with a Peloponnesian artist. However, the present head of the statue can not be shown to belong to it, and no other replica has a head which can be proved to belong to the body. A fragmentary replica of the statue, of good workmanship, was found in Rome in 1910, and nearby a head, which must belong to the torso.668 This head fits the Vatican statue better than the head now on it, and certainly comes from the Polykleitan circle—both head and body showing elements of Polykleitan style. This new head represents the transition from Polykleitan art to that of the next century, i. e., to the head-types of Skopas, Praxiteles, and other Attic78 masters. Presumably, then, in the original of this fragment and its replicas, we have a famous statue—the one by Naukydes mentioned by Pliny.669

A more important question for our discussion is whether the Vatican statue represents a victor (diskobolos) or Hermes. G. Habich has argued that the pose of the statue, standing with the right foot advanced, is not that of a diskobolos taking position. He quotes Kietz670 to the effect that no vase-painting or other monument has the exact position of this statue, and that the natural position for such a motive is to advance the left foot.671 Moreover, the fingers of the right hand, which are supposed especially to uphold the diskobolos theory, are modern in all the replicas. On a coin of Amastris in Paphlagonia, dating from the Antonines, and on one of Commodus struck at Philippopolis in Thrace, a figure of Hermes is pictured, which, in all essentials, reproduces the Vatican statue.672 Since the figure on the coins has a kerykeion or training-rod in the right hand and a diskos as a minor attribute in the left—merely a symbol of the god’s patronage of athletics—we should see in the Vatican statue a representation of Hermes as overseer of the palæstra. Pliny’s words—if we omit or transpose the first et—refer, therefore, to a statue of Hermes-Diskobolos and to the Ram-offerer which stood on the Athenian Akropolis, to two, therefore, and not to three different monuments. We should restore all the replicas of the statue, then, with the caduceus, to represent Hermes as gymnasiarch. Though this interpretation of the statue has found opponents,673 the evidence is strong that in it and its replicas we have an athlete in the guise of Hermes. If we think that the caduceus can not be brought into harmony with the chief motive of the statue, we must conclude with Helbig that the copyist in one isolated case—the one copied on the coins—changed an original victor statue into Hermes by adding the herald staff. This would make it an instance, not of assimilation of type, but of conversion.

A small bronze statuette standing upon a cylindrical base, which was found in the sea off Antikythera (Cerigotto), reproduces almost79 exactly the attitude of the statue of Naukydes (Fig. 6).674 Here the left hand is stretched out horizontally at the elbow, but the right arm is lost, so that we get no additional evidence as to the attribute carried. Because of its correspondence with the aforementioned coins675 even in detail, Bosanquet, followed by Svoronos, looks upon this “little masterpiece” as a copy of the Argive master.

Bronze Statuette of Hermes-Diskobolos
Fig. 6.—Bronze Statuette of Hermes-Diskobolos, found in the Sea off Antikythera. National Museum, Athens.


The statue discovered in the ruins of Hadrian’s villa in 1742 and now in the Capitoline Museum,676 which represents an ephebe nude, except for a chlamys thrown around the middle of his body, standing in an easy attitude with his left foot resting upon a rock and bending forward with the right arm extended in a gesture, was formerly looked Bronze Statue of a Youth Fig. 7.—Bronze Statue of a Youth, found in the Sea off Antikythera. National Museum, Athens. upon as a resting pancratiast. Because of its general likeness to Praxitelean figures—the head is especially like the Olympia Hermes—Furtwaengler interpreted the figure as that of Hermes Logios or Agoraios, the god of eloquence, and assigned it to an artist near to Praxiteles. However, it is probably nothing else than an idealized portrait of the age of Hadrian or the Antonines, and represents an ephebe, probably a victor, assimilated to the type of Hermes.677

Another example of assimilation may be the much-discussed bronze statue in the National Museum at Athens, which was accidentally discovered in 1901, along with the rest of a cargo of sculptures which had been wrecked off the island of Antikythera as it was on its way to Rome about the beginning of the first century B. C. (Fig. 7).678 This statue, the best preserved of the cargo, is a little over life81size and represents a nude youth standing with languid grace, the weight of his body resting upon the left leg, while the right is slightly bent and the right arm is extended horizontally, the hand holding a round object now lost and variously interpreted. In short, the pose strongly resembles that of the Vatican Apoxyomenos (Pl. 29). Opinions as to the age and authorship of this statue have been very diverse, ranging from the fifth century B. C. down to Hellenistic times and ascribing it to many masters and schools. Kabbadias, who published it, in conjunction with the other objects, directly after their discovery,679 thought it would prove to “rank as high among statues of bronze as does the Hermes of Praxiteles among those of marble,” and characterized it as “the most beautiful bronze statue that we possess.” Waldstein praised it in no less exaggerated terms, and classed it along with the Charioteer from Delphi (Fig. 66) as among the first Greek bronzes, if not among the finest specimens of Greek sculpture.680 He followed Kabbadias in assigning it to the fourth century B. C. and in interpreting it as Hermes. He at first ascribed it to Praxiteles or his school, but later he thought it more Skopaic.681 Th. Reinach placed it in the early fourth century B. C., but regarded it as the work of a sculptor influenced by Polykleitos, naming the youthful Praxiteles or Euphranor.682 He explained the pose as that of a man amusing a dog or a child with some round object. A Greek scholar, A. S. Arvanitopoulos, assigned the work to the fifth century B. C. and to the Attic school, referring it possibly to Alkamenes.683 However, as soon as the statue was properly cleansed and pieced together, its early dating was seen to be untenable, and its Hellenistic character became evident.684 E. A. Gardner found little resemblance in the head to that of the Praxitelean Hermes, but more in the treatment of hair and eyes to that of the Lansdowne82 Herakles (Pl. 30, Fig. 71,), which he ascribes to Skopas.685 He saw in its labored and even anatomical modeling similarity to the Apoxyomenos of the Vatican and concluded that it was, therefore, later than the fourth century B. C., being an eclectic piece disclosing influences of several fourth-century sculptors, the work of an imitator especially of Praxiteles and Skopas. K. T. Frost also assigned the work to the Hellenistic age, but believed it was the statue of a god and not of a mortal, and so followed Kabbadias and Waldstein in interpreting it as a Hermes Logios.686 Gardner had interpreted it as probably the statue of an athlete “in a somewhat theatrical pose,” though admitting it might be a genre figure representing an athlete catching a ball, even if its pose were against such an interpretation. In any case he was right in saying that the pose, even if incapable of solution, was chosen by the sculptor with a desire for display, as the centre of attraction is outside and not inside the statue, and so is against the αὐτάρκεια of earlier works. More recently, Bulle has asserted that it is not an original work at all, but, as evinced by the hard treatment of the hair, merely a copy. He also interprets it as a Hermes, restoring a kerykeion in the left hand, and he likens its oratorical pose to that of the Etruscan Orator found near Lago di Trasimeno in 1566 and now in the Museo Archeologico in Florence, or the Augustus from Primaporta in the Vatican.687 For its date he believes the statue marks the end of the Polykleitan “Standmotif” (the breadth of the body showing Polykleitan influence, the head, however, being too small and slender for the Argive master), and the inception of the Lysippan (the free leg not drawn back, but placed further out), as we see it in the Apoxyomenos. He concludes that its author can not have been a great master.688 Doubtless, the statue, which is the pride of the Athenian museum, is merely a representative example of the kind of bronze statues made in great numbers in the early Hellenistic age; but it shows the high degree of excellence attained at that time by very mediocre artists.689

Apart from its period, our chief interest in the statue is to determine whether a god or a mortal is portrayed. As there are no certain remnants of the round object held in the right hand, and no other83 accessories, many interpretations have been possible. Especially the gesture of the right arm has been the centre for such interpretations. Some have looked upon this gesture as “transitory,” i. e., the sweeping gesture of an orator or god of orators, and this has led to the interpretation of the statue as Hermes Logios.690 However, the round object in the fingers is against this assumption. Others have therefore regarded the gesture as “stationary,” i. e., the figure is holding an object in the hand, which is the main interest of the statue, and this view has therefore also given rise to many different explanations. Among mythological interpretations two have received careful attention. Svoronos has reasoned most ingeniously that the statue represents Perseus holding the head of Medusa in his hand, and finds a similar type on coins, gems, and rings. Thus, almost the identical pose of the statue is seen on an engraved stone in Florence, which shows Perseus holding the Gorgon’s head, and Svoronos has restored the bronze similarly.691 But certainly the right arm of the statue was not intended to carry so great a weight. Others have seen in it the statue of Paris by Euphranor, mentioned by Pliny as offering the apple as prize of beauty to Aphrodite.692 But the statue scarcely reflects the description of the Paris by Pliny. Other scholars have interpreted the statue as that of a mortal. S. Reinach believes that it may be a youth sacrificing.693 Kabbadias and E. A. Gardner admitted it might be the statue of a ball-player as well as of Hermes. Since this latter interpretation has become popular, let us consider its possibility at some length in reference to ball-playing in antiquity. Now we know that ball-playing (σφαιρίζειν, ἡ σφαιρικὴ τέχνη) was a favorite amusement of the Greeks from the time of Nausikaa and her brothers in the Odyssey694 to the end of Greek history, and that it was practiced at Rome from the end of the Republic to the end of the Empire.695 It seems to have been regarded less as a game than as a gymnastic exercise.84 Its origin is ascribed to the Spartans and to others.696 A special sort of ball-playing was known as φαινίνδα,697 and this is described in a treatise by the physician Galen, of the second century A. D., in which he recommended ball-playing as one of the best exercises.698 Because of his ability in the art of ball-playing, Aristonikos of Karystos, the ball-player of Alexander the Great, received Athenian citizenship and was honored with a statue.699 The philosopher Ktesibios of Chalkis was fond of the game.700 A special room, called the σφαιριστήριον, was a part of the later gymnasium.701 The game was specially indulged in at Sparta. Several inscriptions, mostly from the age of the Antonines, commemorate victories by teams of ball-players there.702 The name σφαιρεῖς was given to Spartan youths in the first year of manhood. These competitions took place in the Δρόμος at Sparta.703 Though, then, we should naturally expect statues of ball-players, like the one in Athens of Aristonikos already mentioned, the calm mien of the Cerigotto bronze and the direction of the gaze are certainly, as Th. Reinach said earlier, against interpreting it as the statue of one engaged in so active a sport. Von Mach, because of its voluptuous appearance, thought it might represent merely a bon vivant. While Lechat interpreted it as possibly an athlete receiving a crown from Nike,704 Arvanitopoulos would have the right hand either hold a lekythion or be quite empty, and the left a strigil, thus restoring the statue as an apoxyomenos. S. Reinach would regard it merely as a funerary monument.

In all this discrepancy of opinion it is not difficult to recognize elements of both god and mortal blended. The resemblance in the expression and features of the face to those of the Praxitelean Hermes, even though superficial, as well as the pose of the right arm recall the god; the muscular build of the figure fits either the god Hermes, in his character of overseer of the sports of the palæstra, or an athlete. It therefore seems reasonable to see in this Hellenistic statue of varied artistic tendencies merely the representation of an athlete, perhaps of a pentathlete, who is holding a crown or possibly an apple as a prize of victory in the right hand, whose form and features have been assimilated to those of Hermes.

How the statue of an indisputable Hermes Logios, on the other hand, appears, may be seen in the Hermes Ludovisi of the Museo delle Terme,85 Rome,705 and in its replica in the Louvre. The original of this marble copy, dating from the middle of the fifth century B. C., has been variously ascribed to Pheidias,706 Myron,707 and others. In this statue the petasos, chlamys, and kerykeion indicate the god, while the position of the right arm raised toward the head708 and the earnest expression of concentration in the face bespeak the god of oratory. The careful replica of the statue, except the head, in the Louvre, is the work of Kleomenes of Athens, a sculptor of the first century B. C. The copyist, however, has given to the original a Roman portrait-head, whence it has been falsely called Germanicus.709 The Paris statue, then, is merely another example of the conversion of an original god-type, for the sculptor wished to represent a Roman under the guise of Hermes Logios, since the inscribed tortoise shell retained at the feet is a well-known attribute of the god.

Another excellent example of a true Hermes head is the fine Polykleitan one in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, which is a copy of a well-known type represented by the Boboli Hermes in Florence and other replicas.710 Though S. Reinach classed this head as Kresilæan,711 its true Polykleitan character has been established,712 even if it does not merit the praise formerly given it by Robinson, of being “easily the best extant copy of a work by Polykleitos.”713


The so-called Jason of the Louvre and its many replicas714 (Fig. 8) probably represent athletes in the guise of Hermes. These statues are copies of an original of the end of the fourth century B. C., when Statue of the so-called Jason Fig. 8.—Statue of the so-called Jason (Sandal-binder). Louvre, Paris. the favorite motive originated—probably with Lysippos—of representing a figure, as in this case, with one foot on a rock, bending over and tying a sandal. Since the replicas in Munich and Paris extend both arms to the right foot, while those in London and Athens extend the left arm over the breast, with the hand resting on the right knee, Klein has argued two different versions of a common type. He compares the former with figures on the west frieze of the Parthenon, the latter with the well-known relief of Nike tying her sandal, from the Nike balustrade now in the Akropolis Museum. The one type he assigns to Lysippos, the other (with both arms down) to an earlier artist. However, the proportions of both groups agree with the Lysippan canon and so we should assume only one artist. The discussion whether the figure is tying or untying the sandal is as barren as the similar one raised about the Athena from the Nike balustrade;715 but the87 question as to who is represented by the type is worthy of careful consideration. The statue in the Louvre at first was believed to represent Cincinnatus called from the plough, but Winckelmann, without evidence, gave it its present name of Jason. In recent years it has been interpreted as Hermes tying on his sandals, his head raised to hearken to the behest of Zeus before going forth from Olympos on his duties as messenger. This interpretation was based on the description of a statue of the god by Christodoros,716 and the fact that the type conforms with a representation of Hermes on a coin of Markianopolis in Mœsia.717 Arndt has argued from the coin and from the motive of the statue that Hermes and not an athlete is intended; thus the inclination of the head, he thinks, is not that of an athlete looking out over the theatre, since the regard is not far off, but merely upward; the presence of the chlamys and the sandals also fits the god. He therefore refers the copies to a Hermes-type originated by Lysippos. But Froehner’s idea that they represent athletes, even if the type were invented for Hermes, is in line with our idea of the assimilation of athlete types to that of Hermes. In this connection it may be added that the head of an athlete in Turin,718 dating from the late third or early second century B. C., is very similar to that of the Louvre figure, and especially to the Fagan head in London. The pose of an athlete binding on a sandal was doubtless chosen by the sculptor merely to show the play of the muscles.

Heads of Hermes are often found with victor fillets,719 and some of these doubtless are from statues of victors. The beautiful fourth-century B. C. Parian marble head of a beardless youth in the British Museum, known as the Aberdeen head,720 which resembles so strongly the Praxitelean Hermes, although lacking its delicacy, may be from a victor statue assimilated to the god, for holes show that it once wore a metal wreath. In Roman days the Doryphoros of Polykleitos, as we have seen, was adapted to represent Hermes, and was set up in various palæstræ and gymnasia. The Naples copy of the Doryphoros stood in the Palaistra of Pompeii,721 and statues of ephebes carrying lances (hastae, δόρατα) and called Achilleae by Pliny,722 which must have been largely copies of Polykleitos’ great statue, were set up in gymnasia. A later type of Hermes-head often88 appeared on bodies of the Doryphoros,723 while other statues, showing the body of the Doryphoros draped with the chlamys,724 and many torsos following the attitude and form of this statue, have the chlamys, which shows that they were intended for the god.725 Hermes in the Doryphoros pose, in a bronze of the British Museum,726 is probably intended for an athlete. Furtwaengler has shown727 that the old Argive schema of the boxer Aristion at Olympia by Polykleitos728 was used in the master’s circle for statues of Hermes. The best preserved example of a number of existing statues of this type is one in Lansdowne House, London,729 in the pose of the Aristion, holding an object—probably a kerykeion—in the hand and a chlamys over the left shoulder.

Athlete Statues Assimilated to Types of Apollo.

Apollo figures in mythology as an athlete. In the Iliad, at the opening of the boxing match between Epeios and Euryalos,730 he is mentioned as the god of boxing, which refers, perhaps, to his presiding over the education of youths (κουροτρόφος) and to his gift of manly prowess. Pausanias records that he overcame Hermes in running and Ares in boxing.731 He gives these victories of the god as the reason why the flute played a Pythian air at the later pentathlon. Plutarch says that the Delphians sacrificed to Apollo the boxer (πύκτης), and the Cretans and Spartans to Apollo the runner (δρομαῖος).732 Apollo’s fight with Herakles to wrest from the hero the stolen tripod of Delphi,733 which is the subject of many surviving works of art,734 is outside the realm of89 athletics. As with Hermes, it is often difficult to distinguish between statues of Apollo and those of victors assimilated to his type. A good instance of this doubt is afforded by the long and indecisive discussion of the monument represented by several replicas, especially by the Choiseul-Gouffier statue in the British Museum (Pl. 7A), and the so-called Apollo-on-the-Omphalos (Pl. 7B) found in 1862 in the ruins of the theatre of Dionysos at Athens, and now in the National Museum there.735 The bronze original of these marble copies must have been famous, to judge from the number of replicas of it. It has been ascribed to many different artists—to Kalamis, Pythagoras, Alkamenes, Pasiteles,736 to one on more, to another on less probability. As A. H. Smith has pointed out, the krobylos treatment of the hair almost certainly indicates an Attic sculptor of the first half of the fifth century B. C. But here again the main interest in these copies is to determine whether the original represented Apollo or an athlete. The connection between the Athens replica and the omphalos found with it is all but disproved737 and can not be used as evidence that the statue represents the god. However, the original has been called an Apollo because of the presence of a quiver on certain of the copies. Thus, while we have a tree-trunk beside the Choiseul-Gouffier example, we have a quiver on the copy in the Palazzo Torlonia in Rome,738 and on a similar statue in the Fridericianum in Kassel,739 and both tree and quiver on the fragment of a leg from the Palatine now in the Museo delle Terme.740 The Ventnor head in the British Museum741 has long locks suited to Apollo, and the head from Kyrene there742 was actually found in a temple of Apollo. It has also been pointed out that the head of a similar figure, undoubtedly an Apollo, appears on a relief in the Capitoline Museum,743 and a similar figure is found on a red-figured90 krater in Bologna, which shows the god standing on a pillar with a laurel wreath in the lowered left hand and a bowl in the right.744 On coins of Athens, moreover, we see the figure of Apollo in a similar attitude with a laurel wreath in the lowered right hand and a bow in the left.745 From such evidence a good case for an Apollo has been made out by many scholars—A. H. Smith, Winter,746 Helbig,747 Conze,748 Furtwaengler,749 Schreiber,750 Dickins, and others. The evidence of the quiver in the delle Terme fragment and the Torlonia replica is looked upon as a deliberate device of the copyist to indicate the god. The attempt especially to connect it with the Apollo Alexikakos of Kalamis751 must certainly fall, since the date is about the only thing in its favor. In the long list of statues ascribed to this sculptor,752 there is none of an athlete, and the Choiseul-Gouffier type, whether it represents Apollo or an athlete, has a markedly athletic character. If the Delphi Charioteer (Fig. 66) be ascribed to Kalamis, certainly this type of statue can have nothing to do with him or his school. Nor is the type at all identical with the Alexikakos appearing on coins of Athens,753 in which the locks of hair, in the true archaic fashion of a cultus statue, fall down over the god’s shoulders. Besides, the work of Kalamis, characterized by λεπτότης and χάρις,754 must have been of the delicate later archaic style of the transition period.


Statue of the so-called Apollo Choiseul-Gouffier
Statue of the so-called Apollo Choiseul-Gouffier. British Museum, London.


Statue of the so-called Apollo-on-the-Omphalos
Statue of the so-called Apollo-on-the-Omphalos. National Museum, Athens.

Waldstein, however, has made a good case against the evidence adduced for interpreting the original as Apollo and he believes that the statue represents an athlete.755 The thongs thrown over the stump in the Choiseul-Gouffier statue, doubtless those of a boxer, seem to point to an athlete for that copy at least. The muscular form and athletic coiffure of all the copies also point to the same conclusion, even if Waldstein’s ascription of the original statue to the boxer Euthymos, whose statue by Pythagoras of Rhegion stood in the Altis at Olympia,756 is only a guess. Wolters thinks the Choiseul-Gouffier statue may 91represent an athlete, but is against Waldstein’s ascription of the work to Pythagoras.757

Though differing in detail, the rendering of the hair, common to all the replicas, is a purely athletic coiffure. The argument for attributing the original to Apollo, based on the curls around the face, is of no importance, since a similar coiffure appears on many ephebe heads by various Attic masters of the same or a slightly earlier period. The hair treatment on a little-known replica of the head in the British Museum758 gives us an additional argument in determining whether the original was an Apollo or not. On this head there are two corkscrew curls side by side just back of the ears, which are so inorganically attached and so unsuited to the style of head as to make us believe that they were added by the copyist, even if their absence in other copies were not proof enough of this fact. Apparently the copyist adopted a well-known type of athlete and tried to convert it into an Apollo by the use of this Apolline hair attribute. The only other Apolline attribute, the quiver on the copies in the Palazzo Torlonia759 and Museo delle Terme, may have been added as a fortuitous adjunct by the copyists, who were converting an original athlete statue into one of Apollo. It may be added, also, that the quiver does not always indicate the god, as we shall see in discussing the Delian Diadoumenos (Pl. 18). When we consider, therefore, the athletic pose, the massive outline and proportions, the high-arched chest, the muscular arms and thighs, the accentuation of the veins,760 the fashion of the hair, and the relatively small size of the head, together with the presence of the boxing-thongs on the London example, it seems reasonable to conclude that in this series of copies we may see an original athlete statue, which in certain cases was later transformed into statues of Apollo. Even if the original was actually an Apollo, its proportions were far better suited to the patron of athletic exercises than to the leader of a celestial choir.

An instance of the similar use of the same type of head is shown by the colossal statue of Apollo unearthed at Olympia.761 Here we see the same coiffure as in the heads discussed, but the presence of the remnants of a lyre indubitably shows that this copy was intended for92 Apollo, and so it has been rightly assigned by Treu, not to the fifth, but to a later century. When long hair was no longer the fashion for athletes, a later artist might mistakenly think that the earlier plaits were genuinely Apolline, though we know that they were common to all early athletic art. Another head in the British Museum has been ably discussed by Mrs. Strong,762 who shows that it comes from an Apollo and not from an athlete statue. It is similar to an Apollo pictured on a stater struck at Mytilene about 400 B. C.,763 and consequently, like the statue from Olympia, it is merely an instance of the process of converting an athlete statue into that of an Apollo.

The marble copy of the Diadoumenos of Polykleitos, found on the island of Delos in 1894, and now in the National Museum in Athens764 (Pl. 18), has a chlamys and a quiver introduced on the marble support against the right leg. Until recently these attributes were regarded as the arbitrary introductions of the Hellenistic copyist, who wished to convert the famous athlete statue into one of Apollo, but lately it has been suggested that they belonged to the original statue, which is assumed to have represented Apollo. Thus, Hauser has propounded the theory that the Diadoumenos was originally an Apollo.765 He does not believe that the Delian sculptor could have transformed a short-haired athlete into an Apollo, since the typical Apollo after the time of Praxiteles was never represented as athletic. He later supported his theory that the Diadoumenos was originally an Apollo by the evidence of a bronze statuette and a Delphian coin, and reasserted his view that so virile a short-haired Apollo did not originate with the later copyist, but in the fifth century B. C.766 Hauser’s argument that Apollo was the original of the Diadoumenos seems as unsuccessful as his contention that Polykleitos’ other great creation, the Doryphoros, is to be classed as an Achilles.767 Loewy has sufficiently opposed Hauser’s theory of the Diadoumenos, by showing that the palm-tree prop in all the marble replicas of that statue points to athletic93 victories.768 He rightly explains the Apolline attributes of the Delian copy as the perfectly natural additions of an artist who lived on the island reputed to be the birthplace of the god. His ascription of the Polykleitan statue to the pentathlete Pythokles, the base of whose statue at Olympia has been found,769 is doubtful. More recently Ada Maviglia has shown the literary grounds for regarding the Diadoumenos as an athlete, and not an Apollo.770

The difficulty of distinguishing between statues of athletes and Apollo is also shown by the very beautiful fifth century B. C. Parian marble head in Turin,771 which is certainly a copy of an original Greek bronze. Furtwaengler, because of the hair, wrongly believed it the head of a diadoumenos, and connected it with Kresilas,772 while Amelung and Wace773 have found in it Attic and Polykleitan influences. The hair is parted over the centre of the forehead, as in the Diadoumenos and the Doryphoros, and in other works attributed to the Polykleitan school, while the locks over the ears and the plaits wound round the head have Attic analogues.774

Athlete Statues Assimilated to Types of Herakles.

Herakles was the reputed founder of the games at Olympia.775 He was a famous wrestler, Pausanias frequently mentioning his combats with giants.776 He won in both wrestling and the pankration at Olympia.777 In connection with the victory of Straton of Alexandria, who won in these two events on the same day,778 Pausanias names three men before him and three men after him who won in these events on the same94 day.779 We learn their dates from Africanus.780 After the date of the last of these victories, Ol. 204 ( = 37 A. D.), the Elean umpires, in order to check professionalism, refused to allow contestants to enter for both events.781 To win the crown of wild olive in both these events was therefore regarded as a great honor, and in the Olympic lists a special note was made of such victors, who were called πρῶτος, δεύτερος, τρίτος, κ. τ. λ., ἀφ’ Ἡρακλέους.782 They also received the title of παράδοξος or παραδοξονίκης.783 Statues of Herakles, like those of Hermes and Theseus, were commonly set up in gymnasia and palæstræ throughout Greece,784 and it was but natural that Olympic victors, especially those in the two events mentioned, should want their statues assimilated to those of the hero. The difficulty of deciding whether a given statue is one of Herakles or of a victor is even greater than that of distinguishing between statues of victors and those of Hermes or Apollo. To quote Homolle: “Maintes fois, comme pour la tête d’Olympie, comme pour plusieurs autres encore, on peut se demander si le personnage représenté est le héros luimême sous les traits d’un athlête ou un athlête fait à l’image du héros.”785 In reference to the statue of Agias by Lysippos discovered at Delphi, which is an excellent example of the assimilation process which we are discussing, he continues: “Ici en particulier, étant donnée la nature du monument, il est permis de supposer que l’auteur ... ait voulu élever le personnage à la hauteur idéale du type divin en qu’ Agias ait été assimilé à Héraclès.”786

We shall discuss a few examples of this process of assimilation to types of Herakles. Our ascription of the head from Olympia mentioned by Homolle, which was found in the ruins of the Gymnasion, to the95 statue of the Akarnanian pancratiast Philandridas by Lysippos787 (Frontispiece and Fig. 69) will be discussed in a later chapter.788 The swollen ears and hair-fillet might pass for hero or mortal, for in deciding whether a given head represents Herakles or a victor, the ears are not the deciding criterion, since many heroes had the “pancratiast” swollen ear, as we shall see later. A good example of assimilation is seen in the beautiful little marble head of a man, found in Athens and now in the Glyptothek Ny-Carlsberg in Copenhagen, dating from the early Hellenistic age.789 As traces of color remain in the hair, some have thought that this head came from the reliefs on the “Alexander” sarcophagus from Sidon, belonging to the body of a headless youth represented there. Though the marble (Pentelic) and the dimensions would fit, it would be the only head on the sarcophagus with a band in the hair, and so the question can not be definitely decided.790 The head was at first called a Herakles, though Furtwaengler rightly saw in it an ideal representation of an athlete, even if the ears are not swollen. A bronze head of a youth from Herculaneum, now in Naples, is evidently a part of the statue of a victor or of Herakles.791 A Polykleitan ephebe head-type, with rolled fillet around the hair and swollen ears, represented by replicas in Naples, in Rome, and elsewhere, may represent a boxer in the guise of the hero.792 In the Roman copy of the group of Herakles and Telephos in the Museo Chiaramonti of the Vatican, Herakles, still the god, wears a fillet.793 Similarly, a colossal head of mediocre workmanship in the Sala dei Busti of the Vatican represents the hero with a fillet,794 while another head in the Capitoline Museum, with fillet and swollen ears, seems to represent Herakles as a victorious athlete.795 Many other heads in various museums, which are commonly called heads of Herakles, may represent athletes in the heroic guise. A good example is the Parian marble terminal bust of the fourth century B. C., representing a young Herakles wreathed with poplar, now in the British Museum (Fig. 31).79696 In this head the ears are bruised. It seems to have been copied from some well-known statue of Lysippan or Skopaic tendencies. Another head in the British Museum shows the beardless hero, his hair encircled by a diadem, and his ears broken and crushed.797 This almost certainly comes from a victor statue. Many bronze statuettes in the British Museum may be interpreted either as Herakles or as victors.798 A bronze from Corfu represents a nude Herakles or an athlete, with the left foot advanced and the left hand extended. The objects held in both hands are lost, but the challenging pose and expression indicate a boxer.799 Similarly a small bronze in Berlin, represented with a fillet and in the walking pose, may be a Herakles or a victor.800 Duetschke gives two examples of heads in the Uffizi, both of them having fillets, and one of them having swollen ears, which may come from statues of the hero or victors.801 Heads of the hero with the rolled fillet can not, however, according to Furtwaengler, be classed as victors, since he believes that this attribute was borrowed from the symposium, to distinguish the glorified hero rejoicing in the celestial banquet.802

Athletes Represented as the Dioskouroi.

Kastor is said to have won the foot-race and Polydeukes the boxing match, at Olympia.803 They had an altar at the entrance to the Hippodrome there,804 and were called “Starters of the Race” at Sparta.805 A stadion, in which they were fabled to have contended, was shown in Hermione, in Corinthia.806 Kastor was a famous horse-racer in Homer and later writers,807 and Polydeukes a famous boxer,808 both being κατ’ ἐξοχήν the rider and boxer respectively.809 Scenes showing Athena setting garlands on victorious hoplite racers (?) appear on reliefs of the Dioskouroi from Tarentum.810 An archaic Argive inscription tells how a certain Aischylos won the stade-race four times and the hoplite-race97 three times at Argos, for which he dedicated a slab to the Dioskouroi, which depicted them in relief.811 An inscribed bronze quoit of the sixth century B. C. from Kephallenia(?), now in the British Museum, was dedicated to the two heroes by Exoïdas for a victory (apparently in the pentathlon).812 A bronze four-spoked wheel with a dedicatory inscription in their honor was found at Argos, probably the remnant of a monument erected for a chariot victory.813 Doubtless certain victor statues were assimilated to them, though we have no direct evidence of the fact. Ordinary dead men appeared in the guise of the Dioskouroi on sepulchral reliefs, just as we have seen that in statuary they were heroized into statues of Hermes. Thus a grave-relief in honor of Pamphilos and Alexandros in Verona shows on the projecting lower rim the two Dioskouroi, the figure to the right carrying a lance in the right hand and holding the bridle of a horse in the left, while the figure to the left holds a lance in the left hand and touches a horse’s head with the right.814 A votive relief in the British Museum represents two youths on horseback, who, despite the absence of the conical cap or pilleus, are probably the Dioskouroi.815 Their short hair is bound with diadems, which shows that the dead men may have been victors.

Sufficient examples of the process of assimilation have now been given to prove that it was not an uncommon device of the ancient sculptor and to show the difficulty of distinguishing between types of gods and athletes.




Plates 8–21 and Figures 9–31.

We have seen816 that it was a very old custom in Greece to dedicate statues of victors at the great national games to the god in whose honor the games were held. On many sites, especially at Olympia, tiny statuettes of clay or bronze of very primitive technique have been found in great numbers, which represent victors in many attitudes and ways—as horsemen, warriors, charioteers, etc. By the sixth century B. C. this ancient custom, as we learn from literary, epigraphical, and monumental sources, had developed, with the rapid progress attained by the sculptor’s art, into the regular practice of erecting life-size statues of athletes at the site of the games or in the native city of the victor. Especially at Olympia hundreds of such monuments were gradually collected, whose numbers and beauty must have exerted an overwhelming impression on the visitor to the Altis. We shall now begin the consideration of these monuments in detail.

The victor statues at Olympia, as elsewhere, may be conveniently divided into two main groups—those which represent the victor as standing or seated at rest, before or after the contest, and those which represent him in movement, i. e., in some contest schema.817 Examples of statues of athletes represented at rest are common in Greek athletic sculpture. We need only mention the so-called Oil-pourer of Munich (Pl. 11), who is represented as pouring oil over his body to make his limbs more supple for the coming wrestling bout; the Diadoumenos of Polykleitos (Pls. 17, 18, and Fig. 28), who is binding a victor fillet around his head after a successful encounter; the Apoxyomenos of the school of Lysippos (Pl. 29), representing an athlete scraping off the oil and dirt from his body after his victory. In this class of statues, which forms by far the greater number and shows the richer motives, the poses are quiet and reserved, the figures are compact, and the expression earnest and even thoughtful. As examples of statues represented in movement we need only recall such well-known works as the Diskobolos of Myron with its rhythmic lines and vivacious expression (Pls. 22, 23, and Figs. 34, 35); the bronze wrestlers of Naples, who are bending eagerly forward watching for a grip (Fig. 51); or the artistically intertwined pancratiast group of Florence (Pl. 25).100 Such monuments show us the varied poses, the choice of the critical moment, the truth to life, and the masterly rhythm attained by certain sculptors.


In this chapter we shall confine ourselves almost entirely to the statues of victors represented at rest, discussing those represented in motion chiefly in the next. Most of the oldest statues at Olympia, dating from a time when there were few variations in the sculptural type, must have been represented at rest and in the schema of the so-called “Apollos.” Ever since the discovery of the Apollo of Thera in 1836 (Fig. 9), this genre of sculpture, the most characteristic of the early period, extending from the end of the seventh century B. C. to the time of the gable groups of Aegina, has been carefully studied. Though we now know that the type passed equally well for gods and mortals,818 we still keep the name, because of its familiarity and for the sake of having a common designation. That this type actually represented Olympic victors we have indubitable proof. Pausanias mentions the stone victor statue of the pancratiast Arrhachion, dating from the first half of the sixth century B. C., which stood in the agora of his native town Phigalia. He describes it as archaic in pose, with the feet close together and the arms hanging down the sides to the hips—the typical “Apollo” schema.819 Moreover, this very statue has survived to our time (Fig. 79).820 A study, therefore, of this type of statue will give us an idea of how some of the early statues at Olympia looked.

The “Apollo” statues,821 because of differences in facial expression, have been conveniently divided into two groups: those represented by the examples from Thera, Melos, Volomandra, Tenea, etc., sometimes named the “grinning” group, because the corners of the mouth are turned upwards into the so-called “archaic smile,” and those represented by the examples from Orchomenos, the precinct of Mount Ptoion, and elsewhere, named the “stolid” group, because in them the mouth forms a straight line.822 There are, however, essential differences Statue of so-called Apollo of Thera Fig. 9.—Statue of so-called Apollo of Thera. National Museum, Athens. between the statues of each group. Thus, while some of both groups—e. g., the examples from Melos, Volomandra, and Orchomenos—have square shoulders, most of the others have sloping ones. The type gradually improved, as in each successive attempt the sculptor overcame difficulties, until finally revolutionary changes had taken place101 in the original form. This improvement is seen in the treatment of the hair, in the modeling of the face and body, and in the proportions of the statues. In a head of a statue from Mount Ptoion823—which is broken off at the neck—we seem to see the sculptor in wood making his first attempt in stone. In the archaic example from Thera824 (Fig. 9) the arms hang straight down close to the sides, as in the statue of Arrhachion, being detached only slightly from the body at the elbows, showing that the artist was afraid that they might break off. In other examples, as in the one from Orchomenos825 (Fig. 10) and one from Mount Ptoion826 (Fig. 11), the space between the arms and the body has become larger, while in the example from Melos827 (Fig. 12) only the hands are glued to the thighs. In the “Apollo” found at Tenea in 1846, and now in Munich828 (Pl. 8A), the arms are free, but the hands are held fast to the body by the retention of small marble bridges between them and the thighs. The final step102 has been taken in two examples from Mount Ptoion (Fig. 13), in which the arms from the shoulders down are free from the bodies.829 The bridges shown on the photograph in the figure to the left, which connect the forearms with the thighs, are of plaster, being added at the time the statue was set up in Athens.830 The figure to the right is smaller and clearly discloses Aeginetan influence. The audacity of the sculptor in entirely freeing the arms in both examples was rewarded by the arms being broken off. Similarly, in the Strangford Apollo of the British Museum (Fig. 14),831 the arms, which103 hung loose from the shoulders, are broken away. The larger statue from Mount Ptoion just mentioned also has the arms slightly crooked at the elbows, the forearms being extended at an oblique angle to the body. This represents an intermediate stage between the earlier “Apollos,” in which the arms adhered vertically to the sides of the body (as e. g., in the ones from Orchomenos, Thera, Melos, and Tenea), and the later ones, in which the arms were bent, the forearms being extended at right angles to the body (see Figs. 15 and 19).832

Statue of so-called Apollo of Orchomenos
Fig. 10.—Statue of so-called Apollo of Orchomenos. National Museum, Athens.
Fig. 11.—Statue of so-called Apollo, from Mount Ptoion, Bœotia. National Museum, Athens.

Statue of so-called Apollo of Melos. Fig. 12.—Statue of so-called Apollo of Melos. National Museum, Athens. The example from Thera shows the archaic method of working in planes parallel to front and side and at right angles to one another, the corners of the square block being merely rounded off. The outlines of muscles are indicated by shallow grooves, which do not affect the flatness of the surface, and there is but little facial expression. We see the chest outlined in some examples from Aktion.833 In the Melian example the rectangular form is modified by cutting away the sides obliquely in arms and body; here there is more expression in the face, and the treatment of the hair and the proportions of the body are more developed. In the example from Orchomenos we see a great improvement in form. Here, as in later Bœotian examples, the original rectangular form of the example from Thera has become round, so that a horizontal cross-section through the waist is almost circular; the muscles of the abdomen are indicated and the skin is naturalistically shown in the back and at the elbows. In later Bœotian examples from Mount Ptoion, which are directly developed from the Orchomenos type,834 the form is lighter and the proportions more graceful. In one example (Fig. 13, left) even the veins are shown. In the example mentioned above as showing Aeginetan influence, and dated about 500 B. C.,835 the muscles are clearly marked, just as in the Strangford example and in the statues from the temple at Aegina, showing that foreign art had been intro104duced into Bœotia by that time. In the example from Volomandra in Attica,836 we see affinity to the examples from Thera and Melos, but Attic softness in the carving of the shoulders and in the proportions. In the Apollo of Tenea (Pl. 8A), “by far the most beautiful preserved statue of archaic sculpture,”837 a statue most carefully worked, we see a Peloponnesian example of the beginning of the sixth or even of the end of the seventh century B. C. Here the sculptor has shown great care in executing details and in the proportions. The eyes are not flat, but convex, and are wide open as in most of the earlier examples. The downward flow of the lines of the statue is striking, which is caused by the sloping shoulders and the elongated triangular-shaped abdomen. The slimness of the figure, with the contour of bones and muscles, is remarkable at so early a date. The fashioning of the knees is detailed. When we contrast this tall, slim, agile statue with the massively square-built Argive type found at Delphi (Pl. 8B), we find it reason105able to suspect that the Apollo of Tenea is an imported work, coming probably from the islands.838 The two statues of (?) Kleobis and Biton, discovered at Delphi in 1893 and 1894, and inscribed with the name of the sculptor Polymedes of Argos, have added much to our knowledge of early Argive sculpture (Pl. 8B, = Statue A).839 This Polymedes may have been one of the predecessors acknowledged by Eutelidas and Chrysothemis, among the first victor statuaries known to us by name, in the epigram preserved by Pausanias from the base of the monument of Damaretos and his son Theopompos at Olympia.840 The epigram, in any case, implies that the reputation of the Argive school in athletic sculpture was already well established by the end of the sixth century B. C. These massively built statues, dating from the beginning of the sixth century B. C., outline the muscles to a certain extent, even showing the line of the false ribs by incised lines. They display, however, but little detail in modeling, except in the knees, where the artist has tried to indicate the bones and muscles. The features of the large heads are without expression; the large eyes are flat and not convex, as in the example from Tenea, though the Argive artist was, perhaps, later than the Corinthian one, and a long distance removed from the later artist of the Ligourió bronze (Fig. 16), to be discussed later.

Statues of so-called Apollos
Fig. 13.—Statues of so-called Apollos from Mount Ptoion. National Museum, Athens.


A. Statue of so-called Apollo of Tenea. Glyptothek, Munich.


So-called Argive Apollo from Delphi. Museum of Delphi.

Statue known as the Strangford Apollo. Fig. 14.—Statue known as the Strangford Apollo. British Museum, London. In all these “Apollos,” which have been found all over the Greek world from Naukratis in Egypt to Ambrakia, and along the Asian106 coast and on the Aegean Isles, the archaic artists have attempted, by their modeling of the muscles, especially of the chest and abdomen, to express trained strength. The heavy Argive examples, which may be said to be the prototypes of the Ligourió bronze and of the Doryphoros of Polykleitos (Pl. 4 and Fig. 48), are in strong contrast with the lighter type best represented by the example from Tenea. In the former, with their big heads and shoulders and their powerful arms and legs, we may see early boxers or pancratiasts; in the latter a long-limbed runner, with powerful chest, but slim and supple legs. In the Apollo of Tenea there is no flabbiness nor softness, and yet no emaciation. We see very similar runners on Panathenaic vases. Between the two extremes we have a long series, those from Mount Ptoion and elsewhere.

We do not doubt that the early statues of athletes at Olympia showed all the variations we have discussed in these “Apollos.” Of this type, then, were the statues at Olympia of the Spartan Eutelidas, the oldest mentioned by Pausanias,841 those of Phrikias of Pelinna in Thessaly,842 and of Phanas of Pellene in Achæa,843 to whom, later on in this chapter, we shall ascribe the two archaic marble helmeted heads found at Olympia (Fig. 30), the wooden statues of Praxidamas and Rhexibios,844 the statue of Kylon on the Akropolis of Athens,845 and that of Hetoimokles at Sparta.846 The statue of the famous wrestler Milo of Kroton by the sculptor Dameas, mentioned by Pausanias847 and described by Philostratos,848 must also have conformed with the “Apollo” type, though it showed a step in advance of the earlier ones by having its arms bent at the elbow, the forearms being extended horizontally outward. This statue needs a somewhat detailed account. The description of Philostratos seems to have been founded on the account in Pausanias849 of Milo’s prowess, which, in turn, may have arisen from the appearance of the statue and the cicerone’s description. Philostratos says that it stood on107 a quoit with the feet close together and with the left hand grasping a pomegranate, the fingers of the right hand being extended straight out, and a fillet encircling the brows.850 Philostratos has Apollonios explain the attributes of the statue on the ground that the people of Kroton represented their famous victor in the guise of a priest of Hera. This would explain the priestly fillet and the pomegranate sacred to the goddess, while the diskos, on which the statue rested, would be the shield on which Hera’s priest stood when praying. Scherer, however, rightly pointed out that the statue in the Altis was of Milo the victor and not the priest. He therefore explained the diskos851 merely as a round basis on which the statue, of the archaic “Apollo” type with its feet close together, stood, and the tainia as a victor band. He followed Philostratos in believing that the gesture of the right hand was one of adoration.852 He looked upon the object in the left hand not as a pomegranate at all, but as an alabastron, a toilet article adapted to a victor. He, therefore, believed that the Apollo of the elder Kanachos of Sikyon,853 the so-called Philesian Apollo,854 represented nude and holding a tiny fawn in the right hand and a bow in the left, would give a good idea of the pose of Milo’s statue.855 Hitzig and Bluemner believe this explanation of Scherer probable, although they rightly disagree with him in his exchanging the pomegranate for an alabastron, since Pausanias expressly mentions a pomegranate in the hand of another victor statue at Olympia.856 Pliny speaks of a male figure by Pythagoras, mala ferentem nudum,857 and Lucian says apples were prizes at Delphi,858 and we know that Milo was also a Pythian victor. The same commentators believe that Pausanias’ story of Milo bursting a cord drawn round his brow by swelling his veins arose from the victor band on the statue, and the story of the strength of his fingers from the position of the fingers on it.

We have seen in the “Apollo” statues a considerable variety of physical types. In the sixth century B. C. the artist was feeling his way and was hampered by local school tendencies. At first he knew only how108 to produce rigid statues in the conventional Egyptian attitude with the arms glued to the sides, the two halves of the body being symmetrical and the hips on the same level. He gradually improved on this Bronze Statuette of a Palæstra Victor. Fig. 15.—Bronze Statuette of a Palæstra Victor, from the Akropolis. Akropolis Museum, Athens. model, making the position more elastic—as in the statue of Milo—rightly indicating bones and muscles and giving to the figure natural proportions. Bulle has shown on one plate859 three statuettes which illustrate the improvements reached in bronze in various parts of Greece by the end of the sixth century B. C. To the left is represented a victorious palæstra gymnast—as is indicated by the remnants of akontia in the hands—in the Akropolis Museum (Fig. 15);860 in the center is the Payne Knight statuette of the British Museum,861 carrying a fawn in the right hand, which is a copy of the Philesian Apollo which stood in the Didymaion near Miletos; to the right is Hermes with the petasos, short-girded tunic, and winged sandals, holding a ram in the left and probably a kerykeion in the right hand.862 The attributes of the three, then, attest respectively a victor, Apollo, and Hermes. In all three the arms are freed from the body, and the muscles of the breast, chest, and abdomen are indicated, though carelessly in the case of the victor. The proportions of the three vary greatly; the Attic victor has a large head, broad shoulders, powerful chest, long body, and short legs; the Apollo has long legs, shorter though slimmer body, and small head;863 the Hermes has a clearly outlined figure and shows the careful modeling so characteristic of the schools of Argos and Sikyon in the fifth century B. C. Bulle shows that the further development of the “Apollo” type was halted by the Argive school, which, while continuing the restful pose of these figures, counteracted their rigidity by inclining the head to the side and throwing the weight unevenly on the legs by lowering109 one hip and further advancing one foot. The central line was no longer vertical, but curved, and it was now possible to give greater detail to chest and abdomen. Polykleitos finally perfected this curve and threw back the left foot, resting the weight of the body on the right—from which time on we have the regular scheme of “free” and “rest” legs. Despite all these later improvements, Olympic victors continued to set up statues in the rest attitude of the “Apollo” type down perhaps into the third century B. C. Such dedications were the result both of school tendencies and economy, especially in the case of equestrian victors, who frequently were content to use such “actionless” statues in place of groups. We have only to mention the monuments of Timon of Elis, whose statue was the work of the Sikyonian Daidalos,864 and of Telemachos of Elis, whose statue was made by the otherwise unknown sculptor Philonides.865

Before systematically considering victor statues at Olympia and elsewhere with general motives, i. e., represented at rest, we shall now rapidly sketch the development of athletic sculpture in four great centres, Argos, Sikyon, Aegina, and Athens, even though some of the works mentioned were represented in motion. Sculptors of other schools known at Olympia will be treated incidentally in both this and the following chapters.


While in general it is unprofitable to discuss sculptors who have not surely left any example of their art behind, there are two early schools of Peloponnesian sculpture, those of Argos and Sikyon, which, though we may assign work to them only by conjecture, can not be summarily passed over, owing to their great importance in the history of Greek athletic art. The bronze used in their works was too valuable to escape the barbarians, and, furthermore, the monotony, which must have characterized early Peloponnesian sculpture, militated against these works being reproduced to any great degree by later copyists.

The School of Argos.

The Argive school was devoted mainly to athletic statuary. The greatest name in old Argive art is that of Ageladas or Hagelaïdas,866 110the reputed teacher of Myron and Polykleitos, who lived from the third quarter of the sixth century into the second quarter of the fifth century B. C. While his connection with Myron and Polykleitos is scarcely to be doubted,867 his supposed connection with Pheidias has made the chronology of the life of this sculptor one of the difficult problems of the ancient history of art. A scholion on Aristophanes’ Ranae, 504, dates the statue known as the Herakles Alexikakos in the Attic deme Melite by Hagelaïdas after the pestilence in Athens of 431–430 B. C., and makes the Argive sculptor (Gelados = Hagelaïdas) the teacher of Pheidias. As his statue of the Olympic victor Anochos commemorated a victory won in Ol. 65 ( = 520 B. C.), this late date is manifestly impossible.868 Furthermore, a better tradition says that Hegias was the teacher of the Attic master.869 Furtwaengler’s attempt to show that these two divergent traditions were really in accord, by the assumption that Hegias was the pupil of Hagelaïdas and that his art came from the latter—thus explaining certain similarities in the work of Hagelaïdas and Pheidias,—does not solve the problem.870 As the scholion is based on a good tradition,871 the best solution of the difficulty is that of Kalkmann872 and others, that the Alexikakos was the work of a younger Hagelaïdas, the grandson of the famous master, by the intermediate Argeiadas. For a lower limit to the activity of Hagelaïdas there seems to be no good reason for distrusting the evidence that he made a bronze Zeus for the Messenians to be set up at Naupaktos, whither they moved in 455 B. C.873 This makes quite possible a period of collaboration of four or five years at least between Polykleitos and Hagelaïdas.


Pausanias mentions the monuments of three victors at Olympia by Hagelaïdas: the statues of the pancratiast Timasitheos of Delphi, who won two victories some time between Ols. (?) 65 and 67 (520 and 512 B. C.);874 of the runner Anochos of Tarentum, who won in the stade- and double-race in Ols. 65 and (?) 66 ( = 520 and 516 B. C.);875 and the chariot-group of Kleosthenes of Epidamnos, who won in Ol. 66 ( = 516 B. C.).876

None of the works of Hagelaïdas at Olympia or elsewhere is known. Messenian coins of the fourth century B. C. show the motives of two of his statues, that of his Zeus Ithomatas just mentioned as being made for the Messenians,877 and the beardless Zeus παῖς at Aigion.878 However, we infer the characteristics of his style from the bronze statuette in Berlin which was found at Ligourió near Epidauros (Fig. 16).879 This is undoubtedly an Argive work contemporary with the later period of Hagelaïdas. Furtwaengler and Frost are right in looking upon it as showing the prototype of the canon of Polykleitos. Though too small to count as a characteristic work of the early Argive school, it shows us that the style of that school was a short and stocky type, similar to Aeginetan works, only somewhat fleshier and heavier. The straight mouth and heavy chin, the treatment of the eyelids, and the clumsy limbs are all archaic features to be expected in the period preceding Polykleitos. The modeling is carefully executed, showing a knowledge of anatomy. If such excellence is found in a statuette, we can form some idea of the perfection of a statue by the master.

Fig. 16.—Bronze Statuette, from Ligourió. Museum of Berlin.

The bronze Apollo from Pompeii now in the Naples Museum,880 with marble replicas in Mantua and Paris,881 shows us how Hagelaïdas treated a god type, while the statue of an athlete by Stephanos will give us 112 some idea of how he treated his victor statues, as it seems to have been modeled after an athlete statue of the early fifth century B. C., perhaps after a work by some pupil of the master. Stephanos belonged to the school of Pasiteles, a group of sculptors flourishing at Rome at the end of the Republic and the beginning of the Empire. They devoted themselves to the reproduction of early fifth-century statues. They were not ordinary copyists, for their works show individual mannerisms and a system of proportions foreign to the originals. Thus their statues have the square shoulders of the Argive school, but the slim bodies and slender legs of the period of Lysippos and his scholars. Apart from such mannerisms, then, in the male figure signed Stephanos, pupil of Pasiteles, in the Villa Albani in Rome (Pl. 9),882 which reappears in a very similar 113 statue in groups combined with a female figure of related style,883 or with another male figure,884 we may see a copy of a bronze original of the Argive school before Polykleitos. The standing motive and the body forms are the same in both the Mantuan Apollo and the Stephanos figure, although the former is more developed and the head type is different in both; this shows that the two, while displaying the same basic ideal, were not works of the same master.885 As the statue by Stephanos has a fillet around the hair, it may well represent an ideal athlete, who in the original held an aryballos or similar palæstra attribute in the raised left hand. It is interesting to compare the copies of this group with those of another representing mother and son, the work of Menelaos, the pupil of Stephanos, which, though transferred from Greek to Roman taste in respect of drapery and forms, is merely a variation of the same theme without any heroic traits.886


Statue of an Athlete.
Statue of an Athlete, by Stephanos. Villa Albani, Rome.

The influence of Hagelaïdas can be easily traced in other schools of art, especially in the Attic School and in the sculptures of the temple of Zeus at Olympia, whether these latter be Peloponnesian in origin or not. It will be convenient in this connection to discuss briefly the style of these important sculptures, which we have already mentioned several times. The statement of Pausanias,887 that the sculptors of the East and West Gables were Paionios of Mende in Thrace and Alkamenes respectively—the latter being known as the pupil of Pheidias888—was not doubted until the discovery of the Olympia sculptures.889 Then doubts arose both on chronological and stylistic grounds, and now only a few archæologists would maintain that either artist had114 anything to do with these groups. The style of the two gables (as well as that of the metopes) is so similar that many have assigned them to one and the same artist.890 They have been referred to many schools from Ionia to Sicily, even including a local Elean one. Thus Brunn assigned them to a North Greek-Thracian school; Flasch891 and (more recently) Joubin892 to the Attic; Kekulé893 and Friedrichs-Wolters894 to a West Greek (Sicilian) one, because of their similarity to the metopes of temple E at Selinos; Furtwaengler895 to an Ionic one (Parian masters). Most scholars, however, including K. Lange,896 Treu,897 Studniczka,898 Collignon,899 and Overbeck,900 have referred them to Peloponnesian sculptors.901

To return to the art of Hagelaïdas: if we assume that the Ligourió bronze comes from the school of that Argive master certain conclusions must be drawn. The figure is archaic, but does not have the archaic smile. In Athens at the end of the archaic period there was a reaction against this smile, and doubtless the Athenian artists were strongly influenced by Argive models. Thus an archaic bronze head of a youth, found on the Akropolis and dating from about 480 B. C., shows a serious mouth, a strong chin, heavy upper eyelids, and finely worked hair, characteristics which we found in the Ligourió statuette. These traits show that the statuette and the head were the forerunners of the Apollo of the West Gable at Olympia. So finished a bronze as this one from the Akropolis, at the beginning of the fifth century B. C., has inclined Richardson to look upon it as “not improbably a work of115 Hagelaïdas,”902 though here again Furtwaengler would ascribe it to Hegias.903 The Parian marble statue of an ephebe found on the Akropolis (Fig. 17)904—one of the most beautiful recovered during the excavations Statue of an Ephebe Fig. 17.—Statue of an Ephebe, from the Akropolis. Akropolis Museum, Athens. there—shows the same Argive influence. This statue is chronologically the first masterpiece, thus far recovered, which marks the break with archaism by having its head turned slightly to one side.905 It has the same pose as the Athlete by Stephanos and probably represents a palæstra victor. The head, with its heavy chin, and the muscular body strikingly resemble the Harmodios (Fig. 32), which has led Furtwaengler and others to ascribe it to Kritios or his school.906 At the same time a similarity is seen between this head and that of the Apollo of the West Gable at Olympia, and so with Bulle and others we ascribe it to the Argive school.

One of the female statues (Korai) found on the Akropolis, and approximately of the same date as the ephebe, viz, the fragmentary one consisting of head and bust and known popularly as la petite boudeuse, shows the same revolt against Ionism.907 In many respects this statue is very different from most of the other Akropolis Korai. The eyes are not yet set back naturally, but the appearance of depth is attained by thicken116ing the eyelids, quite in contrast with the modeling of the eyeball in most of the other statues. The corners of the mouth turn down, which gives it the appearance of pouting. This statue is also our first example in sculpture of the so-called Greek profile—the nose continuing the line of the forehead. The same Argive influence in Athenian art is also discernible in the Parian marble head of an athlete with traces of yellow in the hair (Fig. 18),908 which may be dated a little later than the Akropolis ephebe—about 470 B. C. Because of its resemblance to the Head of an Ephebe. Fig. 18.—Head of an Ephebe, from the Akropolis. Akropolis Museum, Athens. Apollo of Olympia, its Attic-Peloponnesian origin seems clear.909 Its expression is comparable with that of the Kore just discussed—as it has the same mouth, eyes, and nose, both monuments showing the reaction against the archaic smile, which characterized the Ionian period of Attic art. This same Ionic reaction also may be seen in the bronze statuette of a diskobolos in the Metropolitan Museum (Fig. 46),910 which resembles in style that of the Tyrannicides, but shows also Argive traits. These Argive traits, small head and slender limbs, are easily seen by comparing this statuette with the Ligourió bronze.

We have already mentioned the monumental group of the hoplite victor Damaretos and of the pentathlete Theopompos, which was made about 500 B. C. by the Argive sculptors Chrysothemis and Eutelidas.911 These artists were known to later antiquity only by the epigram inscribed on the base of this monument at Olympia, and the probable dates of the two victories of Theopompos, Ols. (?) 69 and 70 ( = 504 and 500 B. C.), show that they were contemporaries of117 Hagelaïdas, and not, as formerly was believed, the forerunners of his school.912

Polykleitos, a Sikyonian by birth,913 migrated early to Argos to become the pupil of Hagelaïdas, and became the great master of the Argive school in the next generation after him. We have four statues by him at Olympia. His earliest work probably was the statue of the boxer Kyniskos of Mantinea, who won in Ol. (?) 80 ( = 460 B. C.); he made the statues of the Elean pentathlete Pythokles and of the Epidamnian boxer Aristion, both of whom won their victories in Ol. 82 ( = 452 B. C.); and lastly he made the statue of the boy boxer Thersilochos from Kerkyra, who won in Ol. (?) 87 ( = 432 B. C.)914 The footprints on the three recovered bases of the statues of the first three show that all were represented at rest. Of Patrokles, the brother of Polykleitos, Pausanias mentions no statues at Olympia, though Pliny says that he made athlete statues.915 Of Naukydes,916 the nephew or brother of Polykleitos, we have record of three athlete statues at Olympia: those of the wrestlers Cheimon of Argos, who won in Ol. 83 ( = 448 B. C.), and Baukis of Trœzen, who won some time between Ols. (?) 85 and 90 ( = 440 and 420 B. C.); also one of the boxer Eukles of Rhodes, who won some time between Ols. 90 and 93 ( = 420 and 408 B. C.).917 A contemporary of Naukydes was the sculptor Phradmon, who, according to Pliny, was a contemporary of Polykleitos;918 he made the statue of the boy wrestler Amertas of Elis, who won a victory some time between Ols. 84 and 90 ( = 444 and 420 B. C.).919 In the next century, Polykleitos Minor, the grandson or grandnephew of the great Polykleitos, and the pupil of Naukydes,920118 had three statues at Olympia: those of the boy boxer Antipatros of Miletos, whose victory is given by Africanus as Ol. 98 ( = 388 B. C.); of the two boy wrestlers Agenor of Thebes, who won some time between Ols. 93 and 103 ( = 408 and 368 B. C.), and Xenokles of Mainalos, who won some time between Ols. 94 and 100 ( = 404 and 380 B. C.).921 The inscribed base of the latter has been recovered and the footprints show that the statue was represented at rest, the body resting equally on both feet, the left slightly advanced. Andreas, a second-century B. C. Argive sculptor, made a statue at Olympia of the boy wrestler Lysippos of Elis, who won some time between Ols. 149 and 157 ( = 184 and 152 B. C.).922

The School of Sikyon.

The Sikyonian school of bronze founders was closely affiliated with the one at Argos. Early in the archaic period the brothers Dipoinos and Skyllis, sons or pupils of the mythical Daidalos of Crete, migrated to Sikyon.923 A generation later another Cretan sculptor, Aristokles, founded there an artist family which lasted through seven or eight generations.924 His two grandsons Aristokles and Kanachos are known to have collaborated with Hagelaïdas on a group of three Muses.925 Many have seen in the small bronze found in the sea off Piombino, Tuscany, and now in the Louvre (Fig. 19),926 a copy of the Apollo Philesios, the best-known work of Kanachos. This gem of the bronze art, in true archaic style, may very well represent the Apollo, which, according to the description of Pliny927 and the evidence of Milesian 119 copper coins of all periods,928 had as attributes a fawn in the outstretched right hand and a bow in the left. However, Overbeck,929 followed by von Mach, believes that it is not a copy of Kanachos’ Apollo, but merely Bronze Statuette of Apollo. Fig. 19.—Bronze Statuette of Apollo, found in the Sea off Piombino. Louvre, Paris. represents a boy assisting at a sacrifice, and that the original held a cup in the left hand and a saucer in the right. In any case the statuette is too inaccurate to give us more than the pose of the Apollo of Kanachos, even if it were proved to be a copy. It may be merely a reproduction of the mythological type of Apollo, which the artist himself followed, and so we can not say definitely to what school it belongs. The Payne Knight bronze in the British Museum,930 which holds a tiny fawn in the right hand, the bow originally in the left hand being lost, has better pretensions, perhaps, to be a copy of the Apollo. Another archaic half life-size bronze, formerly in the Palazzo Sciarra,931 is of a similar type, though its style is different. Another bronze statuette from Naxos, now in Berlin,932 shows the same position of the hands, but has an aryballos or pomegranate in the right hand. We have already classed it as an example of the conversion of an original god-type into that of a victor. We might also mention the mutilated torso found by Holleaux at the sanctuary of Apollo Ptoios in Bœotia (Fig. 12, right), which has a similar pose to that of the statuette from Piombino, and whose hair technique shows120 that it is an imitation of a bronze work.933 However, as we shall see later, it may be rather representative of the Aeginetan school of sculptors. All these works may tell us of the general character of the Apollo, but little of its style.934

No athlete statue by Aristokles or his brother Kanachos is known to have stood at Olympia. That the latter actually made victor statues, however, is proved by Pliny’s statement (l. c.) that he made celetizontas pueros. Of the later Sikyonian school we have twenty-seven statues of victors made by eleven different sculptors, whose dates range from near the end of the fourth down into the third century B. C., of whom we shall give a chronological list. Alypos, the pupil of the Argive Naukydes, had four statues at Olympia: those of the wrestler Symmachos of Elis, of the boy boxer Neolaïdas of Pheneus, of the boy wrestler Archedamos of Elis, and of the boy and man wrestler Euthymenes of Mainalos, all of whom must have won their victories some time between Ols. 94 and 104 ( = 404 and 364 B. C.).935 Kanachos, the Younger, made one statue, that of the boy boxer Bykelos of Sikyon, who won some time between Ols. 92 and 105 ( = 412 and 360 B. C.).936 Olympos made the statue of the pancratiast Xenophon of Aigion, who won some time between Ols. 95 and 105 ( = 400 and 360 B. C.).937 The sculptor Daidalos, the son and pupil of Patrokles, and probably the nephew of Polykleitos, made four monuments for four victors: the equestrian group of the Elean charioteer Timon and his son Aigyptos, a victor in horse-racing, and statues of the Elean wrestler Aristodemos and the stade-runner Eupolemos. Their victories fell between Ols. 96 and 103 ( = 396 and 368 B. C.).938 Damokritos made the statue of the Elean boy boxer Hippos, who won between Ols. 96 and 107 ( = 396 and 352 B. C.).939 Kleon had five statues credited to him, all but one being of boy victors: those of the boy runner Deinolochos of Elis, the pentathlete Hysmon of Elis, the two boy boxers Kritodamos, and of Alketos of Kleitor, and121 of the boy runner Lykinos of Heraia. Their victories fell between Ols. 94 and 103 ( = 404 and 368 B. C.).940 The great Lysippos had the same number of victor statues as Kleon, and also two honor statues at Olympia: those of the equestrian victor Troilos of Elis, of the Akarnanian pancratiast Philandridas, of the wrestler Cheilon of Patrai, of the pancratiast Polydamas of Skotoussa, and of the hoplite-runner Kallikrates. Their victories occurred between Ols. 102 and 115 ( = 372 and 320 B. C.).941 The son of Lysippos, Daïppos, made two statues, one for the Elean boy boxer Kallon and the other for the Elean Nikandros, who won the double foot-race. Their victories fell within the activity of the sculptor, Ols. 115 and 125 ( = 320 and 280 B. C.).942 Daitondas made the statue of the Elean boy boxer Theotimos, who won his victory some time between Ols. 116 and 120 ( = 316 and 300 B. C.).943 Eutychides, the most famous pupil of Lysippos, famed alike as a bronze founder, statuary, and painter, carved the statue of the boy runner Timosthenes of Elis, who won some time between Ols. 115 and 125 ( = 320 and 280 B. C.).944 Pliny gives Ol. 121 ( = 296 B. C.) as the floruit of this sculptor, which was probably the date of the erection of his most famous work, the colossal bronze Tyche, as tutelary deity of the city of Antioch on the Orontes, which was founded by Seleukos I in Ol. 119.3 ( = 302 B. C.).945 This shows that Eutychides was already by that date a famed sculptor, having begun122 his career by 330–320 B. C. Kantharos, the pupil of Eutychides, made the statues of the two boy wrestlers Kratinos of Aigira and Alexinikos of Elis, who won their victories some time between Ols. 120 and 130 ( = 300 and 260 B. C.).946


We have but little left of the prominent early Aeginetan school of bronze sculptors. Of Kallon, the earliest historical sculptor of the school, the reputed pupil of Tektaios and Angelion (who in turn were the pupils of Dipoinos and Skyllis), we have only literary evidence. He was typical of archaic severity just prior to the era of transition, and therefore should be compared with Hegias of Athens and Kanachos of Sikyon. For Onatas, the most famous of the Aeginetan sculptors, whose floruit was in the first half of the fifth century B. C., we have evidence of many monuments at Olympia. Besides the colossal Herakles dedicated by the Thasians,947 a Hermes dedicated by the people of Pheneus,948 and a large group of nine statues of Greek heroes standing on a curved base faced by a statue of Nestor on another, the group being dedicated by the Achaians,949 he made a chariot and charioteer to commemorate the victory of Hiero of Syracuse at Olympia in 468 B. C., for which monument Kalamis furnished two horses.950 Glaukias made a bronze chariot for Hiero’s brother Gelo of Gela, who later became tyrant of Syracuse, and who won a chariot victory in Ol. 73 ( = 488 B. C.).951 This sculptor also excelled in fashioning statues of boxers and pancratiasts, making the monuments of the boxers Philon of Kerkyra and Glaukos of Karystos, and that of the renowned boxer and pancratiast Theagenes of Thasos.952 The statue of Glaukos was represented in the schema of one “sparring” (σκιαμαχῶν),953 and so was in movement and not at rest. We have athlete statues by three other Aeginetan sculptors at Olympia. Thus Ptolichos, the pupil of the Sikyonian Aristokles, set up statues of the Aeginetan boy wrestler Theognetos, who won in Ol. 76 ( = 476 B. C.), and of the boy boxer Epikradios of Mantinea, who won between Ols. (?) 72 and 74 ( = 492 and123 484 B. C.);954 Serambos made the statue of the boy boxer Agiadas of Elis, who won between Ols. (?) 72 and 74;955 Philotimos made the horse for the horse-racing victory of Xenombrotos of Kos, who won in Ol. (?) 83 ( = 448 B. C.).956 All of these sculptors appear to have used bronze exclusively, and their art, though independent, showed a bias toward Peloponnesian work. There are few examples left of this art. The bronze head of a bearded warrior or hoplite victor found on the Akropolis, if we are justified in classing it as Aeginetan and not Attic, shows the excellence which we associate with this school.957 The delicate execution of its hair and beard, as well as the strength and precision of this head, makes it not unworthy of being ascribed to one of the best artists of the school, perhaps to Onatas himself. The beardless bronze head discovered in 1756 in the villa of the Pisos in Herculaneum, now in Naples, has also been assigned to Onatas, as its features are similar to those of the one under discussion.958 The Tux bronze statuette of a hoplitodrome, to be discussed in Ch. IV (Fig. 42), has also been assigned to an Aeginetan master.959 The marble statue known as the Strangford Apollo in the British Museum, already mentioned (Fig. 14),960 may show the characteristics of the early school in marble, though it is impossible to say whether it is a copy of a bronze original or a minor work in stone under Aeginetan influence. The smaller “Apollo” from Mount Ptoion, already discussed (Fig. 13, right),961 appears to show in exaggerated form the same Aeginetan traits. However, we get out best notion of Aeginetan work in marble from the gable statues in the Munich Museum, representing Homeric warriors fighting, which adorned the temple of Aphaia in the northeastern corner of the island. Their importance in this connection calls for a brief account of them.

Figure, from the East Pediment of the Temple on Aegina.
Fig. 20.—Figure, from the East Pediment of the Temple on Aegina. Glyptothek, Munich.

Since the discovery of these groups by an international party of Englishmen and Germans in 1811, and their restoration soon after their arrival in Munich by the sculptor Thorwaldsen, many new fragments 124 have been discovered by Furtwaengler during his excavations of the temple site in 1901, and have been incorporated into the existing figures in the Glyptothek. His reconstruction, though not definitive, is more in accord with artistic probability than any that preceded.962 As we should expect from the athletic tradition of the Aeginetan school of sculpture just outlined, these sculptures represent finely trained nude athletes, whose modeling shows great observation of nature, especially in the treatment of muscles and veins. In fact it has been truly said that anatomical knowledge was never expressed again in Greek art so simply and naturally. The figures, without any excess of flesh, are slightly under life-size, short and stocky—shoulders square, but the waists slender and the legs long in proportion to the bodies—and withal are very compact and full of strength. The figures of the two pediments differ slightly, the eastern being more developed than the western. Brunn, long ago, arguing from the stele of Aristion, which then was the best example extant of archaic Attic art, showed how that art was characterized by grace and dignity of effect, while Aeginetan art was characterized by a finer study of nature. This generalization is no longer a matter of inference, but of knowledge.


Two Figures, from the West Pediment of the Temple on Aegina.
Fig. 21.—Two Figures, from the West Pediment of the Temple on Aegina. Glyptothek, Munich.

These groups represent the highest period of Aeginetan art. They have been dated anywhere from the end of the sixth century B. C. down to a period after the battle of Salamis.963 Probably a date just after that battle is correct, as Aeginetans won prizes of valor there.964 Any attempt to assign them to this or that artist is merely conjectural. The general similarity in subject to that of the Delphi group by Onatas, which represented the death in battle of Opis, the king of the barbarian Iapygians, at the hands of the Tarentines,965 and the group at Olympia already mentioned as representing a Trojan subject, led earlier scholars to assign the slightly more advanced statues of the East Pediment to Onatas and the more archaic ones of the West Pediment to Kallon. But we know both these sculptors only as bronze workers. The violent action of some of the figures reminds us at once of Pausanias’ description of the statue of the boxer Glaukos by the sculptor Glaukias, which we have already mentioned. But on the whole, though they are violent, the slight proportions of these athletic figures do not fit the appearance of boxers and pancratiasts, which, as we have seen, formed the staple of Aeginetan sculptors, but rather those of runners. We see a good wrestler in the Snatcher of the East Gable (Fig. 20),966 and the corre126sponding figure in the right half of the same gable.967 The Champion of the West gable (Fig. 21, left),968 of the finest Parian marble, represented as lunging forward, pressing on the enemy armed with helm, spear, and shield, would pass as a good example of a hoplitodrome, far freer and more individual than the warrior from Dodona.


Owing to the Persian sack of the Athenian Akropolis in 480 and 479 B. C., and the subsequent burial of works of art there and their rediscovery by the excavations of 1885–1889, we know more of archaic Attic sculpture (600–480 B. C.) than of any other early school.969 We have already mentioned certain Attic works which show the influence of the severer Argive school—la petite boudeuse, the head of the yellow-haired ephebe (Fig. 18), the Akropolis athlete statue (Fig. 17), etc.—which was prominent at the beginning of the fifth century B. C., works which can be attributed to Hegias, Kritios, and their associates. They illustrate the reaction against Ionic taste, an influence which came from Asia Minor and the islands, especially after the fall of the Lydian Empire of Crœsus, and which for a time submerged native Attic art. This Ionic art was characterized by great technical ability, and by rich draperies and decorative effect. The archaic smile was its special feature. Ionism is best represented by some of the Akropolis Korai.970 In athletic art we see Ionism at its flood tide in the Rampin head found in Athens in 1877, now in the Louvre, which corresponds in style with some of the earlier female statues of the Akropolis.971 This head has a more elaborate frisure than any of the female heads and, in fact, the elaborate treatment of the hair of the crown and forehead is more suitable to a female than a male statue. The beard is carefully plaited, while traces of red seem to show that the mustache was painted on. Similar traces of color appear on the beard and hair. The smiling127 mouth, high ears, and almond eyes recall many archaic works, but especially the Apollo of Tenea (Pl. 8A). The garland of oak leaves above the frisure of the forehead may suggest a victor,972 or perhaps a priest or assistant on some religious embassy.973 The turning of the neck—as in the ephebe statue of the Akropolis (Fig. 17)—shows a break at this early time with archaism. Another work illustrating Ionism is the fragment of a grave-stele found near the Dipylon gate in 1873 and dating from the second half of the sixth century B. C.974 It represents the head of an athlete in profile, the youth holding a diskos in his left hand, so placed that his head is projected upon it in relief as on a nimbus. The top of the head is broken off, but we see the usual archaic features in the face—the almond-shaped eye (in profile), big nose with knob-like nostrils, thick lips with the archaic smile, retreating chin and forehead, and high ear with a huge lobe. The neck and chin, however, are full of grace and strength, as is also the slender thumb outlined against the diskos. As the stele broadens downward,975 the figure appears to have been represented with the feet apart, and so may have represented a palæstra diskobolos on parade,976 and is, therefore, our earliest representation of such an athlete. A similar dress-parade pose is seen on the stele of Aristion in the National Museum at Athens, the work of the sculptor Aristokles, which represents a warrior with a spear in the left hand.977 Another torso of an ephebe in the Akropolis Museum represents Ionic work from Paros.978 Another head, the so-called Rayet head in the Jakobsen collection in Copenhagen, one of the most remarkable specimens of Greek archaic art979 (Fig. 22), 128 somewhat later in date than the Rampin head, represents quite a different tendency in Attic art. While the Rampin head represents Ionic influence, this head represents pure Attic work untrammeled by foreign influence, a true development of the old Attic sculpture in poros, Archaic Marble Head of a Youth. Fig. 22.—Archaic Marble Head of a Youth. Jakobsen Collection, Ny-Carlsberg Museum, Copenhagen. the best examples of which are to be found in the decorative sculptures of the Old Temple of Athena on the Akropolis, enlarged by the Peisistratidai. Comparing it with the head of the Athena of the gable of that temple,980 we see great similarity in the simple execution and reserve in the treatment of details—characteristics of pure Attic sculpture—especially in the deep lines on either side of the mouth in the Jakobsen head. The hair is pictorially treated like a cap, traces of red appearing on it as well as on the lips and eyes. The Copenhagen and Rampin heads, together with the famous portrait head in the old Sabouroff collection,981 and the head of a woman in the Louvre,982 form our best examples of old Attic art outside of the museums of Athens.983 The swollen ears of the Jakobsen head show that it is from the funerary statue of a victor, perhaps a boxer. Furtwaengler wrongly classed it as a portrait head.984 A much discussed Attic work is the archaic relief of a charioteer in the Akropolis Museum (Fig. 63).985 This was formerly thought (e. g., by Schrader) to be a block from the later Ionic frieze of the old Hekatompedon which many believe survived the Persian sack, but it is more likely a part of a frieze belonging to a small shrine or altar. It represents a draped person entering a two-horse chariot with the left foot, the hands outstretched to hold the reins, the head and body leaning forward. Because of the krobylos treatment of the hair, fitted for both sexes, and the long flowing robe, the sex has been needlessly doubted, some calling it an Apollo or a mortal charioteer, others an Athena or a Nike, even though the line of the breast, so far as it is visible, shows no fullness, and the long chiton is common in129 representations of male charioteers.986 However, for the appreciation of the relief it is of no consequence whether the figure is male or female. It may be merely a dedicatory offering of a Panathenaic victor in chariot racing, very possibly assimilated to the type of Apollo,987 as the god often appears in vase-paintings of the same period in similar costume mounting a chariot.988 We shall discuss its interpretation more fully later on.989 While Ionism was prone to represent richly draped figures which concealed the form of the body, we see in this relief, with its fine modeling, a suggestion of the form beneath the folds of the garment, and so, perhaps, only another example of an Attic master rebelling against alien influence.990

At Olympia we have no names of Athenian sculptors prior to the Persian war period. Kalamis helped Onatas with the monument of King Hiero already mentioned. Mikon made a statue of a pancratiast, Kallias of Athens, who won in Ol. 77 ( = 472 B. C.).991 The great Myron, of whom we shall speak at length in the next chapter, made five statues of victors, which were erected between Ols. 77 and 84 ( = 472 and 444 B. C.).992 Only four later Athenian artists are mentioned: Silanion of the fourth century, who made statues for three victors, whose victories ranged from Ols. 102 to 114 ( = 372 to 324 B. C.);993 Polykles the Elder, who made the statue of the boy pancratiast Amyntas of Eresos, who won in Ol. (?) 146 ( = 196 B. C.);994 Timarchides and Timokles, the sons of Polykles, who in common made the statue of the boxer Agesarchos of Tritaia in Achaia, who won in Ol. (?) 143 ( = 208 B. C.)995



The victor represented as standing at rest was often characterized by general motives, such as praying, anointing or scraping himself, offering libations, and the like. We shall now consider such motives in detail.

Adoration and Prayer.

Prayer was a common motive represented in votive monuments. Pliny mentions many such works by Greek sculptors.996 The custom of raising the arms in prayer is found all through Greek literature, from Homer down.997 Pausanias says that the people of Akragas made an offering in the form of bronze statues of boys placed on the walls of the Altis, προτείνοντάς τε τὰς δεξιὰς καὶ εἰκασμένους εὐχομένοις τῷ θεῷ, these statues being the work of Kalamis.998 In the Athenian Asklepieion there were many τύποι καταμακτοὶ πρὸς πινακίῳ, among which were representations of men and women in the praying attitude.999 The motive was used at Olympia in victor statues, representing the victor as raising the hand in prayer to invoke victory.1000 The statue of the wrestler Milo, already discussed at length, shows that this motive was employed at Olympia in the improved “Apollo” type in the second half of the sixth century B. C.1001 From the next century we may cite the statue of the Spartan chariot victor Anaxandros, which was represented as “praying to the god,”1002 and the statues of the Rhodian boxers Diagoras and Akousilaos, as we learn from a scholion on Pindar,1003 which is based on a fragment of Aristotle1004 and on one of Apollas.1005 Of the statue of Diagoras it says: τὴν δεξιὰν ἀνατείνων χεῖρα, τὴν δὲ ἀριστερὰν εἰς ἑαυτὸν ἐπικλίνων; of that of Akousilaos: τῇ μὲν ἀριστερᾷ ἱμάντα ἔχων πυκτινόν, τὴν δὲ δεξιὰν ὡς πρὸς προσευχὴν ἀνατείνων.1006 The bronze statue from131 Athens, now in the Antiquarium, Berlin,1007 which represents a nude boy with the right hand raised as if in prayer and the left lowered and holding a leaping-weight—therefore a pentathlete—seems to correspond with this description of the statue of Akousilaos. The same motive may have been used in the statue of the chariot victress Kyniska, a princess of Sparta, whose statue along with that of her charioteer and the chariot was the work of the sculptor Apellas.1008 This is the interpretation of Furtwaengler,1009 based on a passage in Pliny, which mentions statues of adornantes se feminas1010 by Apellas, which he reads adorantes feminas. However, adornantes may be right, for in another passage, Pliny speaks of Praxiteles’ statue of a ψελιουμένη, i. e., of a woman clasping a bracelet on her arm.1011 Two notable bronze statues will illustrate this motive of Olympic victor statues. The statue found in 1502 at Zellfeld in Carinthia, now in Vienna,1012 has been interpreted both as a Hermes Logios and a votive statue in the attitude of prayer,1013 which latter interpretation the inscription on the leg, giving a list of dedications,1014 favors. However, Furtwaengler believes it a free imitation of an Argive victor statue, though not in the Polykleitan style. Because of its similarity to the Idolino (Pl. 14), he has ascribed its original to the sculptor Patrokles. From technical considerations he believes it is not a Greek original dedicated by Romans of a later period, but a Roman work (after Patrokles) of the period of the inscription.1015 The bronze statue of the Praying Boy in Berlin1016 (Pl. 10) is one of our most beautiful Greek bronzes and comes from the circle of Lysippos.1017 We now know that132 the uplifted arms of this statue, in which most scholars saw the Greek attitude of prayer, are restorations which were probably made in the time of Louis XIV, when the statue was in France. Of the original motive we only can say that the action of the shoulders shows that both arms were raised, but we do not know how far, or the position of the hands. Monumental evidence shows that the hands in prayer should have the palms turned away from the face instead of upwards, as in the present statue, since the Greek position was the outgrowth of an old apotropaic gesture, i. e., one directed against an evil spirit. Mau’s idea1018 that the figure represented a player catching a ball is certainly inconsistent with the calm attitude of the statue. Furtwaengler rejected it,1019 and he has restored the arms and hands on the basis of a Berlin gem1020 and an ex voto relief found by the French excavators at Nemea in 1884.1021 On this relief a youth crowned with a woolen fillet is represented. On both relief and gem the figures are in the same attitude, the arms raised over the head manibus supinis, which confirms the restoration of the Berlin statue. Many other monuments give the more usual attitude of prayer, not as in the relief and gem discussed, but with only one hand extended as high as the breast. Older writers thought that such monuments did not represent the gesture of adoration, but one of adlocutio,1022 an opinion disproved by Pausanias’ statement about the bronze statues of the Akragantines at Olympia, already mentioned. We may cite a relief from Kleitor, now in Berlin,1023 and a fine one of the fourth century B. C. from Lamia (?),1024 as well as a red-figured Etruscan stamnos in Vienna representing, probably, Ajax praying before committing suicide.1025 We shall mention also two little statuettes in New York which represent youths in the praying attitude.1026 The first, dating from the second half of the fifth century B. C., 133 and showing Polykleitan influence, represents a nude youth standing erect with the forearms bent, showing that the two hands were extended in prayer. The second, which dates from the first half of the fifth century B. C. (after the date of the Myronian Diskobolos), represents a nude youth standing with the right hand raised to the lips in an attitude usual in saluting a divinity, while the left is by the side, with the palm to the front.


Bronze Statue of the Praying Boy
Bronze Statue of the Praying Boy. Museum of Berlin.


Various familiar motives from the everyday life of the gymnasium and palæstra were reproduced in the statues of athletes. One of the commonest methods was to represent the victor anointing his body with oil. The use of oil was indispensable in all athletic exercises, in order to make the body and limbs more supple, and especially in wrestling and the pankration, to make it difficult for one’s antagonist to get a grip.1027 Pliny mentions a painting by Theoros, representing a man se inunguentem,1028 which appears to have been a votive portrait of an athlete. The motive was common in vase-paintings and statuary. Several red-figured vases of the severe style, antedating the statues to be considered, show from realistic representations of palæstra scenes that it was customary for athletes to hold a round aryballos high in the right hand and pour oil from it into the left, which was placed across the body horizontally.1029 The same motive appears with variations in statues.1030 Thus the statue of an ephebe in Petworth House, Sussex, England,1031 a statue, as Furtwaengler says, to be praised more for its excellent preservation than for its workmanship, represents an athlete, who holds a globular aryballos in his right hand raised over the shoulder, while the left arm is held across the abdomen. On the nearby tree-trunk are small cylindrical objects which seem to be boxing pads. This statue, and especially its head, have been regarded by Michaelis and Furtwaengler as unmistakably Polykleitan in style.1032 Several other copies of original statues representing athletes pouring oil have been wrongly classed as replicas of one original,1033 though they merely have essential features alike, due chiefly to the subject. First is the famous statue in the Glyptothek known as the Oelgiesser (Oil-pourer), a Roman copy of an Attic bronze of about the middle of the 134 fifth century B. C. (Pl. 11).1034 Though the right arm and left hand are lost, it is clear that the athlete held in his raised right hand an oil flask, as in the Petworth statue.1035 Notwithstanding that the head resembles the Praxitelian Hermes,1036 this does not show that the statue is of fourth-century origin, for its original is older; it merely shows that the art of Praxiteles was deeply rooted in that of his fifth-century Head of so-called Oil-pourer. Fig. 23.—Head of so-called Oil-pourer. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. predecessors. Because of its Attic affiliations, Klein tried to identify it with the Ἐγκρινόμενος of Alkamenes mentioned by Pliny,1037 by amending that title to Ἐγχριόμενος, the “Anointer.” Brunn, however, rightly saw the analogy of the body forms to Myron’s Marsyas,1038 and Furtwaengler and Bulle have ascribed it to Lykios, the son and pupil of that master, who worked about 440 B. C., the approximate date of the original of the statue. A fragmentary head in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (Fig. 23),1039 formerly in private possession in England, is a copy of the same original as the Munich statue. Its special interest is that it is not an exact copy of the original, as the Munich statue is, but a freer one, showing a fuller mouth, fleshier cheeks, and deeper-set eyes. While the Munich statue is the dry work of a Roman copyist of Augustus’ time, this head is by a far abler Greek copyist of the second century B. C. A torso in the Albertinum in Dresden, without a head,1040 is 135 similar to the Munich statue, but hardly a replica. It probably goes back to an original by an Attic master of the end of the fifth or beginning of the fourth century B. C. Other under life-size statues related to this torso show the same motive.1041 A black-marble statue found at Porto d’Anzio in 1758, and now in the Glyptothek,1042 has the Polykleitan standing motive. The left arm, which is stretched out, holds an oil flask in the hand, while the right arm is lowered. The band, which the position of the fingers shows that the right hand probably held, indicates it is the statue of a victor. A bronze statuette from South Italy, now in the British Museum,1043 represents a nude youth holding an alabastron in his right hand, while the left has the palm open to receive the oil. The hair fashion (κρωβύλος) seems to point to an Attic sculptor of about 470 B. C.1044 The same motive is found on terra-cotta statuettes from Myrina,1045 on reliefs,1046 and on gems.1047


Statue of the so-called Oil-pourer
Statue of the so-called Oil-pourer. Glyptothek, Munich.


Another ordinary palæstra motive was employed in representing the athlete after the contest, scraping oil and dirt from his body and arms with the scraping-blade or strigil (στλεγγίς, strigilis).1048 This motive is not uncommon on r.-f. vase-paintings of the fifth cen136tury B. C.1049 It was treated in sculpture by many masters. Pliny mentions such statues of athletes destringentes se (ἀποξυόμενοι), by Polykleitos, Lysippos, and Daidalos of Sikyon.1050 Perhaps the perixyomenoi by Antignotos and Daïppos, the latter the son of Lysippos, had the same motive.1051 Of the Apoxyomenos of Polykleitos we have no authenticated copies in sculpture, though Furtwaengler believes that he has found reminiscences of it on gems which represent a youth resting the weight of his body on the left leg, the right being drawn back (i. e., in the attitude of the Doryphoros), the right forearm extended, and the left holding a strigil. The similarity of these gem-designs makes it certain that they are all derived from a well-known work of art.1052 Perhaps the fine bronze statuette, dating from the middle of the fifth century B. C., and now in the Loeb collection in Munich, represents the pose of the destringens se by Polykleitos.1053 It represents a nude youth resting the weight of the body on the soles of both feet, the left one slightly advanced, and holding a strigil in the raised right hand. The famous marble copy of an Apoxyomenos in the Vatican1054 (Pl. 29), which, because of its long slim legs and graceful ankles, might well represent a runner, has long been held to represent the canon of Lysippos, as it exhibits proportions widely different from those employed by Polykleitos, and agreeing with Pliny’s account of Lysippos’ innovations.1055 However, the doubts arising in recent years as to whether this statue is a copy of Lysippos’ statue or a later work will be considered at length in Chapter VI.1056


Statue of an Apoxyomenos.
Statue of an Apoxyomenos. Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

The same motive is exemplified by many existing statues, statuettes, reliefs, etc. The marble statue of an athlete in the Uffizi, Florence, 137 (Pl. 12),1057 a copy of an original of the end of the fifth century B. C., wrongly restored as holding in both hands a vase at which the athlete is looking down, was interpreted by Bloch as an ephebe pouring oil from a lekythos held in the right hand into an aryballos held in the left. This action for an athlete has been characterized by Furtwaengler as “unparallelled, unclassical and, above all, absurd.” Through recent discoveries we now know that it represents an apoxyomenos, and that it should be restored with the left forearm close to the thigh, and with the right crossing the abdomen diagonally in the direction of the left hand. This attitude so closely corresponds with that of a figure on a gem as to make it probable that both gem and statue are copies of the same original. The figure on the gem1058 holds a strigil in both hands and is generally explained as scraping the dirt from the left thigh; the light hand holds the handle and the left the blade. A hydria, palm-branch, and crown are pictured to the right—showing that the figure represents an athlete, just as the statue has the swollen ears of one. The attention of the athlete in both monuments is concentrated on the operation involved—a concentration reminding us of Myron’s Diskobolos. While, however, in the latter work the concentration is momentary, it is less transient in the Florence statue and also in the Munich Oil-pourer. This pose is too conscious in the Florentine statue to be the work of Myron. Arndt names no artist, but as the similarity between the head of the statue and that of the Oil-pourer is so marked, and as every one now regards the latter as Attic—even if not by Alkamenes—he thinks that the two must be by the same Attic sculptor, although the Uffizi statue is somewhat later than the Munich one.1059 The original of the Florence statue was famous, if we may judge by the existing number of replicas with variations.1060

Among statues showing the same motive and pose, we may note the bronze statue of an athlete over life-size—pieced together from 234138 fragments—found by the Austrians at Ephesos and now in Vienna.1061 The subject, pose, and heavy proportions recall the Argive school of Polykleitos, and its original has been assigned by Hauser to the Sikyonian Daidalos, the son and pupil of Patrokles, who was the pupil of Polykleitos. As further reproductions of the same type of figure, we may cite a bronze statuette in Paris,1062 and a marble one found at Frascati in 1896 and now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.1063

A chalcedony scarab of archaic type in the British Museum represents a nude athlete with a lekythos slung over the left arm and a strigil in the left hand, which rests on the hip.1064 A beautiful marble grave-relief, much mutilated, in the museum at Delphi,1065 which dates from the middle of the fifth century B. C., represents a palæstra victor, with his arms extended to the right, cleansing himself with a strigil, which is held in the right hand, while a slave boy, holding the remnant of an aryballos in his right hand, looks up at him from the right. The careful anatomy of this relief may point to Pythagoras of Samos, as its author, though we have no certain work of his, for it fits the description of that artist by Pliny, who says that he was the first to express sinews and veins.1066



Statue of an Athlete
Statue of an Athlete, after Polykleitos. Farnsworth Museum, Wellesley College, U. S. A.

An original Greek bronze statuette in Paris (Fig. 24)1067 reproduces the motive of the statue of the boy wrestler Xenokles by the sculptor Polykleitos Minor at Olympia, as a comparison with the footprints on the recovered base of the latter shows.1068 As the forms correspond with those of the Doryphoros and Diadoumenos, and as its execution is so 139 marvelous, Furtwaengler has ascribed the statuette to the circle of Polykleitos’ pupils. The position of the right hand, which has the thumbs drawn in, corresponds with that of the Idolino (Pl. 14), which we are to discuss, and can best be explained by assuming that it similarly held a kylix; the left hand carried a staff-like attribute. Bronze Statuette of an Athlete. Fig. 24.—Bronze Statuette of an Athlete. Louvre, Paris. The head is bent and looks to the right. Furtwaengler believed that, inasmuch as the act of pouring a libation does not occur in art or literature as an athletic motive, the statuette represented a hero or god. Many Roman marble copies show the same motive and preserve to us a Polykleitan work which corresponds in all essentials with the Louvre statuette.1069 We mention two, the only ones of the type in which the heads are on the trunks, one in the Galleria delle Statue of the Vatican,1070 the other in the Farnsworth Museum at Wellesley College (Pl. 13).1071 These copies represent a youth standing with both feet flat upon the ground, the weight of the body resting upon the right one, while the left is turned a little to the side. He is looking downwards to the right. Doubtless we should restore these copies after the Paris bronze, with a kylix in the right hand. The palm-branch in a similar statue, to be mentioned further on, shows that in all probability the origin statue was that of an athlete; and that he was a famous athlete is shown by the number of copies of the torso and head.1072 A bronze head 140 from Herculaneum (Fig. 25)1073 so strongly resembles in its forms the type under discussion—which Furtwaengler has called the “Vatican athlete standing at rest”1074—and corresponds with it so closely in its measurements, that it might be regarded as a copy of the same original, if certain differences, not due to the copyist, did not rather show that it comes from a closely allied work. This head shows an intense melancholy, which has been explained by Furtwaengler as due to the lack of skill on the part of the copyist, who fashioned it slightly askew. Amelung very properly explains the absence of the motive of libation-pouring in athletic art as merely a lacuna in our sources.1075 If the original of these copies and variations represented141 an athlete, he was certainly pouring a libation before victory; if a warrior, he was doing the same thing before going on a campaign. In the latter case the left hand should be restored with a spear.

Fig. 25.—Bronze Head of an Athlete, from Herculaneum. Museum of Naples.

We must also place here the life-size original Greek bronze in Florence, discovered at Pesaro, near Ancona, in 1530, and known from the early eighteenth century as the Idolino (Pl. 14),1076 for its motive connects it with the series just discussed. This is, perhaps, our finest bronze statue from antiquity, as it represents the highest ideal of boy beauty, just as the Doryphoros does of manly beauty. The chief characteristics—the positions of the feet, head, and arms, though essentially those of the statues discussed, offer certain differences. Thus the left leg is placed more to one side and turned further outwards than in the statue of Xenokles and kindred works; the left hand hangs down at an angle to the leg differently from the others. In other words, by comparing it with the Paris statuette, we see a slightly different rhythm from that found in Polykleitan works. The Idolino has been looked upon as Myronic by Kekulé,1077 Studniczka,1078 and hesitatingly Klein,1079 while Mahler regarded it as Pheidian.1080 Furtwaengler, however, by a careful analysis, has shown its Polykleitan characteristics—especially the shape of the head and the features, and the treatment of the hair, which reminds us of the Naples copy of the Doryphoros. Owing to differences, however, he did not assign it to the master himself, but suggested that it was the work of his pupil Patrokles.1081 Bulle found the head Polykleitan, but the body Attic, and assigned the figure to an unknown Attic sculptor working in the Polykleitan circle. In this controversy on its style, a statue found in 1916 in the excavations of the Baths at Kyrene should be of use, for it is the most faithful of all the Roman copies known of the bronze original and clearly shows a Polykleitan character influenced by Attic art.1082 By a comparison of this marble copy with the Florentine142 bronze we see that the latter was a subsequent rendition of the same original, and doubtless by some artist of lesser fame from the Polykleitan school, who was influenced by Attic art.

But it is the interpretation of the Idolino which chiefly interests us here. While Longpérier called the similar Paris statuette a Mercure aptère, and the publisher of the statue from Kyrene called that copy a Hermes, yet Kekulé, Bulle, and most other archæologists have seen in the Idolino an athlete. The inner surface of its outstretched right hand is left rough, and the fingers are in the same position as those of the Paris bronze. Such a position can be explained satisfactorily by restoring the hand with a kylix or a φιάλη, such as was commonly used in libations. The left hand is smooth and evidently empty, though Bulle restores it with a victor’s fillet, and so, following Kekulé, calls the statue that of a boy victor, who is bringing an offering to the altar in honor of his victory. The marble statue in the Galleria delle Statue has the right forearm restored; in the Kyrene statue the right hand is preserved and has a thick object held downwards at a greater angle than in the Idolino. The photograph does not let us judge decisively, but it seems to be too thick an object for the remnants of a kylix. A marble statue in the Barberini Palace, Rome,1083 which resembles the Idolino so closely as to be considered a copy of it, though with variations of pose and technique, has the arms broken off, and so adds nothing to the solution of the motive of the Idolino. The fact that a palm-stem stands beside the right leg, however, adds weight to the interpretation as victor. Furtwaengler interprets the Idolino and kindred works as divinities. Though boys serve at libations, he thinks they never perform the ritual act of pouring the libation.1084 That a libation-pourer should appear in the guise of a boy victor (that of Xenokles) he calls a genuine Argive trait. Svoronos, also, has recently tried to show that the Idolino is not a victor,1085 but represents the hero Herakles. He compares the figure with a fourth-century Pentelic marble relief in Athens,1086 which represents Herakles standing at the door of Hades and beside him a father leading his son up to the open air. The pose of the figure of Herakles resembles that of the Idolino in a remarkable way. In the relief Herakles holds a kylix in the right hand1087 and a club in the left, and a lion skin is thrown over the left arm. Svoronos believes that the left hand in the relief explains the turning in of the left hand of the Idolino—for he believes that the latter also held 143 a club. We must, however, leave the final solution of the motive of the Idolino and kindred works open, although inclining to the belief that they represent a victor.


Bronze Statue known as the Idolino.
Bronze Statue known as the Idolino. Museo Archeologico, Florence.

A statue in Athens, which was found in 1888 in the Roman ruins at the Olympieion, may represent a boy victor pouring a libation (Fig. 26).1088 It is a poor Roman copy, dry and lifeless, Marble Statue of an Athlete. Fig. 26.—Marble Statue of an Athlete(?). National Museum, Athens. of a bronze original of the middle of the fifth century B. C.1089 In this statue Mayer has seen the motive, and probably the copy, of the Splanchnoptes (Roaster of Entrails) by the sculptor Styphax (or Styppax) of Cyprus, which, according to Pliny,1090 represented Perikles’ slave “roasting entrails and blowing hard on the fire, to kindle it, till his cheeks swell.” He thinks that the position of the broken arms and a comparison of the figure with similar ones on vases make the identification possible. Von Salis concurs in his restoration and interpretation and publishes a small statuette in Athens from Dodona,1091 which has a similar pose, and holds a three-pronged fork in the left hand, which he believes should be restored in the statue. Although statue and statuette have much in common (e. g., the position of the breast and shoulders, the treatment of the hair, etc.), which shows that both may be copies of one original, the conception of the two is somewhat different. The statue from Athens represents a boy standing busily engaged at the altar; the statuette represents one standing at rest merely looking on, the fork not being held in position for use.1092 In any case the face of the Athens statue can not correspond with Pliny’s description—ignemque oris144 pleni spiritu accendens. Quite a different explanation of the statue is possible—one which Mayer thought improbable. The right arm—broken above the wrist—was raised to the height of the shoulder and may have held an object in the hand; the left arm—broken off below the shoulder—seems to have been held close to the body and appears to have corresponded in movement with the other. The boy, therefore, may have held a cup in the right hand and a branch or a victor fillet in the left. Thus it may merely be another example of a boy victor pouring a libation.

Certain other statues have been mistaken either for libation-pourers or oil-pourers, when they are really wine-pourers and have nothing to do with the athletic motives under discussion. A good example is the marble statue of a Satyr in Dresden,1093 which represents the youthful demi-god lifting a can with his right hand, out of which he is pouring wine into a drinking-horn held in the left. There are many copies of this work,1094 a fact which shows that the original bronze was famous. An attempt has therefore been made to identify it with the bronze Satyr of Praxiteles mentioned by Pliny as the Periboëtos or “far-famed,”1095 which seems to have been grouped with a Dionysos and a figure of Drunkenness—a grouping which might fit the Dresden Satyr, since a second figure should be imagined, for which the horn is being filled. However, it differs stylistically so much from the Hermes of Olympia that the ascription has been given up, though its graceful form shows Praxitelean influence and certainly emanates from the fourth century B. C.


Marble Head of an Athlete.
Marble Head of an Athlete, after Kresilas (?). Metropolitan Museum, New York.

Resting After the Contest.

A very favorite motive was to represent a victor, either standing or seated, resting after the exertions of the contest (ἀναπαυόμενος). An excellent example of this motive in a standing posture is the fourth-century B. C. statue of Attic workmanship found at Porto d’Anzio and now in the Vatican,1096 which reproduces the type of the Apollo Lykeios.1097 Many of the statues, by various sculptors, which represent the victor standing at rest may be intended to represent him as resting after the contest. The well-known head of a youth adorned with the victor’s chaplet, and preserved in four copies in European museums, appears to come from a statue which represented a victor in this manner. 145 The best of these copies is in the collection of Lord Leconfield at Petworth House, Sussex.1098 We should add a fifth, a Roman copy of the head, in the Metropolitan Museum, New York (Pl. 15).1099 In these copies the ears are not swollen, and a certain refinement and gentleness show that the original was not from the statue of a boxer or pancratiast, but from that of another type of athlete, perhaps a pentathlete. Since Pliny mentions the statue of a Doryphoros by Kresilas,1100 and because of its supposed Kresilæan style, Furtwaengler, albeit on slender grounds, has attempted to identify the original of these heads with that work.1101 The expression is certainly one of complete repose. On the crown of the head, and on the left side over the fillet, is a rectangular broken surface,1102 apparently the remnant of a support for the right arm, which, as Conze thought, proves that the athlete stood with one arm resting on the head, the hand hanging over the left side. Furtwaengler admitted that such an attitude might be that of an apoxyomenos,1103 but pointed out that the expression of the face in all the copies seems too tranquil for such an interpretation. Since the victor was in repose and the left arm required a slight support, he believed that this support might have been an akontion. He therefore reconstructed the original statue as that of a resting pentathlete, and assigned it to the great Cretan contemporary of Pheidias, who worked in Athens.1104 The number of replicas at least shows that the original was a famous work.

Head from Statue of the Seated Boxer.
Fig. 27.—Head from Statue of the Seated Boxer. Museo delle Terme, Rome.

Perhaps our best example of the motive of a seated victor resting after the contest is the bronze statue of a boxer found in Rome in 1884 and now in the Museo delle Terme there (Pl. 16 and Fig. 27).1105 This is a146 masterpiece in the portrayal of brute strength in the most naturalistic and revolting way. If we like to think of victors as having noble forms, we are rudely startled on looking at this brutal prize-fighter. If we compare it with works of the fifth and fourth centuries B. C., we see in it, as in no other example of Greek sculpture, the great change which professionalism had later wrought in the Greek ideal of athletics. Here are massive proportions, bulging muscles, arms and legs hard and muscle-bound. We can compare it only with the bronze head of a boxer found at Olympia (Fig. 61 A and B) of similar style and age.1106 But there we have only the head, while here we have a complete statue almost perfectly preserved, the only restorations being a portion of the left thumb, a piece of the right flank, and the base.


Bronze Statue of the Seated Boxer.
Bronze Statue of the Seated Boxer. Museo delle Terme, Rome.

It represents a professional boxer, who is seated exhausted at the close of the bout, the severity of which is indicated by every part of the 147 body. He leans forward, his arms rest on his thighs, and his head, sunk between his shoulders, is raised and turned to the right, as he stupidly looks around at the applauding spectators. His nose is broken and his ears are swollen and scars of the contest show on his face and limbs. Beneath his retreating upper lip some of his teeth appear to have been knocked out as the result of previous fights, while indications of the recent struggle are to be seen in the blood dripping from his ears and the deep lacerations in face and shoulder, which may have once been filled with red paint to make his appearance even more realistic. The right eye is swollen and the lower lid and the cheek imperceptibly sink into each other. The mustache shows flecks of blood and the swollen back of the right hand protrudes through the glove. His nose is clotted with blood and he seems to be struggling to get his breath.

Such realism and delight in depicting the hideous show that the work, like the Olympia head, belongs to the Hellenistic age. The careful workmanship, especially visible in the hair and beard and in the hair on the chest1107, proves that the statue is not a Roman copy, but a Greek original of the beginning of the Hellenistic age, of the end of the fourth or beginning of the third century B. C. Nor is it a portrait, as Winter maintained,1108 since it is an adaptation of a late type of Herakles. It certainly is a victor statue from one of the great Greek games, and is, perhaps, from Olympia itself. Since the head is turned toward the right shoulder and the mouth is open, as if speaking, Wunderer tried, on the basis of a passage in the history of Polybios,1109 to identify it with the statue of the famous Theban boxer and pancratiast Kleitomachos at Olympia by an unknown artist.1110 The historian states that Kleitomachos, while fighting with the Egyptian Aristonikos, was angered by the acclaim given the foreigner and, stepping aside, chided the spectators for not cheering one who was fighting for the honor of Greece. The speech caused a revulsion in the popular feeling, which helped, even more than the fists of Kleitomachos, to vanquish Aristonikos. However, the motive of the statue does not fit the incident, as the boxer is not speaking, but breathing hard, nor is the seated posture that of one haranguing a crowd. Moreover, the date of the Theban’s victory is too late for the statue.1111


At the beginning of the fifth century B. C. athletic training tended to produce a uniform standard of physical development, which was148 reflected in sculpture. At this date we do not find the divergence of style which we saw in our review of the “Apollo” type of the sixth century. Vase-paintings show the change better than sculpture. On black-figured vases of the sixth century B. C., we see a good deal of variety in groups of boxers and wrestlers, while on red-figured vases of the early fifth century the number of types is far less. In sculpture, however, differences in physical type did exist in the various schools at the beginning of the fifth century. We have, for example, the heavy, square-shouldered type in the Apollo Choiseul-Gouffier (Pl. 7A), which we have classed as a victor statue, and the tall, rawboned type in the Tyrannicides by Kritios and Nesiotes (Fig. 32, Harmodios).1112 We have, on the other hand, a very different physical type in the short, stocky Aeginetan pedimental figures (Figs. 20 and 21). Between such extremes there are, of course, many gradations. We might instance the archaic bronze statuette of a diskobolos in the Metropolitan Museum (Fig. 46).1113 However, notwithstanding the diversity in type, it is often difficult to distinguish runners from wrestlers, boxers from pentathletes. Thus few early fifth-century statues show the type of runner as well as the Apollo of Tenea (Pl. 8A), or that of a boxer as well as the “Apollo” from Delphi (Pl. 8B). The reason for this is the ideal element, which entered into all these statues and which was a reflection of the uniform development of athletics long before specialization had set in. Out of this uniformity grew the canon of Polykleitos, developed from that of Hagelaïdas.

The sculptor of the sixth century B. C. was incapable of differentiating between god and mortal. This was especially the case, as we have seen, with Apollo, as the “Apollo” type was a model of manly vigor. In the early fifth century the sculptor had largely overcome this difficulty, but still showed little diversity of type in treating statues of different kinds of athletes. A method of differentiation which was essential to athlete sculptors of the sixth century was found convenient of retention by those of the fifth—i. e., characterizing the statue of the victor by some attribute, in order, on the one hand, to differentiate it from the nude god or hero, and on the other to distinguish between different types of victors.


The Victor Fillet.

In the first place, the sculptor would characterize the victor statue as such. The easiest way to do this would be to represent it with a fillet or chaplet (ταινία)1114 bound round the head, as we saw was the149 case in the statue of Milo. This fillet was merely a band or riband of wool which was given the Olympic victor in addition to the garland of olive leaves, or the palm-branch, as a symbol of victory. Waldstein has argued that this fillet originally was not an essential attribute of the victor, but that the crown and palm were the prizes, and the fillet merely a decoration used on various occasions, such as at symposia,1115 which only later became a general athletic attribute.1116 Though the presence of the fillet on statues should not, therefore, be proof that the given statue is that of a victor,1117 there is no defense for the contention of Passow1118 that the tainia was in no sense a symbol of victory, but merely a toilet article among the gifts presented by the public to a victor at the ovation of the crowning. Pausanias says that the victor Lichas of Sparta was scourged by order of the umpires at Olympia for having set the tainia on the head of his victorious charioteer.1119 This is sufficient evidence that it was not a mere toilet article, but rather a part of the official prize of victory. Similarly the tainia in the hand of Nike upon the right hand of the statue of Zeus by Pheidias at Olympia can not have been a toilet article.1120

We have many examples from athletic sculpture of the use of the fillet. Thus it appears on the bronze head of a boxer in the Glyptothek (Pl. 3)1121 and on the bronze head from Herculaneum in Naples (Fig. 4),1122 both of which have been discussed in Chapter II, as fragments of Greek original statues of Olympic victors. It also appears on the marble head of a youthful victor—not necessarily Olympic—from the Akropolis,1123 which, because of the similarity in cheeks, mouth, and eyes to heads on the metopes of the Parthenon, should be dated somewhere between 450 and 440 B. C. It occurs on the Olympia marble head150 (Frontispiece and Fig. 69),1124 which we ascribe in Chapter VI to Lysippos, and likewise on the statue of the pancratiast Agias in Delphi (Pl. 28, Fig. 68). In most athlete heads the fillet is twisted into a knot at the back of the head. In one case, on the Petworth head of a pentathlete already discussed,1125 which, because of the curve of the neck, must come from a statue represented at rest, it is not so tied, but is wound round the head with the two ends tucked in and pushed through the fillet on either side over the temples.1126 Though so practical an arrangement as the latter must have been common enough in real life, this seems to be the only example of its representation in sculpture.

The fillet, instead of encircling the head, was sometimes held in the hand, as in the case of the Spartan chariot victor Polykles at Olympia.1127 A curious life-size statue of the Roman period, found in the Peiræus, represents a nude boy holding in his right hand over the breast a bundle of books and in the left an alabastron. The body is covered with fillets—fifteen in all—which appear to have been prizes won in gymnic contests, probably at the gymnasium or palæstra.1128


Statues representing victors binding fillets in their hair (diadoumenoi) are common to all periods of Greek art.1129 We shall discuss only two—those of Pheidias and of Polykleitos.


Statue known as the Farnese Diadoumenos.
Statue known as the Farnese Diadoumenos. British Museum, London.

Pausanias mentions a statue by Pheidias, representing a Boy Binding on a Fillet, as standing in the Altis at Olympia.1130 Robert has argued that this figure was the one of similar motive mentioned by Pausanias as on the throne of Zeus there.1131 However, the figure on the throne was very probably in relief and not in the round.1132 The cicerones at Olympia seem to have been imposing on the periegete when they said that a likeness to Pantarkes, the boy favorite of Pheidias, was to be seen in the face of this figure on the throne. The mention of Pantarkes has given rise to the usual identification of the παῖς ἀναδούμενος with the victor statue of the Elean Pantarkes mentioned by 151Pausanias as standing in the Altis.1133 However, the assumption1134 is far-fetched and must be rejected, because Pausanias mentions the two statues in two different parts of his periegesis of the Altis.1135 Of the παῖς we know only the artist’s name. It was probably merely a votive gift,1136 and the name of the person so honored was unknown to Pausanias. Of the statue of the victor Pantarkes we know only the name, and neither the artist nor the motive of the statue. It seems clear, therefore, that we have to do with three distinct monuments: the boy with the fillet, the throne figure by Pheidias, and the victor by an unknown sculptor.1137

The small marble statue in the British Museum known as the Diadoumenos Farnese1138 (Pl. 17), which is now almost universally regarded as an Attic work,1139 has been assumed by many archæologists to be a copy of Pheidias’ statue.1140 Since Pausanias tells us that a statue by Pheidias stood in Olympia, representing an unknown boy binding a fillet around his head, and since the style of the Farnese statue shows great similarity in head and body forms and general bearing to certain figures on the Parthenon frieze,1141 and its motive agrees with that of the Olympia statue, it seems reasonable to see in this little work a copy of the statue in the Altis by the great master. Furtwaengler and Bulle have shown that the motive of this work was initiated by Pheidias and not by Polykleitos, since the latter’s great statue was several years younger than the work of Pheidias at Olympia. That Pheidias was pleased with the motive is disclosed by the fact that he repeated it on the throne of Zeus.



Statue of the Diadoumenos.
Statue of the Diadoumenos, from Delos, after Polykleitos. National Museum, Athens.

The Diadoumenos of Polykleitos was little less famous than his Doryphoros, if we may judge by the number of copies which have survived and from literary notices of it.1142 In all the copies of this work we see the well-known Polykleitan characteristics—powerful build, heavy proportions, and fidelity to nature; but none of the ideal tendency prominent in the works of Pheidias and his school, nor of the violent energy characteristic of Myron’s art. In all of them the pose of the earlier Doryphoros is retained, except that the arms are differently employed and the build of the body is more slender. Pliny, despite his statement—which is probably taken from some Greek authority—that monotony was the characteristic of Polykleitos’ works (paene ad unum exemplum),1143 emphasizes this slenderness by calling the Doryphoros viriliter puer—Lessing’s Juengling wie ein Mann—and the Diadoumenos molliter juvenis—a youth of gentle form. This judgment of Pliny was difficult to understand so long as we had only the Vaison copy of the Diadoumenos to study. The Delian copy showed that supple grace was characteristic of the original, even if modified to suit the taste of three centuries later. Although the body forms and the attitudes of the Doryphoros and the Diadoumenos are very similar, the head of the latter, usually assigned to Polykleitos, is of a different type from that of the Doryphoros. While the head of the Doryphoros is square in profile, flat on top, and long from front to back, that of the Diadoumenos is rounder and softer and can best be explained on the assumption that Polykleitos later in life came under Attic influence. The copies of this work are many and varied.1144 For a long time the marble copy in the British Museum found in 1862, at Vaison, France,1145 was, despite its poor workmanship, considered our best copy (Fig. 28). It was made perhaps five hundred years after the original, at a time when sculpture was in its decline, and consequently can give us merely a suggestion of the character of Polykleitos’ statue. As it is a direct marble translation of the bronze, the muscular treatment appears exaggerated. Another marble copy was found in 1894 by the French excavators on the island of Delos, and is now in Athens (Pl. 18).1146 The 153 Delian artist added a mantle and a quiver to the nearby tree-trunk and thus converted an original victor statue into one of a god.1147 Though its hands are lost, it is easy to see that the athlete is pulling the ends of the fillet together so as to tighten the knot at the back of the head. As this is a Hellenistic Greek copy, it comes far nearer to the original than the Statue of the Diadoumenos. Fig. 28.—Statue of the Diadoumenos, from Vaison, after Polykleitos. British Museum, London. imperial Roman one from Vaison. The lighter proportions and softer modeling show the Attic influence on Polykleitos’ later career, although the fleshy forms are out of harmony with his art and evidently introduced by the copyist. One of the best preserved and most beautiful copies is the one in the Prado at Madrid.1148 Although a Roman copy, like the one in the British Museum, it comes very near the original because of the precision in its details. There are many good copies of the head alone.1149 Marble heads in Kassel and Dresden, evidently the works of Attic sculptors, show the pure Polykleitan traits. The one in Dresden1150 (Fig. 29) surpasses all others in the beauty of its finish, being a careful and exact copy. The proportions and structure of the head are those of the Doryphoros, although the surface is differently treated. The Kassel head1151 is not so exact in its details, but has more expression. Furtwaengler rightly calls it the better of the two as a work of art, but inferior as a copy. A marble head in the British Museum1152 is a direct copy from the original154 bronze, like the Vaison statue. The clear-cut eyelids and wiry hair reproduce the original material, and its resemblance to the head of the Doryphoros is greater than that of any other copy.

A later variant of the statue is seen in a small terra-cotta statuette from Smyrna in private possession in London.1153 Head of the Diadoumenos. Fig. 29.—Head of the Diadoumenos, after Polykleitos. Albertinum, Dresden. It shows the Polykleitan type so completely assimilated to the style of Praxiteles that its genuineness has been doubted. Perhaps, with its Attic softness, it gives us a better idea of the beauty of the original than many of the other copies. Finally, we must mention the original bronze head of the fifth century B. C. in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, recently published by Percy Gardner.1154 This head, put together from nine fragments, and restored as that of a boy fillet-binder, and rivaling in delicacy and beauty such original bronzes as the Beneventum head (Fig. 3) and the Idolino (Pl. 14), not only gives us the best idea of the technical ability attained by bronze workers in the middle of the fifth century B. C., but also helps us to understand the ancient repute of Polykleitos’ athletes. Here the headband and “starfish” arrangement of the hair have their close parallels in the Dresden, Kassel, and British Museum heads already discussed, which essentially reproduce the head of the Vaison statue (Fig. 28). As Gardner points out, it closely agrees with the type of the Farnese Diadoumenos (Pl. 17) only in one particular, the mode of tying the knot. While the Vaison athlete is preparing to tie it, the Farnese one has just finished the operation, the boy still holding the ends of the fillet in his hands. But only the treatment of the hair, the eye, and the ear offers a contrast. Despite these differences Gardner follows the older view of Brunn in regarding the Vaison and Farnese types as two variants of Polykleitan originals; but the pose, style, and proportions of the latter seem to us to be too thoroughly Attic to warrant us in bringing it into relation with the work of Polykleitos. Though the heads of the two are not so dissimilar, the pose, as Gardner also points out, is quite different. The Vaison figure is represented as walking, i. e., in the very act of changing the weight of the body from one leg to the155 other, while the Farnese athlete stands at rest with both feet flat upon the ground. Gardner rightly regards this exquisite head not as the original of the statue mentioned by Pliny, since the Vaison and Delian copies show that the latter represented a fully developed man, somewhat over life-size, and not a boy, but rather as a work of the Polykleitan school, though he does not exclude the possibility that it may come from one of the many boy athletes of the master.

Furtwaengler connects with the Diadoumenos the statue of a youthful boxer, slightly under life-size, which shows a similar motive. It is known to us in two copies, one in Kassel,1155 the other in Lansdowne House, London.1156 That it is a work of Polykleitos is shown by the correspondence of its body forms with those of both the Diadoumenos and the Doryphoros. A bronze statuette, dating from about 400 B. C., in the Akropolis Museum, also repeats the motive without being an exact copy.1157

The Crown of Wild Olive.

The crown of wild olive1158 in the hair is another general but not customary attribute of Olympic victor statues. Fewer sculptured heads show it than show the tainia, and in most of these the leaves have fallen off. Examples of its presence are afforded by the bronze head from Beneventum (Fig. 3) in the Louvre,1159 and on the realistic bronze head of a boxer found at Olympia (Fig. 61 A and B).1160 A good illustration of a boy victor crowning himself is on a fourth-century B. C. funerary relief, found in 1873 at the Dipylon gate, and now in the Athens Museum.1161 The victor is holding or placing a crown of leaves on his head. In the Museo delle Terme, Rome, is a mediocre headless copy of an original statue of the end of the fifth century B. C., the work of an artist of the Polykleitan school, the restoration of which as a victor engaged in wreathing his head is probable.1162 A protuberance on the right shoulder seems to have been left by the end of the lemniskos or ribbon156 with which the wreath was adorned.1163 The left hand carried an attribute, but probably not a palm-branch as Helbig assumed, since such a branch, if of metal, would have left traces on the shoulder. The same restoration has been proposed for another statue.1164 A crown on the head, together with the remains of fingers near it, has been noticed on a bronze statue of Eros, of Hellenistic workmanship, found off Tunis in the sea,1165 which shows Polykleitan influence.


Statue known as the Westmacott Athlete.
Statue known as the Westmacott Athlete. British Museum, London.

The statue of a Boy Crowning Himself, which has survived in many Roman copies and variant Greek originals, notably in the so-called Westmacott Athlete of the British Museum (Pl. 19),1166 a fragmentary statue of poorer workmanship in the Barracco collection in Rome,1167 and a Greek copy from Eleusis now in the National Museum in Athens,1168 and identified by many archæologists with the statue of the boy boxer Kyniskos by Polykleitos at Olympia, should be discussed here. While the Westmacott Athlete appears to be a copy from the original bronze, the Barracco statue, though showing the same pose, is unlike it in the treatment of hair and muscles, and with its Attic head, seems to be a carelessly executed variant, more or less Myronian in style, of the Polykleitan original. While its original may be assigned to the end of the fifth century B. C., the Eleusis variant, with its head differently placed, is not a Roman copy, but a Greek original statue showing the Polykleitan motive carried into the soft Attic style of the fourth century B. C.1169 A fine copy of the head alone is in the possession of Sir Edgar Vincent, in his Constantinople collection.1170 157 This should be associated with another head in Dresden, both being closely related to that of the Westmacott Athlete.1171 The best copy of the head is in the Hermitage, in which the treatment of the hair approaches nearest to that of the bronze original.1172 A marble head from Apollonia in Epeiros, now in the British Museum, which so closely resembles the head of the Westmacott Athlete that the missing sections of the neck and shoulders were restored by a cast from the latter, is somewhat different in style. For while the Westmacott head is a mechanical copy, this Greek head is full of vigor, disclosing Attic characteristics of the early fourth century B. C., and obviously is an Athenian imitation of the original, like the statue from Eleusis.1173 A more remote variant is the beautiful marble head formerly in the possession of Dr. Philip Nelson in Liverpool, but now in America, which is not an exact copy of any of the known variants, but so closely resembles the Capitoline type of Wounded Amazon, assigned first by Otto Jahn and later by Furtwaengler to Kresilas, that it must be by the same hand.1174 This head also reminds us of that of the Kresilæan Diomedes of the Munich Glyptothek (Pl. 21),1175 though the hair-treatment is Polykleitan.1176 Both show a modification of Polykleitan forms under Attic influence. The numerous fine copies indicate that the original was a well-known work. That it was Polykleitan is clear from a study of the heads, which show a great resemblance to that of the Doryphoros, and of the body forms, which resemble those of both the Doryphoros and the Diadoumenos. While some believe this original a work of Polykleitos himself,1177 others think that it was by one of his pupils or successors, who imitated the master’s early style. If the original, however, was not the statue of Kyniskos, there is little evidence that it was by Polykleitos himself.

The palm-trunk in the Westmacott copy certainly argues that the original was an athlete statue. The gesture of the right hand has given rise to different interpretations. The Barracco copy furnishes the best evidence, as on it the right arm is preserved to the wrist, the hand only being lost. Helbig at first (in the Barracco Catalogue) expressed the opinion that the right hand might have held an oil-flask, from which oil was being poured into the left. However, the position of the left hand, as shown by the puntello on the left hip, must have been the same as that on the Westmacott copy, i. e., hanging close to the left side.158 Helbig later (in the Fuehrer) explained the motive as that of a boy setting a crown on his head, as in the bronze Eros already mentioned. This interpretation, first suggested by Winnefeld,1178 has been the favorite one among archæologists. But all sorts of other explanations of the motive of the original have been offered, as that the athlete was scraping his forehead or shoulders with the strigil,1179 that the statue represented Narkissos looking into the pool and shading his eyes with his right hand,1180 that it was an athlete standing at rest and holding an akontion in his right hand—a theory harmonizing with the poise of the head, but not with the turn of the wrist, which shows that the hand was held downwards1181—and that it was, in fact, the nudus talo incessens of Pliny.1182 On the head of the Eleusis statue there is a mass of marble left over the right ear just opposite the place where the hand would be, if it were setting a wreath on the head. The fact that no marks are visible where the crown was attached is explained by the assumption that the wreath was of metal even in the marble copies. That this motive, moreover, was known to both Attic and Peloponnesian art in the second half of the fifth century B. C. is well attested. Thus we see on the Parthenon frieze a youth crowning himself with one hand, while holding the horse’s bridle with the other.1183 The pose of this figure—especially the legs—recalls the Myronian Oil-pourer already discussed (Pl. 11). On the other hand, one of the figures of the Ildefonso group in Madrid, which is Polykleitan in style, represents a boy wearing a wreath, a figure closely akin to the Westmacott Athlete, the leg position being the same in both and the poise of the head nearly so, although the arms are different, the left one being raised and the right hanging down.1184 It is probable that the raised right hand of the original of the Westmacott and other replicas touched the wreath and the lowered left held a fillet. The best explanation, then, of the Westmacott Athlete and kindred works is that the motive of the original was allied to that of the Diadoumenos of Polykleitos, though the modeling is too soft for Polykleitos, showing that the copyists changed the original of the Argive master to suit a later and different taste. Whereas the Diadoumenos is tying on a victor’s fillet, the other is presumably placing a victor’s wreath on his head. Certainly no better restoration159 can be made for the Barracco copy. Furthermore, many other monuments, which show a similar attitude, and which must be regarded as very free imitations of the original, seem to show that the boy was represented as placing a wreath on his head.1185

Whether the original of the series was an actual victor statue at Olympia or not is an interesting question. It has been repeatedly suggested that it was the very statue of the boy boxer Kyniskos there, mentioned by Pausanias, the base of which has been recovered.1186 The external evidence for the identity consists altogether in the similarity in the position of the feet on this base and in the series of copies, which argues a similar pose. The base shows that the left leg bore the weight of the statue; it was slightly advanced and rested on the sole, while the right leg was set back and rested on the ball only. Thus the statue of Kyniskos was represented in the characteristic Polykleitan schema of rest, except that the position of the legs is reversed from that of the Doryphoros, Diadoumenos, Amazon, and other works of the master. We might add that this same reversal appears on two other bases found at Olympia, which held victor statues by the elder Polykleitos1187 and one by the younger.1188 Moreover, the leg position of the canon does not occur in the works of the master’s pupils Naukydes and Daidalos, and only in one work of Kleon.1189 This shows that teacher and pupils also used another motive, i. e., the old canon of Hagelaïdas, besides the one associated with the Doryphoros. The similarity in the position of the feet on the Olympia base and in the series of statues discussed has led some scholars, e. g., Petersen and Collignon, to accept the proposed identity. This similarity in foot position, the probability that the statue on the basis was life-size, like those of the Westmacott series, and the palm-tree support in the British Museum replica, all pointing to a victor statue, make the identity well within the range of possibility, but by no means certain. It is necessary only to rehearse the objections to this view. In the first place the length of the foot on the Olympia basis can not be accurately measured for purposes of comparison. In the next place Polykleitos, as we have just seen, made other statues of victors at Olympia with almost the identical foot position of that of Kyniskos. Furthermore, it seems very unlikely that so celebrated an original as that of these many replicas could have been standing in the Altis so late as the time of Pausanias.1190 It is160 difficult, also, to understand why an imitative Attic sculptor of the fourth century B. C., should make a copy of an Arkadian boy victor statue for Eleusis. And lastly we must not forget that up to the present time not a single Roman copy has been conclusively identified with that of a victor statue at Olympia. If the date of the victory of Kyniskos were definitely fixed, the question of identity would be better substantiated. By a process of exclusion, to be sure, Robert reached the date Ol. 80 ( = 460 B. C.),1191 but other dates are possible. Under these circumstances there seems to be little more than the possibility that we have recovered an actual victor statue at Olympia in these copies.1192

The Palm-branch.

The palm-branch, either woven into a wreath or held in the hand, was a victor attribute. Pausanias says that a crown of palm leaves was common to many contests, and that the victor everywhere in Greece carried a palm-branch in his right hand.1193 He refers the custom to mythical times, tracing it back to the contest held by Theseus on Delos in honor of Apollo.1194 Pliny mentions a painting by the Sikyonian Eupompos, which represented a victor certamine gymnico palmam tenens.1195 While Milchhoefer1196 believed that the motive of an athlete setting a crown on his head with his right hand and holding a palm in his left, which is repeated frequently and with variation in many works of art, went back to this painting of Eupompos, Furtwaengler1197 goes further in assuming that the painter derived the motive from the statue of Polykleitos represented by the Westmacott Athlete and kindred works just discussed. The pupils of the great sculptor appear to have transferred his school from Argos to Sikyon, and were, therefore, associated with Eupompos. This attribute of the palm, permanent in bronze statues, has been broken off for the most part in marble ones. We see it in an unfinished statue of a young athlete in the National Museum, Athens, who holds the palm-branch in his hand. Here it has survived, since the statue was only blocked out.1198 It is prominent161 in the funerary stele from the Dipylon representing a victor, which has been mentioned in a preceding section;1199 here the palm extends from the left hand, which is held down close to the side, up to the shoulder. We have already noted that the copyist added a palm-branch to the stump placed beside the Vatican girl runner (Pl. 2). In the Choiseul-Gouffier Apollo (Pl. 7A) the left hand should doubtless be restored with the palm-branch, because of the projecting notch of marble on the side of the left leg near the knee.1200 A similar notch appears also on the Apollo-on-the-Omphalos in Athens (Pl. 7B), which shows that the left hand held a long attribute, which was doubtless a palm-branch. This attribute occurs frequently on vases.1201 We see it on a marble statue found at Formiae and now in the Glyptothek Ny-Carlsberg in Copenhagen, which shows the same motive as that of the statue by Stephanos (Pl. 9), though in a freer style of execution. Here the lowered right hand holds a palm-branch, which is shown in low relief against the right arm.1202


In course of time the sculptor was not content to represent victor statues merely as victors, but differentiated the various kinds of victors by special attributes.

Marble heads of two Hoplitodromoi
Fig. 30.—Marble heads of two Hoplitodromoi, from Olympia. Museum of Olympia.


Thus a hoplite victor would be represented with his usual weapons. Pausanias, in mentioning the statue at Olympia of the hoplite runner Damaretos of Heraia by the Argive sculptors Eutelidas and Chrysothemis, says that it “has not only a shield, as the armed runners still have, but also a helmet on his head and greaves on his legs.”1203 He adds that the helmet and greaves were gradually abolished at Olympia and elsewhere. We have seen that the statue of Damaretos was set up at the beginning of the fifth century B. C., when his son Theopompos, the pentathlete, won his second victory, the monuments of the two being in common.1204 Toward the middle of the fifth century the hoplite victor Mnaseas of Kyrene had a statue at Olympia, the work of Pythagoras of Rhegion, which represented him as an armed man.1205 A Pythian 162 victor, Telesikrates, of the fifth century B. C., had a statue at Delphi, which represented him with a helmet.1206 We have actual remnants of two hoplite victor statues of the sixth century B. C., in the two bearded and helmeted life-size heads of Parian marble found at Olympia (Fig. 30, a, b = A; c, d = B).1207 The younger of these heads (A), to which probably belong either an arm and the remnants of a shield attached with a ram and a representation of Phrixos upon it in relief,1208 or a shield fragment with a siren’s wing upon it1209 and the fragment of a shield163 edge1210 and right foot of fine workmanship,1211 I assigned long ago to the statue of the Thessalian hoplitodrome Phrikias of Pelinna, who won two victories in Ols. 68 and 69 ( = 508 and 504 B. C.).1212 R. Foerster had referred this head to the statue of the hoplite runner Damaretos of Heraia, whose monument, in common with that of his son, the pentathlete Theopompos, was the work of the early Argive sculptors Chrysothemis and Eutelidas.1213 But this fresh and vigorous head is not Peloponnesian, but shows strongly marked Attic traits in its round face, full cheeks, and soft lips, and in the rows of regularly wound locks of hair. The arm and foot similarly disclose Attic softness and grace. Because of its Attic character, Treu and Overbeck,1214 in opposition to Foerster, ascribed it to the statue of the Elean hoplite victor Eperastos mentioned by Pausanias.1215 Though the date of his victory is unknown, it certainly fell some time after Ol. 111 ( = 336 B. C.)—a date far too late for so archaic a sculpture. Furtwaengler1216 referred this and the more archaic head B to the group of Phormis at Olympia, mentioned by Pausanias.1217 However, Treu1218 showed that there was no stylistic connection between the two heads. The slightly more archaic head B, badly injured from weathering, I have referred to the Achaian hoplitodrome Phanas of Pellene, who won Ol. 67 ( = 512 B. C.).1219 In this carefully executed head the hair and beard are arranged in small locks and the archaic smile is prominent. While the younger head is Attic, this one is unmistakably Peloponnesian; and while the former comes from a statue represented at rest, the latter, because of the twist of the neck, seems to have come from one represented in violent motion. For this reason Wolters believed that it came from the statue of a warrior represented as thrown to the ground and defending himself.

The Myronic statue in the Palazzo Valentini, Rome, known as Diomedes,1220 whose pose recalls the Diskobolos, may represent a hoplito164drome, because of its marked resemblance in attitude to the Tuebingen bronze to be discussed in the next chapter (Fig. 42), and because of the helmet on its head.1221


Pentathletes were represented by attributes taken from three of the five contests—jumping, and throwing the diskos and the javelin. All these attributes appear in gymnasium scenes pictured on red-figured vases. Thus a kylix of the severe style in Munich1222 gives us a general picture of the exercises of the gymnasium. On the walls hang diskoi in slings, strigils, leaping-weights, oil-flasks, sponges, and javelins. Archaic leaping-weights (ἁλτῆρες) appeared in the hands of the statue of the Elean Hysmon at Olympia by the Sikyonian sculptor Kleon.1223 Similarly, a figure of Contest (Ἀγών) in the group set up there by Mikythos had weights.1224 The offering of the people of Mende at Olympia very nearly deceived Pausanias into thinking it the statue of a pentathlete, because of its ancient halteres.1225 This shows that these weights formed a regular attribute of pentathlete statues there. A relief from Sparta1226 represents an athlete leaning on his spear and holding a pair of leaping-weights in his right hand. There is a bronze statue of such a victor in the Berlin Antiquarium.1227 Halteres hang on a tree-trunk to the right of the statue of an athlete in the Pitti palace in Florence.1228 The breast of a marble torso, less than life-size, of a boy statue found at Olympia, shows that the hands were stretched forward, and very possibly the objects which they held were leaping-weights.1229

We have no direct literary reference to a victor statue at Olympia of a pentathlete with the attributes of the diskos or javelin. That they existed there, however, seems probable enough. Such a work as the Diskobolos of Myron, which displays the youthful victor in its every line, other statues, statuettes, reliefs, and vase-paintings, show us how the artist represented the different steps in the casting of the quoit. Similarly, the famous Doryphoros of Polykleitos, copies of which have been identified in many museums (Pl. 4 and Fig. 48), will give us an idea how a javelin thrower might have been represented at rest. The akontion or victor’s casting-spear, was, as we see from the Spartan165 relief of a pentathlete just mentioned, about the height of a man. The attitude of the diskobolos and doryphoros will be discussed at length in the next chapter.


The statue of a boxer would be sufficiently characterized by thongs, which he might carry in his hand, as in the statue of the Rhodian Akousilaos at Olympia,1230 or wound round his forearm, as in the statue of a boxer in the Palazzo Albani, Rome,1231 or on a near-by prop, as on the tree-stump beside the Choiseul-Gouffier Apollo in the British Museum (Pl. 7A).1232


Long ago Scherer tried to show that the aryballos was a wrestler-attribute, since oil was so important in wrestling.1233 He interpreted as aryballoi the pomegranates mentioned by Pausanias as held in the hands of the statues of the wrestlers Milo1234 and Theognetos1235 at Olympia, assuming that the Periegete mistook oil-flasks for pomegranates (ῥοιαί). But it hardly seems reasonable that such a small utensil, which was used by athletes in general, could ever have been regarded as a peculiar attribute of the wrestler. A similar attribute may have been held in the outstretched hand of the half life-size archaic bronze “Apollo” of the Sciarra Palace in Rome,1236 and it occurs on other statues.1237

Caps for Boxers, Pancratiasts, and Wrestlers.

Often the boxer and pancratiast (and even wrestler)1238 are represented as wearing close-fitting caps, made up of thongs of leather or of solid166 leather. This, however, can scarcely be called a determining attribute. Our best example of such a cap is afforded by an athlete head dating from the first half of the fifth century B. C., in the Capitoline Museum, Rome,1239 formerly called a portrait of Juba II, who was the king of Numidia and Mauretania from 25 B. C. to 23 A. D. This ascription was based on the barbarous look of the head and the fact that another head, discovered in the Gymnasion of Ptolemy in Athens and thought to resemble it, was assumed to be that of Juba, since Pausanias mentions one of that prince there.1240 It is rather the head of an athlete engaged in putting on a cap. This cap consists of three transverse leather pieces crossing the head from side to side, one over the forehead, one over the crown, and the third over the occiput, all three converging above the ears. A fourth strap fastens them together and is drawn over the crown from forehead to occiput. In the complete statue doubtless the hands were raised to the head, grasping the straps near the ears to fasten them. This is, therefore, an anticipation of the later Diadoumenos motive. We see it in a statuette formerly in the Stroganoff collection in Rome, but now in private possession in England,1241 which represents an athlete putting on a similar headdress. Though the arms of the statuette are gone, remains of the two hands are seen touching the left ear and tying the straps, one of which runs around the cranium above the swollen right ear. With this complicated head-dress we may compare the close-fitting cap—evidently of leather—pictured on an archaistic Greek votive relief-in the Palazzo dei Conservatori, in Rome, which represents an athlete washing his hands in a basin, which stands on a tripod.1242 Here the cap is fastened by two bands, one around and the other under the chin. An object in the upper left corner of the relief, enclosed in a frame, appears to be a victor crown adorned with bow-knots. Such caps, used in wrestling, would make it impossible for an opponent to grasp the hair; in boxing and the pankration it would protect the head from injury. We saw that such a cap was pictured on a167 Munich kylix of the early fifth century B. C. It is probable that such caps were customary at a period before athletes lost their long hair and that it was continued afterwards for various reasons. The little statuette from Autun now in the Louvre (Fig. 60), representing a pancratiast, has a close-fitting cap. The ring at the top shows that this statuette was hung up—perhaps being used as a weight in a Roman scale, or perhaps for adornment. In later days boys while practising in the palæstra, but never at the public games, wore ear-lappets (ἀμφωτίδες or ἐπωτίδες) to protect their ears, not dissimilar to those worn in our day for protection against the cold. We see them on a marble head, formerly in the possession of Fabretti.1243

The Swollen Ear.

We have lastly to speak of the swollen ear, which was an attribute of victor statues, both primary and secondary, since it characterized victors as such, and also early differentiated victors in various contests. Swollen ears may have played a role as a characteristic attribute of pugilists in early times.1244 We found them on the Rayet head in the Jacobsen collection (Fig. 22), which belongs to the last quarter of the sixth century B. C. and comes from the funerary statue of an athlete, probably a boxer. In course of time, however, they came to characterize pancratiasts, wrestlers,1245 and athletes in general. The assumption, then, that heads with swollen ears come from statues of boxers,1246 and that the boxer was known throughout Greek history as the “man with the crushed ear” is erroneous.1247 The earliest literary reference to the bruised ear is in Plato.1248 The philosopher used the term slightingly of those who imitated Spartan customs, especially Spartan boxing. The Lacedæmonians never boxed scientifically, but fought with bare fists and without rules. Literary evidence, furthermore, shows that bruised ears did not play the part in boxing matches which other bruised features of the face did—the eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, and chin. Vase-paintings sustain this evidence, for we often see bloody noses and cuts on the cheeks and chin, but no crushed ears.1249 168 In short, the crushed ear was merely a professional characteristic, a realistic detail, common to athletes of various sorts, and, as we shall see, to warriors, gods, and heroes. To quote Homolle: “La bouffissure des oreilles ellemême n’est pas un trait personnel, mais un caractère professionnel; elle ne désigne pas Agias, mais en général le lutteur. Cette déformation peut atteindre même un dieu, s’il a pratiqué les exercices gymnastiques et passé sa vie dans les luttes”.1250 It is found constantly on athletic types of heads in sculpture, whether these represent gods or mortals. A few examples will make this clear. The following heads of athletes show the swollen ears: the bronze portrait head of a boxer or pancratiast from Olympia, dating from the end of the fourth century B. C. or the beginning of the third (Fig. 61 A and B);1251 the marble head from the statue of the boxer Philandridas set up among the victor statues at Olympia, the work of Lysippos (Frontispiece and Fig. 69);1252 the head of the statue of the pancratiast Agias at Delphi (Pl. 28 and Fig. 68) ;1253 that of the Seated Boxer in the Museo delle Terme in Rome (Pl. 16 and Fig. 27);1254 that of the Apoxyomenos of the Uffizi in Florence (Pl. 12);1255 the bronze head from an athlete statue found at Tarsos and now in Constantinople, an Attic work of the end of the fifth century B. C.;1256 the beautiful bronze head of a boxer in the Glyptothek (Pl. 3);1257 the head of the so-called Apollo-on-the-Omphalos in Athens (Pl. 7B);1258 the athlete head from Perinthos (Fig. 33);1259 the bronze copy of the head of the Doryphoros, found in Herculaneum and now in Naples, by the Attic artist Apollonios (Fig. 47);1260 the Ince-Blundell head in England, to be discussed; four heads in Copenhagen;1261 the remarkably beautiful bust of an athlete in the Metropolitan Museum, New York (Pl. 20), whose rounded skull, oval face, projecting lower forehead, and dreamy, half-closed eyes place it in the fourth century B. C., a work influenced by the art of Praxiteles.1262


Head of an Athlete.
Head of an Athlete, School of Praxiteles. Metropolitan Museum, New York.


When we consider heads of gods and heroes we find the swollen ears on a variety of types. We see them on the so-called Borghese Warrior of the Louvre (Fig. 43),1263 formerly called a Gladiator, and on the marble statue of Kresilæan style in Munich, which has been known since Brunn’s interpretation as Diomedes (carrying off the Palladion from Troy) (Pl. 21).1264 This latter statue is a careful, though inexact, Hadrianic copy of a famous work and is shown to represent the hero, and not an athlete, by the mantle thrown over the arm. Skill in the boxing match, the roughest and most dangerous of sports, is as appropriate to Diomedes as to Herakles himself. The crushed ears appear on the Dresden replica of this statue, a cast from the Mengs collection, the original of which was once probably in England,1265 but do not appear on the poor copy in the Louvre.1266 They also appear on the Myronian bust in the Riccardi Palace, Florence, which is a copy of an original that was, perhaps, the forerunner of the Kresilæan Diomedes.1267 Here again the garment thrown over the left shoulder shows that a youthful hero, and not an athlete, is intended.

On heads of Herakles the swollen ears are very common. The first dated representation of the hero with battered ears appears to be Head of Herakles. Fig. 31.—Head of Herakles, from Genzano. British Museum London. on coins of Euagoras I, the king of Salamis in Cyprus during the years 410–374 B. C.1268 We have several examples in sculpture from the fourth century B. C. Thus swollen ears and the victor fillet appear on the Skopaic head in the Capitoline Museum.1269 Another example is the terminal bust of the youthful hero found in 1777 at Genzano, and now in the British Museum (Fig. 31).1270 This head wreathed with poplar170 leaves, is probably a Græco-Roman copy of an original of the fourth century B. C., by an artist of the school of Lysippos. In the group representing Herakles and his son Telephos, a Roman copy in the Museo Chiaramonti of the Vatican, the hero is represented with fillet and battered ears.1271 A Parian marble head, encircled by a crown, in the Glyptothek, going back to a Lysippan bronze original, seems to come from the statue of the hero represented as a victor.1272 Another life-size head, of poor workmanship, in the Chiaramonti collection of the Vatican, sometimes confused with the Doryphoros head-type, seems to come from a statue of Herakles, as shown by the broken ears and rolled fillet, the latter a well-known attribute of the hero taken from the symposium.1273 A much finer replica is the bust from Herculaneum now in Naples.1274 Swollen ears appear also on heads of Ares. We may instance the helmeted one in the Louvre,1275 and especially the replica in the Palazzo Torlonia in Rome.1276 They are less prominent on a Parian marble head of the god in the Glyptothek, which appears to be a copy of an original of which the Ares Ludovisi is a more complete one.1277


Statue of Diomedes with the Palladion.
Statue of Diomedes with the Palladion. Glyptothek, Munich.

So far as we know, the statues of wrestlers, runners (except hoplitodromes), and probably pancratiasts were not distinguished by special attributes. In these cases the sculptor was obliged to express the 171 type of contest in the figure itself. His problem, therefore, was to represent the victor in the characteristic pose of the contest in which he had won his victory, that is, by representing the statue as if in movement. This brings us to the second division of our treatment of victor statues, those which represented the victor not at rest, but in motion, a scheme which, in course of time, was extended not only to victors in wrestling and running, but to those in all contests, by representing them in the very act of contending. The treatment of this class of monuments will occupy the chief portion of Chapter IV.




Plates 22–25 and Figures 32–62.

Just when the important step of representing the victor in motion instead of at rest was taken in Greek athletic sculpture we can not definitely say. The statement of Cornelius Nepos that the statues of athletes were first represented in movement in the fourth century B. C., after the time of the Athenian general Chabrias—whose image he describes as representing Chabrias in his favorite posture with his spear pointed at the enemy and his shield on his knee—has long since been shown to be worthless.1278 Nor is the assumption of many archæologists1279 that this advance in the plastic art was taken over into athletic sculpture soon after the statues of the Tyrannicides were set up at Athens, which represented them in the midst of their impetuous onslaught on Hipparchos, to be relied upon. These statues, however, occupy so important a place in the history of Greek sculpture that we shall consider them briefly in this connection.


The bronze statues of the popular heroes Harmodios and Aristogeiton, by the sculptor Antenor, were, in all probability, set up in the Athenian agora in 506–5 B. C.1280 The group was carried off to Susa by Xerxes in 480 B. C., and to replace it a new group, doubtless a free imitation of the older one, and probably also of bronze, was set up in 477 B. C., the work of the sculptors Kritios and Nesiotes.1281 Nearly a century and a half later the stolen group was restored to Athens by Alexander the Great1282 and the two continued to stand side by side in Athens down to the time of Pausanias. Neither of these groups has survived to our time, but a late Roman marble copy of one, somewhat over life174size, found in the ruins of Hadrian’s villa and now in Naples, gives us a good idea of the original, despite restorations (Fig. 32, Harmodios).1283

Statue of Harmodios
Fig. 32.—Statue of Harmodios. Museum of Naples.

The reconstruction of this group is aided by several minor works of art, reliefs, vase-paintings, coins, lead marks, etc., the number of which shows that it was a common subject for Athenian artists. Botho Graef, by a careful study of the female statue found on the Akropolis in 1886 and inscribed as the work of Antenor, has shown that the stylistic contrast between it and the Naples group is too175 great for the latter to be assigned to Antenor.1284 It is now, therefore, the prevailing view that the Naples group reproduces the later statues of Kritios and his associate.1285 We do not know, then, how the older group looked, but we are certain that it was different from the later one, for, in the years elapsing between the dates of the two, Attic sculptors had become entirely free from the Ionic influence which we discussed in the preceding chapter and which characterizes the female statue of Antenor. Archaic stiffness, however, is still traceable in the later group, for in the copy we see a work which is “concise, sinewy, hard, and with strained lines,” in harmony with Lucian’s characterization of the works of Hegias, Kritios, and Nesiotes.1286

The restorations of the Naples group, though right in the main, make us doubtful as to the exact pose of the original figures.1287 Harmodios has new arms, new right leg, and left leg below the knee, while Aristogeiton has a Lysippan head in place of the original bearded one, to correspond better with that of his companion. His left arm, with the drapery hanging down, has been put on at a wrong angle, as he should be represented holding a scabbard in the left hand and a sword in the right. On a vase fragment (oinochoe) in Boston1288 both heroes are making the onset, the younger one (Harmodios) in front of the other, but in the original statues, they were probably making the onset abreast, something that the vase-painter could not represent.1289

While the Akropolis ephebe, already discussed as showing Argive influence (Fig. 17), still shows but little break with the law of “frontality” formulated by J. Lange,1290 whereby an “imaginary line passing through the skull, nose, backbone, and navel, dividing the body into two symmetrical halves, is invariably straight, never bending to either side,” the Tyrannicides have broken it completely. The ephebe has his head slightly turned to one side, and, because of resemblances in head and body to the figure of Harmodios, has been assigned to Kritios176 or his school.1291 Another statue at rest ascribed to the same school is the athlete in the Somzée collection, which reminds us of the Pelops of the East Gable at Olympia.1292 We have record of one more statue by Kritios himself, which was represented in motion only less violent than that of the Tyrannicides. Pausanias saw on the Akropolis of Athens a statue by him of the hoplite runner Epicharinos, which represented the athlete in the attitude of one practicing starts, perhaps in the very pose of the Tuebingen statuette (Fig. 42).1293

In the statues of the Tyrannicides, then, which might pass equally well for typical athletes of the time, we have examples of statues in motion at the end of the sixth century B. C.; for the same violent action must have characterized the earlier group of Antenor as the later one. We have seen that the Aeginetan sculptors not only made pediment groups in action at a date not later than that of the group by Kritios and Nesiotes, but single figures still earlier. Thus the sculptor Glaukias represented the Karystian boy boxer Glaukos in the act of sparring with an imaginary opponent.1294 Though Glaukos won in Ol. 65 ( = 520 B. C.), his statue was set up later by his son, perhaps as late as the end of the sixth century B. C., or the beginning of the fifth, as the floruit of the sculptor would show.1295 This is the oldest example attested by literary evidence of an athlete statue in motion at Olympia. Whether Glaukias got his motive from Antenor’s Tyrannicides, or whether his work was the older, we can not determine, but it is safe to say that this genre of statuary must have existed at Olympia long before, as we know it did elsewhere. The Rampin head, already discussed as a fragment of a victor statue, shows by the turn of its neck that athlete statues represented in motion existed at least as far back as the first half of the sixth century B. C.1296


Apart from specifically athletic types, we know that statues in motion, especially those representing winged figures, antedated the sixth century B. C. in Greece, and were, perhaps, coeval with the very origin of Greek art.1297 We know that the oldest Egyptian art attempted to177 render the human body in motion. We may instance the limestone funerary statuette dating from the Old Kingdom, which represents a slave woman grinding corn,1298 and similar figures found in the graves of Memphis. In fact, the making of such statues ceased in Egyptian art after the end of the Old Kingdom. While Assyro-Babylonian art represented figures in motion only on reliefs, Cretan art, as we have seen in the first chapter, showed the utmost skill in representing movement in figures in the round. It used to be assumed that in Greek art motion statues developed out of the archaic “Apollo” type through the gradual freeing of legs and arms. Any such assumption is easily disproved by the fact that figures in motion exist, which date back almost as far as figures at rest. It is equally fallacious to argue that slight movement was easier for the early artist to represent than violent movement, for just the contrary was the case, so that in general the greater the movement represented, the greater is the age of the given monument. Early vase-paintings show that the early painter delighted in portraying free movement.1299 It may be that the vase-painter preceded the sculptor in portraying movement, for it was easier to effect this in two dimensions than in three. But that statues in motion were already known at the beginning of the sixth century B. C., at least, is shown by the winged flying figure known as the Nike of Archermos,1300 unearthed on the island of Delos by the French in 1877, which is a masterpiece of early Chian sculpture, perhaps coeval with the statue dedicated to Artemis by Nikandre of Naxos, found a year later on Delos,1301 even though the latter appears more archaic. This earliest example of treating a flying figure in Greek sculpture we find repeated almost unchanged for a long time after, especially for akroteria figures on temples and in the minor arts. We might mention the bronze statuette of the end of the sixth century B. C., found on the Akropolis, which comes from the edge of a vessel and represents a winged Nike springing through the178 air, the legs in profile and the head and upper body turned to the front, just as in the figure of Archermos.1302 Such figures completely disprove the contention of Sikes that the Greek idea of a winged Nike did not antedate the fifth century B. C.1303 The early date of statues represented in a lunging attitude, like the Tyrannicides, is also shown by the story that Herakles destroyed his own statue by Daidalos in the agora of Elis, because in the night he mistook it for an enemy lunging at him. The scheme of combatants fighting with lances seems to have been native to Rhodian art at the end of the seventh century B. C., for we see it first on a painted terra-cotta plate in the British Museum, which represents Hektor and Menelaos fighting for the body of Euphorbos.1304 This pose was taken over into other arts, as we see it in the bronze statuette of a warrior found in Dodona in 1880, now in the Antiquarium in Berlin, which dates from the end of the sixth century B. C., or the beginning of the fifth.1305 All these examples are sufficient to show that representing the human figure in motion was an ancient motive in Greek art.


Besides Kritios, two other sculptors of the transitional period—Pythagoras and Myron—gave a great impetus to the type of statue in motion in the first half of the fifth century B. C. Before proceeding further we shall briefly consider their artistic activity.

The attempt to ascribe something tangible to Pythagoras of Rhegion has often been made.1306 Practically all we really know about him is that he was celebrated for his statues of athletes. Pausanias mentions seven statues at Olympia of victors who won in many different events, in running (including the hoplite-race), wrestling, boxing, and the chariot-race; and Pliny, in giving a list of his works, praises the statue of a pancratiast at Delphi.1307 Thus Pausanias records the statues of179 the Sicilian wrestler Leontiskos, who won two victories in Ols. 81 and 82 ( = 456 and 452 B. C.);1308 of the boy boxer Protolaos of Mantinea, who won in Ol. (?) 74 ( = 484 B. C.);1309 of the boxer Euthymos of Lokroi, who won three times in Ols. 74, 76, 77 ( = 484, 476, 472 B. C.);1310 of Dromeus of Stymphalos, who won the long foot-race (δόλιχος) twice in Ols. (?) 80 and 81 ( = 460 and 456 B. C.);1311 of Astylos of Kroton, who won the stade-race, the double foot-race (δίαυλος) three times, and the hoplite-race twice in Ols. 73, 74, 75, 76 ( = 488–476 B. C.);1312 of the hoplite victor Mnaseas of Kyrene, victor in Ol. 81 ( = 456 B. C.);1313 and of the latter’s son Kratisthenes, who won the chariot-race in Ol. (?) 83 ( = 448 B. C.).1314 Some of these statues at Olympia must have been represented at rest, while others appear to have been represented in motion. Thus the statue of Mnaseas—though it is possible that it was represented in motion like that of Epicharinos by Kritios already mentioned—was probably represented at rest, since Pausanias described it simply as that of an ὁπλίτης ἀνήρ.1315 When we inquire into the style of Pythagoras we do not find much that is definite to guide us. Besides the bare list of his works, we have little except the statement of Diogenes Laertios that he was the first to aim at rhythm and symmetry.1316 Nevertheless many attempts have been made to identify his athlete statues with existing copies. Waldstein’s interpretation of the Choiseul-Gouffier statue in the British Museum (Pl. 7A), and of the so-called Apollo-on-the-Omphalos in Athens (Pl. 7B), as copies of an original athlete statue, is, as we have shown in the second chapter, well-founded, since the muscular build and the coiffure of these statues betoken the athlete. But his further attempt to show that the original was by Pythagoras, and his identifying it with the statue of the boxer Euthymos at Olympia, is not so reasonable.1317

The attempt to ascribe the head of a pancratiast from Perinthos in Dresden (Fig. 33)1318 to Pythagoras is not convincing, though Furtwaengler has included it in his provisional Pythagorean group,1319 as he does the180 boxer in the Louvre known as Pollux (Fig. 58),1320 the athlete of the Boboli Gardens in Florence formerly called Harmodios by Benndorf,1321 and the statue of an athlete of later style in Lansdowne House, London.1322 Other Head of an Athlete. Fig. 33.—Head of an Athlete, from Perinthos. Albertinum, Dresden. scholars have also connected the Perinthos head with Pythagoras.1323 Hermann brought it into relation with the bust in the Riccardi Palace in Florence, which, despite its swollen ears, we have already classed as representing a hero and not an athlete, because of the garment thrown over the shoulder.1324 Furtwaengler tried to show that this bust was Myronian in style, classing it and the head of an athlete in Ince Blundell Hall, Lancashire, England,1325 along with that of the earlier Diskobolos, explaining the acknowledged differences in the three by Pliny’s statement that Myron primus multiplicasse veritatem videtur.1326 Arndt lists the Perinthos, Riccardi, and Ince Blundell heads, together with two others in the Jakobsen collection in Copenhagen,1327 the head of the so-called Pollux of the Louvre, a bearded head in Petrograd,1328 and 181 the so-called head of Peisistratos in the Villa Albani, Rome,1329 as works emanating from one school of sculptors—the differences being explained by the many copyists. But to attempt to differentiate within the group two different sculptors, Myron or Pythagoras, he finds impossible, chiefly because we are dealing in every case with copies and not with originals, and because in no case are we certain that the head belongs to the torso on which it is set.1330 Still another critic, A. Schober, classes together as more or less related works the Riccardi, Ince Blundell, Perinthos, and Ny-Carlsberg heads, the Louvre boxer (Pollux), Chinnery Hermes in the British Museum,1331 the Boboli athlete, the athlete metamorphosed into a Hermes in the Loggia Scoperta of the Vatican, and the Lansdowne athlete, and finds them all Myronian. He believes the Perinthos head to be the prototype of the Riccardi and Ince Blundell heads.1332

In all this confusion of opinion as to the style of Pythagoras, and in the absence of any fixed criterion of judgment furnished by an original authenticated work, it seems hazardous to ascribe this or that sculpture to this little-known artist. The difficulty of separating Myron and Pythagoras is even greater than that which confronts us in trying to distinguish works of Lysippos and Skopas in the next century. We may some day recover a genuine Pythagorean athlete statue, though this is extremely improbable now that we have no more to expect from Olympia and Delphi, where most of his statues appear to have stood. But despite the difficulty, many identifications of his Olympia statues have been suggested, some of which we shall now mention.

As Pausanias says that the victor Mnaseas was surnamed Libys, the Libyan, and that his statue was by Pythagoras, it may be that this is the statue mentioned by Pliny in the words: [Pythagoras] fecit ... et Libyn, puerum tenentem tabellam eodem loco (= Olympiae) et mala ferentem nudum.1333 However, in that case we can not connect the words Libyn and puerum, since one represented a man and the other a boy.1334 Consequently, Pliny is speaking of three different statues, and not two, by this artist. Reisch believes that the statues of the boy and the nude man were represented at rest,1335 the boy bearing a tablet (i. e., an iconic 182πινάκιον) in his hand, like the Athenian youth appearing on a vase-painting in Munich.1336 Another scholar, L. von Urlichs, formerly identified the boy carrying the tablet with the statue of Protolaos at Olympia,1337 explaining the tablet as a means of characterizing the young learner. He changed his theory later,1338 when, in consequence of the discovery of the Corinthian tablets, he called it a votive tablet. His son, H. L. von Urlichs, agreed with him because of a passage in the collection of Proverbs by Zenobios, the sophist of Hadrian’s age,1339 according to which the marble statue of Nemesis at Rhamnous by Pheidias’ favorite pupil, the Parian sculptor Agorakritos,1340 held an apple-branch in her left hand, from which a small tablet containing the artist’s name was suspended, and also because certain coins of Syracuse and Catania represent Nike as carrying a tablet hung by a ribbon, on which the coin-striker’s name was engraved.1341 The same scholar further identified the nude man carrying the apples with the statue of Dromeus at Olympia. Since Pliny does not expressly say that the statue of the nude man was at Olympia, even though the sense of the passage inclines us to think it was, L. von Urlichs interprets the apples in the hand as an additional prize at Delphi, and so makes the statue that of a Pythian victor.1342 All such identifications are based on too uncertain premises.

That Pythagoras did make statues in motion is proved by his statue of a limping man at Syracuse mentioned by Pliny1343 in very realistic terms. We know of other statues by him representing athletes in motion only by inference. Thus, in the passage just quoted, Pliny says that he surpassed Myron with his Delphian pancratiast, which appears, inasmuch as Pliny merely calls the statue a pancratiast without mentioning any attribute, to have been represented in the characteristic lunging pose.1344 However, we can not say definitely, since the contemporary statue of the pancratiast Kallias, by Mikon of Athens, was represented183 in the attitude of rest, as we learn from the footprints on its recovered base.1345 Pliny also says that Pythagoras surpassed with his Delphian pancratiast his own statue of Leontiskos,1346 a statement which similarly appears to mark the latter as a statue in motion. Reisch assumes that the statue of Euthymos was in motion, since Pausanias says it was an ἀνδριὰς θέας ἐς τὰ μάλιστα ἄξιος.1347 On the whole, then, we may assume that Pythagoras was a sculptor who represented many of his victors in the attitude of motion.

Love of movement also characterized the artistic temperament of Myron, even though we know that he represented gods, heroes, and even athletes, at rest. Thus coins show that Athena in his Marsyas group was represented as standing in a tranquil pose.1348 Similarly the Riccardi bust in Florence, already discussed, which may be Myronian, comes from a statue of a hero shown in an attitude of rest. Myron was the first Greek sculptor to make his statues and groups self-sufficient,1349 that is, he gave to them a concentration which does not allow the spectator’s attention to wander. We readily see this new principle in art when we compare the Diskobolos and the group of the Tyrannicides. In the latter our attention is not concentrated, for a third figure, that of the tyrant on whom the onset is being made, is required in imagination to complete the group. We have no originals from Myron’s hand, but we are in far better case in regard to his work than in regard to that of Pythagoras, since we have unmistakable copies of two of his greatest works, the Marsyas and the Diskobolos. In them there is little trace of the archaic stiffness that is still visible in the Tyrannicides. Both of these works are represented in violent action, and in both there is complete concentration. While the Diskobolos represents a trained palæstra athlete executing a graceful movement, the Marsyas represents a wild Satyr of the woods, wholly untrained and controlled by savage passions, in the moment of fear.1350 In the Diskobolos the face is184 impassive, being little affected by the violent movement of the body—a contrast only partly to be explained as due to the copyist; in the Marsyas, on the contrary, there is complete harmony between the facial expression and the violent action of the body.


Statue of the Diskobolos.
Statue of the Diskobolos, from Castel Porziano, after Myron. Museo delle Terme, Rome.

Since we are chiefly dependent for our knowledge of Myron’s athletic work on the marble copies of the Diskobolos, which represents a new era in athletic art, and since this statue is perhaps the most famous athletic statue of all times, it will be well to speak of it here at some length. It is not, so far as we know, the statue of any particular victor, but rather a study in athletic sculpture.1351 Of this work there are twelve full size replicas and several statuettes. We shall discuss only those which give us the best idea of the lost original. The most faithful copy is the superb marble statue in the Palazzo Lancellotti, Rome, discovered on the Esquiline in 1781 (head seen in Pl. 23).1352 As the head has never been broken away from the body, this copy preserves the original pose, whereas all other copies have the head turned in the wrong direction.1353 The head and face preserve Attic proportions and the treatment of the hair and muscles differs from that of the other copies, which disclose later elements. The hair, in particular, shows signs of archaism, just as it must have been treated in the original, as evinced by Pliny’s criticism.1354 The most carefully worked copy, however, is the Parian marble torso, which was found in 1906 at Castel Porziano, the site of the ancient Laurentum, and is now in the Museo delle Terme, Rome (Pl. 22).1355 This torso was already restored in antiquity. Since the villa in which it was found was built in Augustus’ day and was restored in the second century A. D., we have the approximate dates both of the origin and restoration of the statue. A weak copy, discovered in Tivoli in 1791, is in the Sala della Biga of the Vatican; the head, left arm, and right leg below the knee have been restored, the head wrongly (Fig. 34).1356 A Græco-Roman copy discovered also in 1791, in Hadrian’s 185 villa, is in the British Museum (Fig. 35).1357 Here the head, although antique, belongs to another copy, and has been set upon the torso wrongly, in such a way that the throat has two Adam’s apples. It looks straight to the ground and not upward as in the Lancellotti copy. There is a better replica of the torso in the Capitoline Museum, which formerly belonged to the French sculptor Étienne Mounot (1658–1733), who wrongly restored it as a falling warrior. It agrees in accuracy with the Lancellotti copy, though it is dry and lifeless, and is a better guide to the original than either the Vatican or British186 Museum replicas.1358 A combination of these and other copies gives us an excellent idea of the original bronze. In Pl. 23 we give a combination of the Vatican torso and the Lancellotti head from a cast in Munich.1359 Perhaps a better combination is that given by Bulle1360 from a cast made up of the delle Terme body, the Lancellotti head, the right arm and the diskos from the Casa Buonarroti in Florence, the feet from the British Museum copy and the fingers of the left hand being freely restored.

Statue of the Diskobolos
Fig. 34.—Statue of the Diskobolos, after Myron. Vatican Museum, Rome.
Statue of the Diskobolos
Fig. 35.—Statue of the Diskobolos, after Myron. British Museum, London.


Statue of the Diskobolos.
Statue of the Diskobolos, after Myron. A bronzed Cast from the Statue in the Vatican and Head from the Statue in the Palazzo Lancellotti, Rome.

The pose of the Lancellotti copy agrees with Lucian’s description of the original: “Surely, said I, you do not speak of the quoit-thrower who stoops in the attitude of one who is making his cast, turning round 187 toward the hand that holds the quoit, and bending the other knee gently beneath him, like one who will rise erect as he hurls the quoit?”1361 That the head of the original was turned back as in the Lancellotti copy, and not downwards, as in the Vatican, British Museum and other replicas, is shown by this description, which is corroborated by two bronze statuettes in Munich and Arolsen1362 and by a gem in the British Museum.1363 Myron chose the most difficult, but at the same time the most characteristic, moment in swinging the diskos, the moment which combines the idea of rest and motion. The quoit has been swung back as far as it will go. The momentary pause before it is hurled forward suggests rest and at the same time implies motion, both that which has preceded and that which is to follow. It is this short pause at the end of the backward swing which the sculptor has fixed in the bronze. The right arm is stretched backwards as far as possible and draws with it the body with the left arm and head; in another instant the diskos will be hurled and the tension on the right leg relaxed. The original statue rested upon the right foot; the tree trunk is a necessary addition to the marble copies. As Greek art was mostly characterized by repose, we are not surprised that such a daring effect received the censure of the ancient critics. Quintilian says that if any one blames the statue for its labored effect, he is wrong, since the novelty and the difficulty of the work are its chief merits.1364 For a statue of the transitional stage of Greek sculpture it is remarkably bold; only in imagination can we see the action by which the body has got into this position and by which it will recover its equilibrium. It illustrates a principle laid down by Lessing in the Laokoön: “Of ever changing nature the artist can use only a single moment and this from a single point of view. And as his work is meant to be looked at not for an instant, but with long consideration, he must choose the most fruitful moment, and the most fruitful point of view, that, to wit, which leaves the power of imagination free.”1365

Myron was the sculptor of five statues for four victors at Olympia, one of a pancratiast, another of a boxer, a third of a runner, and two of a victor in the hoplite-race and the chariot-race.1366 Pliny also says that188 Myron made statues of pentathletes and pancratiasts at Delphi.1367 Thus he showed as much versatility as Pythagoras in the representation of victors in different contests. None of these statues has survived and the identification of existing Roman copies with any of them is, of course, highly problematical. Thus, a little further on we make the suggestion that the statue of the boxer in the Louvre, commonly known as Pollux (Fig. 58), may be, because of its Myronian character, the statue of the unknown Arkadian boxer at Olympia mentioned by Pausanias (in connection with the boy boxer Philippos) as the work of Myron.1368 Pliny, in the passage just cited, also mentions statues of pristae by Myron, a word which has given rise to many interpretations: e. g., sea-monsters (pristes or pistres), men working with a cross-cut saw (pristae), players at see-saw (pristae?),1369 and boxers (pyctae).1370 The manuscripts are unanimous for pristae, and hence it is probable that a realistic group by Myron is meant, since Myron is often classed as a realist in opposition to Polykleitos, the idealist. Long ago Dalecampius, followed in recent years by Furtwaengler,1371 believed that these pristae formed a votive offering, and H. L. von Urlichs has shown that a group of sawyers as the dedication of some master-builder is quite in harmony with fifth-century traditions.1372 H. Stuart Jones1373 connects the words Perseum et pristas of Pliny’s text, and follows the theory of Mayer1374 that the carpenters or sawyers were a part of a group, which represented the inclosure of Danaë and Perseus in the chest.

While the athletic statues in motion by Pythagoras and Myron became models for later sculptors, especially in the following century,1375 the rest statues of Polykleitos still remained in vogue in works by members of his family and school down through the fourth century, as we have seen in our treatment of the Argive-Sikyonian sculptors at Olympia.


We shall now review the types of victor statues, which reproduced in their pose the various contests, i. e., statues in motion. We shall find189 it convenient to follow in the main the order of contests as they appear on the Oxyrhynchus Papyrus1376—the stade-race (στάδιον), double race (δίαυλος), long race (δόλιχος), pentathlon (πένταθλον), wrestling, (πάλη), boxing (πύξ), pankration (παγκράτιον), hoplite-race (ὁπλίτης), chariot-race (τέθριππον), and horse-race (κέλης)—except that we shall class the four running races (nos. 1, 2, 3, and 11) together and include the three boys’ contests (παίδων στάδιον, πάλη, πύξ, nos. 8, 9, 10) under the corresponding men’s events. The classification of competitors by ages (ἡλικίαι), which varied at different festivals, will need a word of explanation. While athletes at Nemea, the Isthmus, and Delphi were divided into three classes, παῖδες, ἀγένειοι, and ἄνδρες,1377 at Olympia they were divided into two, παῖδες and ἄνδρες.1378 At local competitions there was a more elaborate classification. Thus at the Bœotian Erotidia, boys were divided into younger and older;1379 at the games held on the island of Chios there were five divisions, boys, younger, middle, and older ephebes, and men;1380 and at the Athenian Theseia, the boys were divided into first, second, and third classes, while an open contest also existed for boys of any age.1381 Girls at the Heraia at Olympia were similarly divided into three classes.1382 Plato proposed three classes of athletes in his Laws—παιδικοί, ἄνδρες, and a third class, ἀγένειοι, between boys and men.1383 The classification of athletes at Athens into παῖδες and ἄνδρες, adopted by Boeckh, Dittenberger, and Dumont,1384 is now the one generally followed. According to it the παῖδες were subdivided into three classes, those τῆς πρώτης ἡλικίας, τῆς δευτέρας, and τῆς τρίτης; and so the ἀγένειοι were merely the παῖδες της τρίτης ἡλικίας. The boys, including the ἀγένειοι, ranged from 12 to 18 years old; at 18 they became ἔφηβοι or ἄνδρες.1385 We have already seen that the age of boy victors at Olympia was over 17 and under 20.1386


As we have already remarked in an earlier chapter, we are mostly indebted to Pausanias for our knowledge of the victor statues at Olympia.1387 He mentions in his periegesis of the Altis 192 monuments, which were erected to 187 victors.1388 Some of these victors won in more than one contest, so that there are 258 different victories recorded in all. In the following sections we shall see how these were distributed among the various contests.

Runners: Stadiodromoi, Diaulodromoi, Dolichodromoi.

Running races formed at all times a part of the Greek games and of the exercises of the youth in the gymnasia and palæstræ. A scholiast on Pindar1389 says that the running race had its origin in the first celebration of the Eleusinian mysteries. It figures largely in mythology, especially at Olympia, which also shows its antiquity.1390 In historic times many varieties of running developed, but four chief ones were practised at the great games.1391 First there was the simple stade-race (στάδιον, δρόμος), which was merely the length of the stadion or 600 Greek feet, corresponding with the running race of Homer.1392 Then there was the double race (δίαυλος), twice as long as the preceding, to the end of the course and back again.1393 The long race (δόλιχος, ὁ μακρὸς δρόμος), which Philostratos derives from the institution of messenger runners (hemerodromoi),1394 is variously given as seven, twelve, fourteen, twenty, and twenty-four stades in length, i. e., from about four-fifths of a mile to nearly three miles.1395 Lastly there was the race in armor (ὁπλιτοδρόμος,1396 ὁπλίτης,1397 ἀσπίς.1398) The long race was instituted not so much as a contest of fleetness as of endurance. At Olympia only men were admitted, though there was such a race for boys at Delphi.1399 The191 Cretans were famed in this style of running.1400 The race in armor, which was a double race or two stades at Olympia, we shall discuss further on. Probably the boys’ stade-race at Olympia was shorter than that of the men. Plato, who gives the historic division of running races outlined above, has the boys run one-half of the men’s course and the ephebes (ἀγένειοι) two-thirds.1401 Just so Pausanias has the girl runners at the Olympia Heraia run one-sixth of the men’s stadion.1402

At Olympia, as at the Panathenaia in Athens and probably elsewhere, the first event preceding all others was the stade-race. Pausanias says that it was the oldest event at Olympia,1403 and it existed there all through antiquity from the first recorded Olympiad ( = 776 B. C.), when Koroibos of Elis won.1404 But the notion generally held1405 that the stade-race for men was honored above all other events at Olympia, because the winner became ἐπώνυμος for the Olympiad and because his name occurs in the lists of Africanus for every Olympiad, is incorrect. In two passages Thukydides cites Olympic pancratiasts for dates,1406 and in the earliest inscription which makes use of Olympiads for chronology the later introduced pankration is the event used.1407 The literary supremacy of Athens, where, at the Panathenaia, the stade-race was the most important event, doubtless helped later in making the stade runner at Olympia eponymous. This custom, however, was not generally employed before the third century B. C.

Athletic Scenes from a Bacchic Amphora
Fig. 36.—Athletic Scenes from a Bacchic Amphora in Rome. A. Stadiodromoi and Leaper. B. Diskobolos and Akontistai.
Athletic Scenes from a Sixth-century B. C.
Fig. 37.—Athletic Scenes from a Sixth-century B. C. Panathenaic Amphora. Stadiodromoi (left) and Dolichodromoi (right).

Pausanias dates the introduction of the double foot-race at Olympia in Ol. 14 ( = 724 B. C.).1408 He does not say when the long race was instituted, but Eusebios says that it was in Ol. 15 ( = 720 B. C.).1409 The boys’ stade-race was introduced there in Ol. 37 ( = 632 B. C.).1410 The hoplite-race was inaugurated at the end of the sixth century B. C., in Ol. 65 ( = 520 B. C.).1411 Pausanias mentions 24 stadiodromoi at Olympia, who 192 193 won 32 victories, which makes this event third in importance, next after boxing and wrestling. He mentions 7 victors in the double race with 11 victories, and 5 victors in the long race with 8 victories. He also mentions 12 hoplite victors with 14 victories. Consequently, in all four running events there, he records 48 victors with 65 victories, which brings the running races only to second place in importance at Olympia, ranking next after boxing.1412 The ordinary sprinter or stadiodromos, and the double sprinter, diaulodromos or hoplitodromos, naturally ran differently from the endurance runner or dolichodromos. Panathenaic vases clearly show this difference. Thus while the sprinter swung his arms violently, spreading the fingers apart and touching the ground only with his toes1413 (Figs. 36A and 37, left), the endurance runner, who had to conserve his strength to the last, ran with a long stride, holding his arms bent at the elbow and close to the body, his194 fists doubled and his body slightly bent forward, its weight resting on the ball of the foot, the heel being raised only a little. Thus Philostratos says that the dolichodromoi ran with their hands extended and with their fists balled, but that at the finish they also swung their arms violently like wings.1414 The race (showing balled fists) is seen on a Panathenaic amphora dating from the archonship of Nikeratos (333 B. C.), now in the British Museum, and on another of the sixth century B. C., pictured in Fig. 37 (right).1415 In the diaulos the movement was less violent. Thus on an Athens vase inscribed, “I am a diaulos runner,”1416 the movement is between that of a sprinter and an endurance runner. It seems probable that this difference in the style of running was similarly shown in sculpture.1417 We shall next consider certain sculptural monuments which represent runners.

The typical scheme for archaic and archaistic art was to represent the runner with one knee nearly touching the ground, the upper log forming a right angle with the lower, the other leg being perpendicular to the upper. This scheme appears on many vases and reliefs and in statuettes and statues.1418 This old method of depicting runners was kept up by vase-painters down to the time of the red-figured masters.1419 We see them on many reliefs, e. g., on the Ionic-Greek reliefs on the three archaic bronze tripods of the middle of the sixth century B. C. in the possession of Mr. James Loeb;1420 on a small bronze relief in the Metropolitan Museum in New York which represents a winged Boreas;1421 and on the marble funerary stele of the so-called dying hoplite runner found in 1902 near the Theseion, and now in the National Museum in Athens.1422 Almost the same position as that of the figure on this Athenian relief is195 seen in a small bronze in the Metropolitan Museum, whose primitive features and solidly massed hair date it in the early part of the sixth century B. C.1423 Another slightly larger bronze in the same museum represents Herakles running in a kneeling posture.1424 Because a spearman is incongruous behind a bowman, Kalkmann1425 and Furtwaengler1426 have interpreted the two kneeling figures near either end of the West gable of the temple on Aegina as archaic runners (see Fig. 21, left). We may further compare with these figures the positions, though not the motives, of two others from the West gable at Olympia,1427 as well as that of the kneeling bowman Herakles from the East gable of the temple on Aegina.1428 In this connection we shall also mention the life-size marble torso of a kneeling youth found in Nero’s villa at Subiaco in 1884 and now in the Museo delle Terme, Rome (Pl. 24).1429 This statue, representing a boy of delicate build apparently striding forward with the right leg and bending the left so that the knee nearly touches the ground, has been regarded by some scholars1430 as a runner, whose pose copies the archaic manner, being historically the last example known of its use in sculpture. The right shoulder is turned backward and the head, now missing, was turned back and upwards; the right arm is raised high and twisted about with the palm of the hand facing backward, the left arm extended with its hand in some way related to the right knee. The impression made on the spectator is that of a boy bending aside as if to ward off some danger. It is an excellent piece of work, evidently the marble copy of an original bronze. This has been variously assigned to the fifth, fourth, and even later centuries B. C.,1431 and interpreted in various ways1432—as a Niobid,1433 as Ganymedes swooped196 down upon by the eagle,1434 as Hylas drawn into the water by nymphs when he was filling his pitcher,1435 as a ball-player,1436 as a boy throwing a lasso,1437 as a gable figure,1438 as a runner at the games, etc. Many of these interpretations are purely fanciful; the last is, perhaps, as good as any, though the strongly turned upper body seems not quite fitted to it. If it represents a runner, the sculptor has reproduced the well-known archaic pose.

The Statue of the Runner Ladas.

We shall next consider the famous statue of the runner Ladas by Myron, which is unfortunately known to us only from literary evidence, but which attained in antiquity an even greater fame than his nameless Diskobolos, since it portrayed even more tension than that wonderful work. Its fame was partly due to the picturesque story how the victory cost the runner his life, for he died of strain while on his way home to Sparta; it was also due in no less degree to the striking way in which the victor was depicted.1439

Two fourth-century epigrams tell us of the statue. The first of these runs:

Λάδας τὸ στάδιον εἴθ’ ἥλατο, εἴτε διέπτη,
οὐδὲ φράσαι δυνατόν· δαιμόνιον τὸ τάχος.
[ὁ ψόφος ἦν ὕσπληγγος ἐν οὔασι, καὶ στεφανοῦτο
Λάδας καὶ κάμνων δάκτυλον οὐ προέβη.]1440

The second epigram, naming Myron as the sculptor, runs:

Οἷος ἔης φεύγων τὸν ὑπήνεμον, ἔμπνοε Λάδα,
Θῦμον, ἐπ’ ἀκροτάτῳ πνεύματι θεὶς ὄνυχα,
τοῖον ἐχάλκευσέν σε Μύρων, ἐπὶ παντὶ χαράξας
σώματι Πισαίου προσδοκίην στεφάνου.


Statue of a Kneeling Youth.
Statue of a Kneeling Youth, from Subiaco. Museo delle Terme, Rome.


To these verses are added the following, which Benndorf thinks belonged to another epigram on the same statue:

πλήρης ἐλπίδος ἐστίν, ἄκροις δ’ ἐπὶ χείλεσιν ἆσθμα
ἐμφαίνει κοίλων ἔνδοθεν ἐκ λαγόνων.
πηδήσει τάχα χαλκὸς ἐπὶ στέφος, οὐδὲ καθέξει
ἁ βάσις· ὢ τέχνη πνεύματος ὠκυτέρα.1441

Professor Ernest Gardner translates the two parts of the second epigram as follows:

“Like as thou wast in life, Ladas, breathing forth thy panting soul,1442 on tip-toe, with every sinew at full strain, such hath Myron wrought thee in bronze, stamping on thy whole body thy eagerness for the victor’s crown of Pisa.”

“He is filled with hope, and you may see the breath caught on his lips from deep within his flanks; surely the bronze will leave its pedestal and leap to the crown. Such art is swifter than the wind.”1443

Even if part of the epigram is rhetorical, we can not doubt that Ladas was represented in the final spurt just before he arrived at the goal. His eagerness was not confined to the face—though the panting breath could have been indicated by half opened lips, but was visible in the whole body.1444 Whereas the girl runner of the Vatican (Pl. 2) is represented at the beginning of the race, Myron’s statue represented Ladas at the end of it. Probably the victor was represented with his weight thrown on the advanced foot and with the arms close to the sides and bent at the elbows—a treatment which would have been easy for the sculptor of the Diskobolos. Mahler tried to identify the statue with one of the Naples group of so-called runners (Fig. 51).1445 However, as we shall see, these probably represent wrestlers, and not runners, and neither of them shows any such tension as we should expect from the description of the statue of Ladas. Though Foerster believes that the statue of Ladas stood in Olympia, in honor of his victory in the long race there,1446 we can not say definitely where it was.1447


Statue of a Runner.
Fig. 38.—Statue of a Runner. Palazzo dei Conservatori, Rome.
Statue of a Runner.
Fig. 39.—Statue of a Runner. Palazzo dei Conservatori, Rome.

Perhaps our best representation of runners is to be seen in the two marble statues discovered near Velletri and now in the Palazzo dei Conservatori, Rome (Figs. 38 and 39).1448 The hair and the sharp edges of the modeling of the flesh, as well as the tree-stumps near the right legs, show that these statues are copies of bronze originals. They were at first interpreted as runners, but later were regarded as forming a group of wrestlers, who were standing opposite one another and holding their hands out for an opening. However, there is nothing in the pose or the expression of these statues to show the tension of two opponents. Moreover, they certainly never formed a group, for stylistic differences reveal that they are copies of statues by different artists who lived at different times; one belongs to the severe style of the last quarter of the fifth century,1449 while the other, with its softer forms, smaller head, and deeper-set eyes, is a product of the fourth century B. C.1450199 The prominent edge of the chest is doubtless meant to indicate the hard breathing of a runner.1451 Just in front of the tree-stump on the older statue is to be seen a round hole in the plinth, which may have been made for the end of a club held in the right hand, as such an object is found in other works of art, notably in a statuette from Palermo, which is the copy of a fifth-century B. C. original, and on a second-century B. C. grave-stele from Crete.1452 Its use, however, is not certainly known.

Furtwaengler, by an ingenious process of reasoning, argued that he had recovered an actual statue of an Olympic runner in the so-called Alkibiades, formerly in the Villa Mattei, but now in the Sala della Biga of the Vatican.1453 This torso he ascribed to the sculptor Kresilas, because of its likeness to the Perikles of that master, which once stood on the Akropolis,1454 and to a marble torso in Naples representing a wounded man ready to fall, which he thinks is a copy of the Volneratus deficiens of Kresilas mentioned by Pliny.1455 The Alkibiades is very similar to the Naples gladiator, though later in date; the bearded head, drawn-in stomach, and muscular chest, and the veins in the upper arm are common to both. The restorer of the Vatican statue has placed a helmet under the right foot. But the deep-breathing chest may indicate a runner, as we saw in the case of the statues of the Conservatori just discussed. Furtwaengler has the body bend further forward, so that the right foot may rest upon the ground and the glance be fixed upon the goal, with the arms extended at the elbows, a position proved for the right arm, at least, by the puntello above the hip. As the head200 shows portrait-like features and only those athletes who had won three victories had portrait statues, he has identified the original of the Alkibiades with the statue of the famous stade-runner Krison of Himera, who won his victories at Olympia just after the middle of the fifth century B. C., the approximate date of the Vatican copy.1456 Such an identification appears, however, to be too far-fetched to be convincing.

Statues of Boy Runners.

Statue of the Thorn-puller.
Fig. 40.—Statue of the Thorn-puller (Spinario). Palazzo dei Conservatori, Rome.

Probably the statues of boy runners did not differ essentially from those of men. That they were sometimes represented in motion is shown by the footprints on the recovered base of the statue of Sosikrates by an unknown artist. Here the right foot touched the ground only with the front portion.1457 The view has often been expressed that the bronze statue in the Palazzo dei Conservatori, Rome, known as the201 Spinario (Thorn-puller) portrays a runner (Fig. 40).1458 It represents a boy, from twelve to fifteen years old, seated upon a rock bending over and engrossed in extracting a thorn from his left foot, which rests upon the right knee. The severe hair treatment, low forehead, full cheeks, and strong chin appear to show the ideal beauty of a boy of the period of about 460 B. C. The motive seems to have been inspired directly by nature—witness the supple bend of the back, the delicate arms, the naïve, though not too realistic, concentration of interest in the act portrayed. Few pieces of ancient sculpture have given rise to more discussion and extraordinary difference of opinion than this popular work. One school of archæologists1459 believes it a late adaptation of a Hellenistic original, a more accurate copy being the one in the British Museum, and consequently views it as a purely genre statue impossible of conception before Alexander’s time. According to this view the London copy was an archaistic work of the time of Pasiteles. Another school, however, including Helbig, Wolters, Kekulé, and many others, sees in the Roman statue an original work of 460 to 450 B. C., chiefly because the face shows great similarity to those of the statues of the Olympia gables (especially to that of Apollo)1460. According to this view the statue can not have been a genre work, as such works of decorative character were of later origin, but the motive must be sought in some definite incident—in some myth or historical event. Thus it has been referred to the colonization of the Ozolian Lokroi, whose ancestor Lokros is said to have got a thorn in his foot and to have founded cities near where this occurred in fulfilment of an oracle. Many others, on the other hand, have seen in its motive that of a boy victor in running, who has gained his victory despite a thorn, which he is now pulling out, and who has dedicated his statue to commemorate both the victory and the untoward circumstances under which it was won. It has been assigned to various sculptors and schools—to Myron, Pythagoras, and Kalamis, and to Peloponnesian, Bœotian, and even Sicilian art.1461 The boy’s absorption in his task certainly reminds us of the concentration so characteristic of the Diskobolos of Myron. In determining its age and artistic202 affiliations several things must be considered. In the first place, the Roman statue is a copy, as the rock on which the boy sits is cast with the figure, which would have been impossible in the fifth century B. C. The long hair on this copy, which is short on the one in the British Museum, falls down the neck, but not over the cheeks, as it should on a head which is thus bent downwards. Pasiteles almost certainly would have tied it with a ribbon. This shows that the original was the work of an artist who was used to making standing statues, and was not aware of the change in the representation of the hair brought about by drooping ones. Such considerations, in conjunction with the archaic facial characteristics, almost certainly refer the original work to the fifth century B. C., a date when genre statues, produced for adornment, did not exist. Consequently a definite incident must be represented by it, and it is quite possible that this incident should be sought in athletic sculpture in the representation of a boy runner.

The Thorn-puller became a model for many imitations from the beginning of Hellenistic times on. These imitations tended to greater realism and consequently to the debasement of the original conception, for they were made to represent peasants, shepherds, satyrs, and even negroes. The motif was also transferred to figures of girls, as, e. g., in the fragment of a terra-cotta statuette found in 1912 at Nida-Haddernheim.1462 In the early Empire it was frequently copied in marble, and again, during the Renaissance, the motive was used for small bronzes.1463 Of Hellenistic copies, showing how the motive deteriorated, we shall mention only two: the marble one found on the Esquiline, in 1874, and known as the Castellani copy, now in the British Museum,1464 the sculptor of which has made it into a truly genre fountain figure by transforming the noble features of the beautiful Greek runner into the snub nose and thick lips of a street Arab, and the still later bronze statuette found near Sparta and now in the Paris collection of Baron Edmund de Rothschild,1465 which represents the boy extracting the thorn in anger.

Similarly the so-called Sandal-binder—with replicas in Paris (Fig. 8), London, Athens, Munich, and elsewhere, has been looked upon, without decisive grounds, to be sure, as a runner who is tying on his sandals203 after the race.1466 We have already discussed this statue in Chapter II, in connection with the subject of assimilation.


The race in armor had a practical value in the training of soldiers, and so became a popular sport, since it appealed not only to the trained athlete, but to the citizen in general. It belonged to “mixed athletics,”1467 i. e., to competitions which were conducted under handicap conditions, such as our obstacle races, and consequently it never attained the prestige of the strictly athletic events. It came last among the gymnic contests at Olympia and elsewhere,1468 being followed by the equestrian events. It seems to have varied in different places in the distance run, in the armor of the runner, and in the rules which governed the race. At Olympia, as at Athens, it appears to have been a diaulos or a race of two stadia.1469 The most strenuous race of the sort was run at the Eleutheria at Platæa, where the contestants were completely enveloped in armor1470 and were subject to peculiar rules. At Olympia the competitors originally ran with helmets, greaves, and round shields, as we infer from scenes on archaic vases and from the statement of Pausanias that the statue of the first victor in this event, Damaretos of Heraia, was represented with these arms.1471 In this passage Pausanias adds that the Eleans and other Greeks later (ἀνὰ χρόνον) gave up the greaves, and we find that they disappear on the vase-paintings.1472 Hauser has shown that the vase-paintings, which, however, mostly illustrate the Athenian practice, display a varied custom in respect of the use of the greaves before about 520 B. C., the general use of them until about 450 B. C., and after that date their disuse.1473 The helmet disappeared204 after the greaves, but the shield was never given up.1474 Thus the bronze statue of Mnesiboulos of Elateia, a victor (σὺν τῇ ἀσπίδι) of Pausanias’ day, which stood in “Runner Street” of his native city, appears to have been represented with the shield.1475 It was for this reason that the event was later sometimes called merely ἀσπίς.1476 The shields that appear on the vases are always round and the helmets are Attic.1477 The gradual reduction in the amount of the armor may have been a concession to the regular athletes, who probably looked upon the contest as a spurious sort of athletics. As for the style of the race, the hoplite runners seem to have run somewhat as the stade and double-course runners, i. e., with their right hands up and their arms violently swinging.1478

Fig. 41.—Hoplitodromes. Scenes from a r.-f. Kylix. Museum of Berlin.

The picturesqueness of such a race appealed especially to vase-painters, who have given us all the details of the event. The preparations for the race are seen on a red-figured kylix from Vulci, now in Paris, ascribed to Euphronios (Panaitios), on which one runner is donning his armor, while others are practising preliminary runs.1479 The start is seen in the right-hand figure depicted on a r.-f. kylix in Berlin (Fig. 41, a).1480 On another r.-f. kylix we see a pair of hoplites, one slowing up before reaching the central post, the other turning it.1481 The finish is seen on an obscene r.-f. kylix from Vulci in the style of Brygos, in the British Museum, where the bearded winner, with his helmet in his hand, looks back on his rival, and the latter, apparently in disgust, drops his shield.1482 The most complete illustration of the race is to be seen on the r.-f. Berlin kylix just mentioned (Fig. 41, a, b, c.) Here on one side is a group of three runners; the right-hand one is bending over, ready to start; the one at the left is about to turn the central post, and the one in the centre, who is turned in an opposite direction, is on the home stretch; on the other side of the vase are three runners in full course, while another appears on the interior of the vase.1483 Some vases seem to show that205 the contest often had a semi-comic character, the variations in running being used to amuse the spectators. Thus the shield might be dropped and picked up again,1484 or it might be held in a peculiar manner.1485 This comic element is brought out in the Aves of Aristophanes, in a scene in206 which Peisthetairos, while observing the chorus of birds advancing with their crests (λόφωσις), compares them with hoplite runners advancing to begin the race.1486 The regular painter outdid the vase-painter Bronze Statuette of a Hoplitodrome. Fig. 42.—Bronze Statuette of a Hoplitodrome (?). University Museum, Tuebingen. in representing the runner in violent motion, if we may rely on Pliny’s description of two paintings of hoplites by Parrhasios.1487 In one of these the runner was represented as perspiring as he ran, while in the other he was represented as having laid aside his arms and panting so realistically that the observer seemed to hear him.

We have few representations of hoplitodromes in sculpture. In the preceding chapter we discussed the two marble helmeted heads found at Olympia (Fig. 30), one of which shows that the statue of which it was a part was represented at rest, while the other, because of the twist in the neck, seems to have come from a statue which represented the runner in violent motion. Pausanias saw on the Athenian Akropolis the statue of the hoplite runner Epicharinos, the work of the sculptor Kritios, represented as practising starts (ὁπλιτοδρομεῖν ἀσκήσαντος).1488 In the well-known Tux bronze in the University Museum at Tuebingen, we have a statuette in which the position of the statue of Epicharinos is probably reproduced. This little bronze, which is only 0.16 meter tall (Fig. 42),1489 represents a bearded man, entirely nude, except for the Attic helmet on his head, standing with feet close together, knees slightly bent, and body inclined forward. 207The right arm is extended, while the left, crooked at the elbow, rests upon the hip. While Schwabe and Wolters, following the early theory of Hirt and of the sculptor Dannecker, interpreted the bronze as the figure of a charioteer, whose left hand was drawn back to hold the reins and whose right was outstretched in a gesture intended to quiet the horses, Hauser, de Ridder, Bulle, and many other archæologists have interpreted it better as a hoplitodrome. The left arm, then, carried a round shield, such as we have seen on Attic vases. The next moment the right leg will be advanced, the shield, held back to get a better start, will be pushed forward, and the runner will race to the goal in a series of leaps, since the weight of the shield would prevent him from following the more regular motion of the ordinary runner. It probably represents, therefore, a hoplite runner, not in the actual course, as Hauser thought, but practicing a preliminary start, as de Ridder argued. If the figure represented a charioteer, the legs would have been set farther apart, in order to give a firmer position, and it would not be represented as standing on a base, nor would it be wearing a helmet. The statuette stylistically belongs to the opening years of the fifth century B. C., and may well be a free imitation of a life-size original of such statues of hoplites as stood in the Altis at Olympia. Despite the energy depicted in this figure, it is rash to connect it with the Aeginetan sculptures, as Wolters and Collignon have done, since a comparison between it and the Champion of the East gable1490 will show great differences. Brunn ascribed the original to Pythagoras; de Ridder, with reservations, to Kritios and Nesiotes; while Bulle is more reasonable in referring it to an important though unnamed artist of the early fifth century B. C.

Hartwig has published a bronze statuette from Capua,1491 now in the Imperial collection at Vienna, representing a nude youth with a crested helmet on his head. There is no trace of a shield, but the helmet and the similarity of the pose to that of the Tuebingen bronze make it probable that this statuette also represents a hoplitodrome starting. The so-called Diomedes of Myronian style in the Palazzo Valentini, Rome,1492 whose stooping posture recalls the Diskobolos and accordingly has been interpreted as one by Matz and von Duhn, more probably also represents a hoplite-runner, as Furtwaengler maintained, because of the similarity of its pose to that of the Tux bronze and because of its helmeted head.1493


Statue of the so-called Borghese Warrior.
Fig. 43.—Statue of the so-called Borghese Warrior.
Louvre, Paris.

Some other attempts to see hoplite runners in existing works of sculpture have not been so successful. Thus Rayet’s attempt to resuscitate the old interpretation of Quatremère de Quincy, who had explained the statue of the so-called Borghese Warrior by Agasias of Ephesos (Fig. 43) as that of a hoplitodrome just before reaching the goal, has been recently revived again by Six.1494 This famous marble statue of the Louvre, belonging to late Greek art, is an example of the last development in the Argive-Sikyonian school, which for centuries had been209 devoted to athletic sculpture.1495 Since the statue has no helmet, there seems to be no valid reason for not adhering to the usual interpretation, according to which it represents a warrior—by restoring the lost right arm and hand with a sword—who is defending himself against a foe above him, conceived of as seated upon a horse. The attitude and the upward gaze are certainly not those of a runner. Though Collignon, following Visconti, believes the figure to be one of a group, the man actually defending himself against a horseman and covering himself with his shield as he looks up, it is doubtful whether a second figure ever existed. The artist seems to have contented himself with representing, not a fight, but only a fighting pose. We are beginning to understand that the Greek sculptor left something to the imagination of the beholder.

An attempt has also been made to see a dying hoplite runner in the Parian marble archaic grave-relief in the National Museum in Athens, which has already been mentioned as an example of the archaic scheme of representing running.1496 It represents a beardless youth running in a half-kneeling posture, even though the head is bent and turned in the opposite direction. The eyes appear to be closed—due, perhaps, to the faulty sculptor—and the two hands are touching the breast. While no shield is represented (it is contended that its presence would nearly hide the figure), still, because of the helmet and the position of the arm, which latter is obviously that of a long-distance runner, Philios, followed by Perrot-Chipiez and Bulle, explained it as the representation of a hoplite runner who is expiring at the end of his course. They date it about 520 B. C.,1497 the date of the introduction of this race at Olympia. However, the absence of the shield, to say nothing of the greaves, seems an insuperable objection to such an hypothesis, as the shield was never omitted in this race, but was invariably its symbol. Svoronos is therefore more probably right in interpreting the relief as the monument of a military runner (δρομοκῆρυξ), even if his dating (490–480 B. C.) is somewhat too late,1498 and if his identifying it with some particular messenger (such as the Athenian runner Pheidippides, who ran to Sparta for aid just prior to the battle of Marathon) is fanciful.



The peculiar features of the pentathlon (πένταθλον) were the three events, jumping, diskos-throwing, and javelin-throwing. All five events are summed up in Simonides’ epigram on the pentathlete Diophon, who won at Delphi and on the Isthmus, the second line of which runs: ἅλμα, ποδωκείην, δίσκον, ἄκοντα, πάλην.1499

The pentathlon did not exist in Homer’s time. Pindar expressly says that it did not exist in heroic days, but that then a separate prize was given for each feat.1500 At the games on Scheria, King Alkinoos boasts to Odysseus of the superiority of his countrymen in πύξ τε παλαισμοσύνῃ τε καὶ ἅλμασιν ἠδὲ πόδεσσιν.1501 The pentathlon for men was introduced at Olympia at the same time as wrestling toward the end of the eighth century, in Ol. 18 ( = 708 B. C.),1502 and the pentathlon for boys eighty years later, in Ol. 38 ( = 628 B. C.), only to be stopped soon after.1503 Pausanias mentions fifteen victors at Olympia, who had statues erected in their honor, for seventeen victories in the pentathlon, thus giving the pentathletes sixth rank there in point of number.

The b.-f. Bacchic amphora in Rome already discussed represents four events out of the five: running, leaping, diskos-throwing, and akontion-throwing (Figs. 36 A and 36 B).1504 On several Panathenaic vases we find one or more events, and the three characteristic ones on several, one of which we here reproduce (Fig. 44).1505

The various events are common on r.-f. vases,1506 though these may not represent the pentathlon contests, but merely gymnasium scenes,211 showing that such contests were important. We have already said that the pentathlon represented the whole physical training of Greek youths; consequently the pentathlete was looked upon as the typical athlete, being superior to all others in all-round development, even if surpassed by them in certain special events. It was for this reason that Polykleitos, in order to embody the principles of his athlete canon, made a statue of a javelin-thrower (the Doryphoros) as the best example of an all-round man.

Fig. 44.—Pentathletes. Scene from a Panathenaic Amphora in the
British Museum, London.

None of the statues of pentathletes at Olympia has been recovered with certainty in Roman copies. That some of them were represented at rest is shown by the base of the statue of the victor Pythokles of Elis, by the elder Polykleitos, which has been recovered.1507 This base supported two different statues in succession. The feet of the earlier one by Polykleitos were riveted into circular holes, and behind the right foot on the upper surface of the base was inscribed the artist’s name, while the victor’s appeared on the vertical front. This statue was later removed and was replaced by another, whose pose was different, as we see from the footmarks, which show that the feet were attached with lead in hollows. Probably the old inscription was renewed in archaic212 letters when this second statue was set up, the older letters being retained, perhaps, to conceal the theft. The original statue was removed by the first century B. C., or perhaps under Nero;1508 the new one was also inscribed as the work of Polykleitos. A base of the Hadrianic or Antonine age has been found in Rome, inscribed with the names Polykleitos and Pythokles.1509 Since the footmarks do not agree with those of either one of the Olympia statues, Petersen believes that the existing footmarks are due to an older use of the base and that they have nothing to do with the statue of Pythokles. Perhaps the statue on the Roman base was the original one by Polykleitos removed from Olympia to Rome, though it is possible that it was only a copy, the original being elsewhere in Rome. While the later statue at Olympia had the feet squarely on the ground, the original one stood on the right foot, the left being drawn back and turned out, touching the ground only with the ball. Hence the left knee must have turned outwards, a natural position, if the head of the statue was turned slightly to the left. In other words, this is the usual Polykleitan scheme. Furtwaengler has made a strong though hardly convincing attempt to identify this original statue with a copy surviving in two replicas at Rome and Munich, which, as he believes, fit the conditions of the statue of Pythokles.1510 These copies represent a nude youth standing with the weight of the body on the right leg, the left drawn back and outwards. The head is turned to the left, the right arm is held close to the side (the hand, perhaps, once holding a fillet), and the left forearm is outstretched from the elbow and holds an aryballos in the hand. The two works are manifestly Polykleitan in style—the body, head, and hair treatment resembling that of the Doryphoros. He assumed that the feet corresponded in scale with the footmarks on the Olympia base.

Helbig, in the first edition of his Fuehrer, recognized the kinship between the Vatican statuette and the Doryphoros of Polykleitos, and was prone to accept Furtwaengler’s identification; but later on, in the third edition, he ascribed the statuette only to the Polykleitan circle and denied that its foot position corresponded with that of the Pythokles base. Amelung also, while accepting its Polykleitan character, has shown that the feet of the statuette are closer together than those on the Olympia base and are placed at a slightly different angle. As for the Munich statue, both Helbig and Amelung have ruled it out of the213 evidence. The head, though similar to that of the statuette, also discloses marked differences, and the legs of the two works do not have the same pose. Loewy agrees with Amelung that the statue of Pythokles conformed with the type of the Diadoumenos—especially Statue of a Boy Victor. Fig. 45.—Statue of a Boy Victor (the Dresden Boy). Albertinum, Dresden. with the Vaison copy (see Fig. 28)—and with that of the Doryphoros.1511 We can not, therefore, safely assume that the statue of Pythokles has been recovered in any existing copy.1512 A further variant of the works just discussed should be mentioned here—the beautiful marble statue of a boy victor in Dresden, known as the Dresden Boy (Fig. 45).1513 In this statue the leg position is nearly like that indicated by the marks on the Pythokles basis, though the left foot is not set so far back nor its tip so far out. The head is turned to the left and slightly lowered, the right arm hung to the side, and the left forearm was outstretched, the hand doubtless holding some athletic article, at which the boy is looking down, perhaps a diskos1514 or a fillet. This beautiful athlete statue has many stylistic points in common with the Diadoumenos, and shows similar Attic influence, and its original may be referred with Furtwaengler to the later period of the master himself. It gives us an excellent idea how Polykleitos may have made his Olympia boy victors appear. A more remote variant seems to be furnished by a fourth-century B. C. bronze statuette of a youthful athlete in the Louvre.1515 Here the position of the feet, the214 turn of the head, and the direction of the gaze are the same as in the Dresden Boy. However, as the right arm is raised horizontally, Furtwaengler believed that the right hand held a fillet which the youth is letting fall into the palm of the left.

That statues of pentathletes at Olympia were also represented in motion is shown by the footmarks on the recovered base of one of the two statues mentioned by Pausanias as set up in honor of the Elean Aischines, who won two victories some time between Ols. 126 and 132 ( = 276 and 252 B. C.).1516 These marks show that the statue represented the victor in violent movement, since the left foot was turned outwards and the right one was brought almost to the edge of the base.

We shall next consider in some detail how the pentathlete may have been represented at Olympia in the three characteristic contests of jumping, diskos-throwing, and javelin-throwing. We have already discussed the runner, and in a future section we shall discuss the wrestler, both of whom contended in these events not only in the pentathlon, but also in the corresponding independent competitions.


Jumping was a well-known contest in heroic days. In Homer, however, it did not take place at the games of Patroklos, but only at those held by King Alkinoos.1517 Quintus Smyrnæus has the Trojan heroes contend in jumping,1518 and the contest goes back to mythology.1519 Though Plato does not mention it, Aristotle does.1520 Later it became an essential part of the pentathlon, though never an independent contest at the great games. It was probably considered to be the most representative feature of the pentathlon, perhaps because of the customary use of the halteres in the physical exercises of the gymnasium. Jumping-weights were, in fact, the special symbol of the pentathlon, and, as we saw in the preceding chapter, were often the definitive attributes indicated on statues of pentathletes.1521 We shall next discuss the appearance and use of such jumping-weights. Their form is often a sure indication of the date of a statue.

Juethner has made a careful study of the different shapes of halteres and his conclusions have been followed, for the most part, by Gardiner.1522 The halteres do not appear in Homer, but were in existence at least by the beginning of the sixth century B. C., and a little later they probably appeared on pentathlete statues. To this period belongs the lead215 weight from Eleusis now in Athens, whose inscription records that it was dedicated by one Epainetos to commemorate his victory in jumping.1523 On vase-paintings of the sixth and fifth centuries B. C., we see numerous types, but two main ones. Early b.-f. vases show a semicircular piece of metal or stone with a deep depression on one side for a finger grip, the two club-like ends being equal (as in Figs. 36A and 44). In the early fifth century B. C., a club-like type came in, which shows many modifications in the size and shape of the ends.1524 In the fifth century B. C., the second main type appeared, of an elongated semispherical form, thickest in the middle and with the ends pointed or rounded. These correspond with the “archaic” ones, which Pausanias saw on the figure of Agon in the dedicatory group of Mikythos at Olympia1525 and describes as forming half an elongated circle and so fastened as to let the fingers pass through. We have two stone examples of this type: one found at Corinth, now in the Polytechnic Institute in Athens,1526 in which a hole is cut behind the middle for the fingers and thumbs, and a more primitive single one from Olympia.1527 Philostratos divides the Greek jumping-weights into “long” and “spherical,”1528 which Juethner identifies with the two types just discussed. Gardiner, however, finds this impossible, since Pausanias speaks of one type as “archaic,” and he consequently thinks that these were no longer in use in the time of Philostratos. After the fifth century B. C. we have little evidence about halteres until Roman days, when a cylindrical type appears on Roman copies of Greek statues of athletes, on mosaics and wall-paintings.1529 Thus it appears on the tree-trunk in two athlete statues in Dresden1530 and the Pitti Gallery in Florence,1531 and on the Lateran athlete mosaic from Tusculum of the imperial period.1532 In Roman days jumping-weights were used for the most part in medical gymnastics, like our dumb-bells.1533


Philostratos says that the jump was the most difficult part of the pentathlon.1534 It never existed as an independent competition despite its popularity in Greece. This popularity is attested by the frequency with which it is depicted on vases from the sixth century B. C. onward. Here the jumper is regularly shown with weights, and we can assume that many pentathlete statues were so represented, the sculptor ordinarily copying the kind of weight which was in use in his own age. While Philostratos in his day thought that the use of weights was merely to aid in exercise, Aristotle long before had rightly understood that the jumper could make a longer jump with than without them,1535 a fact easily proved by the feats of modern jumpers. While the modern record for the running broad jump is 25 feet 3 inches,1536 an English athlete jumped 29 feet 7 inches with the use of 5-pound weights,1537 and a German officer in full uniform jumped 23 feet from a springboard.1538 The recorded jumps of Phaÿllos at Delphi and of Chionis at Olympia, the former 55 feet and the latter 52, can not, however, be explained as ordinary broad jumps, even if we assume that the Greek jumper was far superior to the modern one. Such jumps would be impossible even with springboards or raised platforms, and we have no evidence that the Greeks used such devices. We might explain them on the theory of triple jumps1539—though the difficulty of such a solution is very great—or simply as mistakes in the records. Thus the record of Phaÿllos is found in a late epigram, in which this athlete is also said to have thrown the diskos 105 feet.1540 That of Chionis is, to be sure, given by Africanus.1541 But it is more than probable that νβʹ (52) of his record should read κβʹ (22), since the Armenian Latin text reads duos et viginti cubitus.1542

Vase-paintings tell us how the halteres were used.1543 The jumper swung them forward and upward until they were level with or higher than the head; then he brought them down, bending the body forward until the hands were below the knees, the jump taking place on the return swing. We find the preliminary swing represented most commonly on the vases;1544 we also see on them the top of the upward217 swing,1545 the bottom of the downward swing,1546 the jumper in midair,1547 and the moment just before alighting.1548 The act of landing is seen on an Etruscan wall-painting from a tomb at Chiusi.1549 Running jumps are the ones most commonly depicted.1550

The representation of the jump, therefore, was specially adapted to the vase-painter and not to the sculptor. If any movement in the jump could have been represented to advantage in sculpture, it would have been the early position in which the weights were swung forward and upwards. This is the one represented on an incised bronze diskos from Sicily now in the British Museum,1551 where an athlete, with his right leg drawn back for the spring, is holding the weights in his outstretched hands. A small finely modelled bronze statuette dating from the middle of the fifth century B. C., in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, may represent a jumper either just taking off, or perhaps just finishing the jump.1552 The athlete is standing with his left foot advanced, his knees bent back, and his body leaning forward, and is holding both arms in front, the palms downwards. Such a concentrated attitude reminds us strongly of Myron, under whose influence this statuette must have been made. Some have interpreted it as the representation of a diver, though the hands seem to be held too far apart and the body wrongly poised for that position, as we see it in a statuette of a diver from Perugia.1553 More likely a jumper is intended, as the attitude is very similar to that depicted on several vases.1554 However, as the jumper has no218 halteres, it can not represent a pentathlete, but must be an ordinary gymnasium athlete.


The diskos-throw (δισκοβολία) goes back to mythology and heroic days.1555 In Homer, at the games of Patroklos, Achilles casts a metal mass called the σόλος.1556 This was the primitive type of diskos. Of such early contests and feats of strength we have a good record in the red-sandstone mass, weighing 143.5 kilograms ( = 315 pounds), which has been found at Olympia, marked with a sixth-century inscription to the effect that one Bybon threw it over his head.1557 There is nothing athletic, however, about the use of such a stone or of the Homeric solos. The diskos was also known to Homer.1558 It was of stone, and in Pindar the heroes Nikeus, Kastor, and Iolaos still hurl the stone diskos instead of the metal one of the poet’s day.1559 The stone diskos appears on sixth-century vases as a white object,1560 but metal ones were introduced at the end of the sixth century B. C. A bronze one from Kephallenia (?) in the British Museum has a sixth-century inscription in the Doric dialect and in the alphabet of the Ionian Islands, which gives the dedication of Exoïdas to the Dioskouroi.1561 Several others have been found in different parts of Greece, especially at Olympia.1562 Pausanias says that boys used a lighter diskos than men.1563

While only unimportant monuments outside of vase-paintings illustrate the jump, those illustrating the diskos-throw are rich and varied, including not only vases, but statues, statuettes, small bronzes, reliefs, coins, and gems.1564

In his careful attempt at reconstructing the method of casting the diskos, E. N. Gardiner has distinguished seven different positions,219 which are illustrated by the monuments.1565 He shows that while the swing of the quoit was always the same, i. e., in a vertical and not in a horizontal arc, and the throw was invariably made from a position like that of Myron’s statue, the preliminary and certain other movements varied. It will be well, before discussing representations of the diskos-thrower in sculpture, very briefly to recapitulate his summary of positions, using the evidence which he and others have collected. First, the preliminary position or stance, with three variations: either the position of the Standing Diskobolos of the Vatican (Pl. 6), which occurs in bronzes, but not on vases; or the position in which the diskobolos raises the quoit with the left hand level with the shoulder, which occurs on vase-paintings;1566 or that in which the diskos is held outwards in both hands level with the waist.1567 From any of these stance positions, either with or without change of feet, we reach the second position, in which the diskos is raised in both hands and extended either horizontally to the front and level with the head,1568 or held above the head.1569 Thirdly the diskos is swung downwards and rests upon the right forearm, with either foot forward.1570 This position leads up to that of Myron’s statue, in which the diskos is swung as far back as possible (Pls. 22, 23, and Figs. 34, 35).1571 The fifth220 position is the beginning of the forward swing, when the body is straightened.1572 As the diskos swings downwards and the left foot advances, the sixth position is reached.1573 Lastly the right foot is advanced after the diskos is cast.1574

A victor statue of a diskobolos might conceivably have taken Bronze Statuette of a Diskobolos. Fig. 46.—Bronze Statuette of a Diskobolos. Metropolitan Museum, New York. any one of these seven positions. We have already considered the two statues, the Standing Diskobolos of Naukydes in the Vatican (Pl. 6) and that of Myron (Pls. 22, 23, and Figs. 34, 35), the two most important works in sculpture to illustrate positions of the throw. The statue of Naukydes is not taking aim, as Juethner maintains, nor looking down the course. The head is inclined a little to the right and downwards, and the eyes are directed to the ground only a short distance away, thus measuring the distance the left foot is to be advanced, when the diskos is finally swung forward for the cast, which takes place off the left and not off the right foot. The right forearm is rightly restored, as it thus appears on bronzes which imitate this stance.1575 A different stance is shown in a fine bronze statuette in the Metropolitan Museum (Fig. 46),1576 dating from about221 480 B. C. This little masterpiece of the transition period of Attic art, still disclosing archaic traits, represents a diskobolos standing firmly on both legs, the right being slightly advanced, and holding with the left hand the diskos level with the head. That he is preparing for intense action is seen by the way in which the toes catch the ground. Though the right arm is broken off from below the shoulder, we can infer from vase-paintings which show diskoboloi in the same position1577 that it was lowered and bent at the elbow and the hand left open. From this position the diskos will be raised high above the head with both hands, as in a bronze in Athens,1578 which illustrates Gardiner’s second position.

The movement is carried a little further—showing the moment of transition to the downward swing or third position—in a fifth-century B. C. bronze in the British Museum.1579 Here a nude, beardless athlete is represented standing with the right foot advanced and holding the diskos in both hands before him above the head. The right hand grasps the quoit underneath and the left at the top.1580 The third position is well illustrated by the tiny archaic bronze on the cover of a lebes in the British Museum,1581 which represents a nude and beardless youth standing with the left foot advanced and with the left hand raised, while the right holds the diskos. Almost the same pose is also seen in a small bronze in the Antiquarium, Berlin.1582

Two archaic statuettes from the Akropolis, now in the National Museum in Athens, and recently published, should be mentioned in this connection.1583 The more archaic of these represents a youth in an attitude which has been misunderstood. De Ridder interpreted it as a dancing man, while Staïs thought it represented a youth walking along with his left hand raised as if to ward off a blow. White, however,222 showed that it (like another less perfect example from the Akropolis, no. 6594) represents a diskobolos standing with the right foot advanced and holding the diskos in front of the body with the right hand, resting it against the flat of the forearm, while the left arm is raised above the head. Thus it is another example illustrating the initial stage of Gardiner’s third position. The other statuette, wrongly mounted, should, according to White, be made to lean further forward; the knees are bent, the body swung forward from the hips, the head thrown back and upward, the right arm stretched forth with the flat of the forearm uppermost and the left similarly placed. Gardiner and Staïs interpreted this figure as a charioteer, and de Ridder as either a jumper, who has raised his halteres preparatory to the leap, or a diskobolos. White has shown that the position of the right arm proves it to be a diskobolos, represented in a movement between Gardiner’s third and fourth positions, just prior to that of Myron’s statue. De Ridder believed both statues to be Aeginetan, but no. 6614, when compared with Myron’s statue, is certainly Attic, and resemblances in the treatment of the hair, eyes, and mouth show that both statuettes are of the same school. It has often been said that Myron’s great statue had no predecessor, as it certainly had no successor. Its fame was enhanced by the assumption that Myron passed at one stride from such statues as the Tyrannicides to that complex work. Such works, however, as these statuettes—especially no. 6614—show that the preliminary problems had been solved on a humble scale before Myron undertook his consummate work. Here, then, we have works by artists who belonged to the very movement which produced Myron.

For the last three positions analyzed by Gardiner (nos. 5, 6, 7) our only illustrations appear to be vase-paintings.


Javelin-throwing (ἀκοντίζειν, ἀκοντισμός) was very old and was universal in Greece, its origin being traced back to mythology.1584 Stassoff tried to trace it to Oriental sources,1585 but inasmuch as no such contest is shown on the monuments of Egypt or Assyria, Juethner is probably right in assuming that it was Greek in origin. In Homer it was a separate contest at the games of Patroklos.1586 Juethner has distinguished two types of javelin-throwing in the historical period: one in which the spear or akontion was pointed more or less upwards,1587 the other in which223 it was held horizontally.1588 Only the former type is represented in illustrations of purely athletic competitions, the latter type referring to illustrations of the practical use of javelin-throwing, i. e., in war or in the chase. Vase-paintings of palæstra scenes almost invariably show javelins with blunt points; the throwers’ heads are frequently turned back before the throw, and there is no sign of any target. On vase-paintings, however, which represent practical javelin-throwing from horseback, the javelins are pointed. This proves that in athletic contests the throw was for distance and not at a mark.1589 The javelin used in Greek games had several names, ἄκων, ἀκόντιον, etc.1590 It was about the height of a man, as we know from its appearance on a Spartan relief,1591 and from many vase-paintings representing palæstra scenes (Fig. 44). It was thrown by means of a thong (ἀγκύλη, Lat. amentum), which was fastened near the centre and consisted of a detachable leathern strip from 12 to 18 inches long. This was bound tight, with a loop left, into which the thrower inserted his first and middle fingers.1592 The method of casting is seen on many vases.1593 Gardiner has analyzed three different positions from vase-paintings. Usually the throw was made with a short run, though standing throws are also pictured.1594 First the thrower extends the right arm back to its full length and, with the left hand opposite the right breast, holds the end of the spear and224 pushes it back, holding it downwards or horizontally.1595 Next he starts to run, turning his body sidewise and extending his left arm to the front. On a r.-f. Munich kylix1596 we see the first and second positions. The youth on the left is steadying the javelin with the left hand, while the one on the right has just let it go. A further turn of the body to the right takes place and the right knee is bent, while the right shoulder is dropped and the hand is turned outwards.1597 The actual cast is very uncommon on vase-paintings, because of difficulty in representing it.1598

Because of the assumed lack of sculptural monuments, Reisch1599 and Bust of the Doryphoros. Fig. 47.—Bust of the Doryphoros, after Polykleitos, by Apollonios. Museum of Naples. others have wrongly doubted whether javelin-throwers were represented in sculpture as victors. There certainly is no a priori reason why athletic sculptors might not have made statues in any one of the three poses which Gardiner has distinguished on vase-paintings, even if this contest, like jumping, was better adapted to the painter than to the sculptor. Furthermore, we shall attempt to show that such monuments actually did exist.

The best example of such a javelin-thrower seems to be the Doryphoros, the most famous statue of Polykleitos, in which he illustrated his canon of athletic forms. The Doryphoros exists in many copies, all of which agree fairly well in style and proportions. K. Friedrichs, in his monograph Der Doryphoros des Polyklets, which appeared in 1863,1600 was the first to show that the statue found in 1797 in the Palaistra at Pompeii, and now in the Naples Museum (Pl. 4), was a copy of the original bronze, as it shows all the peculiarities of the225 master’s style known to us from tradition.1601 Mahler enumerates 7 statues, 17 torsos, and 36 heads copied from the original, and the fine, but expressionless, Augustan bronze bust from the villa of the Pisos, Herculaneum, inscribed as the work of the sculptor Apollonios, son of Archios, of Athens, which is now in Naples (Fig. 47).1602 The best-preserved Statue of the Doryphoros. Fig. 48.—Statue of the Doryphoros, after Polykleitos. Vatican Museum, Rome. copy of the statue, the one in Naples, is surpassed in workmanship by the green basalt torso in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence1603 and by the marble one formerly in the possession of Count Pourtalès in Berlin.1604 A poorer copy is to be found in the Braccio Nuovo of the Vatican (Fig. 48).1605 In these copies we see a thick-set youth standing with the weight of the body on the right leg, the left one thrown back and touching the ground only with the toes, seemingly ready to advance, though the shoulders do not partake of the walking action. He is represented, therefore, at the moment of transition from walking to a rest position—in other words in a purely theoretical pose—at rest, indeed, but just ready again to advance.1606 His left hand held a short akontion over the shoulder and not the long spear (δόρυ), whence the name Doryphoros or spear-bearer is derived.1607 The head is turned to the same side as the advanced foot, which perhaps is an example of the monotony in the work of the master complained of by ancient critics; variety would have been attained by turning it226 in the opposite direction. In the carefully worked bronze original, which, however, must have had an insignificant intellectual aspect, the apparently simple problem—hitherto vainly attempted in Greek art—of representing a man standing almost motionless, but full of life, was for the first time solved. It is a long way from the motionless figures known as “Apollos,” with their arms glued to the sides and their legs close together, to this vigorous athlete. As we have already indicated, Greek art developed the first step beyond the “Apollos” by further advancing one leg of a statue and, it may be, extending one forearm horizontally. The next step was to place one foot slightly sidewise and thus relieve it of the weight of the body—the well-known scheme of the “free” and “rest” leg. At first the relaxation was slight, the “free” leg not being intended to move forward, nor the parts of the body to be much shifted. Polykleitos’ innovation consisted in having the legs so placed, one behind the other, that the figure, while apparently resting on one,1608 seemed to be advancing. On the ground of the familiar passage in Pliny cited, it has been generally assumed that Polykleitos introduced the walking motive into sculpture. However, this motive was probably the invention of the earlier Argive school, borrowed by Polykleitos for his canon, as seen in the statue of the so-called Munich King (Zeus?), of the Glyptothek, which Furtwaengler has shown to be a work of about 460 B. C.1609

Does the Doryphoros represent a pentathlete victor? Since Quintilian says that it appears ready for war or for the exercises of the palæstra,1610 Helbig and others have classed it as a warrior, perhaps one of the Achilleae mentioned by Pliny1611 as set up in the Greek gymnasia. Furtwaengler stressed the incorrectness of calling an athlete a Doryphoros1612—a name originally given to an attendant bearing a lance (δόρυ), and so inapplicable to the statue of Polykleitos, which represented not a server, but an athlete carrying an akontion (witness the Berlin gem already mentioned)—but later1613 concluded that an athlete statue with the akontion might have been vaguely described in late art jargon as a spear-bearer. Consequently he found probable the interpretation of the various doryphoroi mentioned by Pliny1614 as victor statues, and thought that the original of the Doryphoros of Polykleitos might very well227 have represented an Olympic pentathlete, which was originally set up at Argos, where it was also adopted for a figure on the heroic grave-relief already mentioned, which represented the youth with a spear over his shoulder standing beside a horse. Bulle also thinks that the statue represented a victor athlete set up in some sacred spot.

For its interpretation as the statue of a pentathlete victor, an added proof is furnished by the discovery of a late Roman copy of it at Olympia.1615 This may very well have been the dedication of an athlete of late date—of the first century B. C. or of the first A. D.—who preferred to be represented by a copy of the famous work of Polykleitos rather than by a new statue. Treu’s contention that the torso is too large for a victor statue,1616 because Lucian says that the Hellanodikai did not allow statues of victors to be over life-size,1617 falls to the ground, since we know that exceptions to the rule existed at Olympia.1618 He agrees with Collignon1619 in interpreting it as a decorative statue, which surely involves an anachronism in the middle of the fifth century B. C.; and his argument that its good preservation shows it to have been set up in an interior room, perhaps of the Bouleuterion, in whose ruins it was found, adducing this as additional evidence of its decorative character, is no proof, since victor statues at Olympia seem sometimes to have been housed.1620 Thus the theory that the Doryphoros represents a pentathlete victor is well within the range of possibilities.

Two bronze statuettes in the Metropolitan Museum,1621 New York, belonging to the second half of the fifth century B. C., may be representations on a small scale of pentathletes with the akontion. The first shows a youth standing with the weight of the body on the left foot, the right drawn slightly back. The left hand, held close to the side, may have carried an akontion, the right arm being extended. The other, more carelessly executed, represents a youth standing similarly with his weight on the left foot, the right being drawn back. Here again the left arm is hanging by the side, and probably held the same attribute as the first statuette. The right arm is also bent at the elbow. A patera may have been held in the outstretched hand of each. The square228 build, short thighs, flat abdomen, long skull, and oval face are all Polykleitan characteristics, and remind us of the series of kindred works already discussed, which, as Furtwaengler believed, went back to the original statue of the boy wrestler Xenokles at Olympia, the work of the younger Polykleitos.1622


Wrestling (πάλη) is perhaps the oldest, and in any case is the most universal, of athletic sports. Wall-paintings at Beni-Hasan on the Nile, dating from about 2000 B. C., show nearly all the grips and throws now known.1623 Plato says that this sport was instituted in mythical times.1624 In Greece its origin is lost in mythology.1625 The very name palaistra, “wrestling school,” indicates the early importance of the contest. It was one of the most popular of Greek sports from the time of Homer down.1626 This popularity is shown by the frequency with which it appears in mythology and art. Early b.-f. vases picture Herakles wrestling with giants and monsters. Here we see the same holds and throws as in the palæstra scenes on later r.-f. vases. The whole history of coins down to imperial days shows such scenes. No other exercise required so much strength and agility, and consequently wrestling matches early became a part of the great games. At Olympia wrestling was introduced in Ol. 18 ( = 708 B. C.), the same year in which the pentathlon was instituted.1627 The boys’ match appeared there less than a century later in Ol. 37 ( = 632 B. C.).1628 Pausanias mentions statues erected to 36 victors (for 45 victories), which makes this contest second only in importance to boxing there.

There were two sorts of wrestling in Greece, wrestling in the proper sense (ὀρθὴ πάλη), where each tried to throw his antagonist to the ground, making his shoulders touch three times, and ground wrestling229 (κύλισις, ἁλίνδησις), where the fight was continued on the ground by using every means, except biting and gouging, till one was exhausted. The first kind was the only one used in the event called πάλη at Olympia, as well as in the pentathlon; the other was used only in the pankration. In this section we shall discuss only the first.1629 A recently discovered papyrus of the second century A. D., containing brief instructions for wrestling lessons intended to help the παιδοτρίβης, indicates that every movement in the contest was systematically taught.1630 The various positions used—grips and throws—are shown by many monuments, vase-paintings, gems, coins,1631 statuettes, and statues. The vases1632 especially illustrate the various holds assumed by wrestlers during a bout—front (σύστασις), side (παράθεσις), wrist, arm, neck (τραχηλίζειν), and body holds. Still others illustrate the various throws—flying mare,1633 heave,1634 buttocks and cross-buttocks (ἕδραν στρέφειν), and tripping (ὑποσκελίζειν). We here reproduce two such paintings. The first, the obverse of a r.-f. amphora from Vulci, signed by Andokides and now in Berlin (Fig. 49),1635 shows two positions. In the central group the wrestler on the left side has grasped his opponent’s left wrist with his right hand. The latter, however, has rendered the grip useless by passing his own right hand behind his opponent’s back and grasping his right arm just below the elbow. In this way he keeps his opponent from turning round, which movement would not have been possible if the latter had grasped him by the upper arm. In the group of wrestlers to the right we see an illustration of a body hold. Here a youthful athlete has lifted his bearded antagonist clear off his feet preliminary to throwing him. However, the one lifted from the ground has caught his foot around his230 opponent’s leg, which is an illustration of tripping. On a r.-f. kylix in the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia (Fig. 50a),1636 we see a body hold preparatory to the heave; here to the right are two youths wrestling, and to the left stands a bearded trainer with his rod. One wrestler has already lost his balance and is supporting himself with both hands on the ground, while the other with his left hand holds the other’s right arm down, and with his right prepares to throw him over his head.

Fig. 49.—Wrestling Scenes. From Obverse of an Amphora, by Andokides. Museum of Berlin.
Fig. 50.—Wrestling and Boxing Scenes. From a r.-f. Kylix. University of Pennsylvania Museum, Philadelphia.
Fig. 51.—Bronze Statues of Wrestlers. Museum of Naples.

From vase-paintings, then, we can see what positions the sculptor might have used in representing groups of wrestlers. For the positions of individual figures of wrestlers, we are guided by several statues and small bronzes. The preliminary position (σύστασις) seems to be best represented by the bronze statues of wrestling boys discovered at Herculaneum in 1754, and now in the Museum of Naples (Fig. 51).1637 These figures have been variously interpreted as231 runners,1638 diskoboloi,1639 and wrestlers. Their attitude, bent forward with outstretched hands, implies the utmost expectancy. If they were runners, they would lean further forward; as they are standing, they could not begin to run without loss of time in raising the heels of the forward feet. If, on the other hand, they represented diskos-throwers at the moment just subsequent to the throw, their right feet would be advanced and not their left, in order to recover their balance, as we have seen above in considering Gardiner’s seventh position. The position of their arms, however, and the expression of their faces make it almost certain that they are wrestlers eagerly watching for an opening. The two statues certainly belong together, and may have been set up as antagonists in the villa in whose ruins they were found. F. Hauser was the first to show that the form of body and head in both was the same.1640 While most critics believe that they are Hellenistic in origin, Bulle is certainly right in showing that the body ideal expressed is Lysippan—i. e., long legs and slender trunk—even if he goes too far in ascribing them to the master himself, basing his conclusion chiefly on the similarity of their ears with those of the Apoxyomenos (Pl. 29). A good illustration of a hand or wrist grip is afforded by a small wrestler group, which decorates the rim of a bronze bowl from Borsdorf.1641 This is a poorly wrought Etruscan work of fifth-century B. C. Greek origin. The two wrestlers have already gripped232 and their heads are close together, though the lunge in each case is much exaggerated. Similar are the two groups on the rim of a bronze bowl in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.1642 A third-century B. C. Etruscan cista in the Metropolitan Museum,1643 has a handle on the lid in the form of two nude wrestlers, whose bodies are inclined toward one another, their heads in contact, and their arms locked behind their heads. Groups of wrestlers in similar attitudes commonly appear as cista handles.1644 A portion of a bronze group of wrestlers was dredged from the sea near Kythera and is now in Athens.1645 The heave is represented by a metope from the Theseion representing the wrestling bout between Theseus and Kerkyon.1646 A later moment is seen in a bronze wrestling-group in Paris.1647 The cross-buttocks is illustrated by a small Hellenistic bronze group in the collection of James Loeb in Munich, of233 which five other copies are known.1648 Here two athletes, one bearded and the other beardless, are just ending the bout. The youth is in the power of the man, who stands behind him and presses him down by holding his arms backward. All the other replicas differ from the Loeb example in that the victor has both legs and not one in front of the right leg of the vanquished wrestler. A good illustration of tripping is seen in another related series of groups known to us in five bronze copies. These represent a wrestler on the ground supporting himself on his left arm, while over him stands the victor, whose left foot is twisted around the other’s right. These groups are, like the preceding, also Roman provincial copies of a Hellenistic original.1649 The two groups are very similar, the only real difference being that the vanquished wrestler in the second series still has his left arm free and holds himself up on his right knee. Both series seem to have been influenced by the marble pancratiast group in the Uffizi (Pl. 25).1650 The head of an athlete in the Museo delle Terme, Rome,1651 shows by its strongly projecting neck that it comes from the statue either of a runner ready to start or of a wrestler about to grip his adversary. The face is fourth-century B. C. Attic in character and the head may, therefore, come from Euphranor’s circle. Pliny speaks of a panting wrestler (luctator anhelans) by the statuary Naukeros, which must have exhibited the contestant in intense movement.1652 It might have represented him after victory, as in the painting of Parrhasios discussed above, which pictured a hoplitodrome after the race, breathing hard.1653 Pliny also mentions a painting of a wrestler by Antidotos without describing it.1654 As we have already remarked, doubtless some of the apoxyomenoi and perixyomenoi mentioned by Pliny were also wrestlers.

Whether wrestling-groups were set up at Olympia is doubtful. Chariot-groups were indeed common, but there is no reason why the234 victorious wrestler should have had himself coupled with his defeated opponent. Pausanias, moreover, mentions no such groups. We are therefore safe in inferring that in most, if not in all, cases the wrestler would content himself with a single statue, and this might represent him in any position in which he was not actually interlocked with his adversary. That such statues represented him both in repose and in motion is attested by recovered bases. The footprints on the base of the statue of the Elean wrestler Paianios, a victor of the early third century B. C.,1655 shows us that he was represented as standing in repose, the weight of the body resting on the right leg, the left being drawn back and touching the ground with the toes only. A hole in the base may have been for a spear on which the victor’s hand rested, though the statue is not that of a pentathlete. The perfectly preserved footprints on the base of the statue of the boy wrestler Xenokles by Polykleitos the Younger show that he was represented as standing with his weight on the right leg, the left being slightly advanced and to one side, though resting flat on the ground. The head was probably turned a little to the right. Thus the wrestler was poised ready to grip his adversary.1656 This statue must have been a favorite among athlete monuments, since the same motive appears in various Roman copies, which Furtwaengler assigns to the immediate circle of the pupils of Polykleitos. The statue of the Argive wrestler Cheimon by Naukydes may have represented him in motion, since Pausanias, in mentioning two statues of the victor, one in Olympia and the other in the temple of Concord at Rome, says that they were among the most famous works of that sculptor. From this encomium Reisch has assumed that the one at Olympia was represented in lively motion.1657


Boxing, like wrestling, was one of the oldest sports in Greece, as it has been everywhere else. The fist is the simplest and most natural of all weapons.1658 Boxing was popular already in Homer, matches being described both in the Iliad and the Odyssey.1659 Homer speaks of it as πυγμαχίη ἀλεγεινή,1660 and this “painful” character is also mentioned by235 Xenophanes.1661 However, boxing was far older than epic poetry. We have already seen that it was the only form of real athletics in Aegean Crete. One of the oldest representations of a boxing match is seen on the fragments of a bronze shield discovered there in the grotto of Zeus on Mount Ida. Here on a single concentric ring are seen two warriors, armed like Assyrians with corslets, shields, and helmets, fighting with doubled fists.1662 The high antiquity of boxing in Greece is also shown by myths.1663 At Olympia Apollo is said to have beaten Ares,1664 and Polydeukes won a victory there.1665 Apollo appears as the god of boxing in the Iliad,1666 and the Delphians sacrificed to Apollo Πύκτης.1667 Herakles, Polydeukes, Tydeus, and Theseus were all famed boxers; the latter was said to have invented the art.1668 The historical boxing match was introduced at Olympia in Ol. 23 ( = 688 B. C.), and Onomastos of Smyrna, the first victor, instituted the rules of the contest.1669 The boys’ contest was instituted in Ol. 41 ( = 616 B. C.).1670 It was by far the most popular contest there. Of the 192 monuments erected to 187 victors mentioned by Pausanias, 56, or nearly one-third, were erected to men and boy boxers for 63 victories.

Greek boxing1671 is conveniently divided into two periods by the kind of glove used in the matches. From Homer down to the end of the fifth century B. C., soft gloves (ἱμάντες, ἱμάντες λεπτοί or μειλίχαι) were used; from then to late Roman days the heavy gloves (σφαῖραι or ἱμάντες ὀξεῖς) were the fashion. The weighted Roman cestus was not used in the Greek contest. Before discussing representations of boxers in art, we shall devote a few words to these two kinds of boxing-gloves, which frequently give us the date of a given monument.1672 The Cretans are thought to have worn boxing-gloves, as they seem to be visible on the so-called Boxer Vase from Hagia Triada (Fig. 1). Here, on the top and lower two rows, a leather gauntlet appears to cover the arm to beyond the elbow, being padded over the fist and confined at the wrist by a strap. Mosso derives the later Greek glove, which appears on athlete statues, from this primitive thong.1673 In any case the antiquity236 of the glove in Greece is attested by its origin being ascribed to the myth of Amykos, king of the Bebrykes.1674 Gloves were already known to Homer, who speaks of “well-cut thongs of ox-hide.”1675 They are not mentioned in any detail before the time of Pausanias and Philostratos, so that we are mostly dependent for our knowledge of them on the monuments. The simplest form consisted of long, thin ox-hide thongs, which were wound round the hands, the soft gloves (ἱμάντες μαλακώτεροι or μειλίχαι) of later writers.1676 They were used, not to deaden the blow, but to increase its force. Vase-paintings show that the thongs were about 10 or 12 feet long before being wound.1677 On the exterior of a r.-f. kylix from Vulci by Douris, in the British Museum, showing chiefly boxing scenes, we see two youths standing before a paidotribes preparing to put on the thongs (Fig. 54).1678 One of them is holding the unwound thong in his outstretched hands. A similar figure appears on the r.-f. vase in Philadelphia already discussed (Fig. 50b), which represents a palæstra scene.1679 This scene has been wrongly interpreted as an illustration of the game of σκαπέρδη described by Pollux1680 as a sort of tug-of-war, the unwound thong being explained as the rope used in this game,1681 and the hurling-sticks stuck in the ground at either end as goals instead of akontia. A wound thong is seen hanging on the wall to the left. Philostratos describes how the boxing thongs were put on,1682 and vase-paintings illustrate the method.1683 The best example of the thongs on statuary is afforded by the bronze arm found in the sea off Antikythera (Cerigotto) (Fig. 52), which Svoronos1684 believes to be a remnant of the statue of the Nemean victor Kreugas of Epidamnos, which237 stood in the temple of Apollo Lykios in Argos.1685 Pausanias says that Kreugas was crowned notwithstanding that he was killed by his adversary Damoxenos, and his description of the soft glove corresponds so closely with the one on the recovered arm that it seems as if it had been written in the presence of the statue: “In those days boxers did not yet wear the sharp thong (ἱμὰς ὀξύς) on each wrist, but boxed with the soft straps (μειλίχαις), which they fastened under the hollow of the hand in order that the fingers might be left bare; these soft straps were thin thongs (ἱμάντες λεπτοί) of raw cowhide, plaited together in an ancient fashion.”1686 The strap allowed the ends of the fingers to project, and was held together by a cord wound around the forearm, just as Philostratos says. These μειλίχαι were used at the great games through the fifth century B. C., and were continued in the palæstra in the fourth. Early in the latter century the σφαῖραι mentioned by Plato1687 and other writers appeared. We see them on Panathenaic vases of that century and on Etruscan cistæ of the following one.1688 About the same time the regular ἱμάντες ὀξεῖς came in,1689 but the old μειλίχαι or something similar were still used in the exercises of the palæstra.1690

Fig. 52.—Bronze Arm of Statue of a Boxer, found in the Sea off Antikythera. National Museum, Athens.
Forearm with Glove.
Fig. 53.—Forearm with Glove. From the Statue of the Seated Boxer (Pl. 16). Museo delle Terme, Rome.

Our best illustration of these more formidable gloves on statuary is the gauntlet clearly represented on the forearms of the Seated Boxer238 of the Museo delle Terme (Fig. 53). Here a close-fitting glove covers each forearm, leaving the upper joints of the fingers free and the palm open. It extends to above the wrist and ends in a rim of fur. Over it are drawn three thick bands of leather, which cover the first joints of the fingers and are fastened together on the outside of the hands with metal clasps. A soft pad keeps these bands from chafing the fingers. They are kept in place and the wrists are strengthened by two narrow straps which are interlaced several times around hand and wrist. Similar gloves appear on the Sorrento boxer in Naples (Fig. 57),1691 on the bronze forearm of a statue from Herculaneum in Naples,1692 on a left fist found in 1887 in the arena at Verona,1693 and on many other statues and fragments. The last representation in art of this sort of glove appears on the Roman relief in the Lateran, which dates from the time of Trajan, and represents a fight between two pugilists.1694 The metal239 cestus was a Roman invention. None of the late Greek writers—neither Plutarch, nor Pausanias, nor Philostratos—makes any mention of this loaded glove. The “sharp thongs” were enough to cause all the injuries mentioned by the writers of the Greek Anthology.1695 The cestus, perhaps used in the later gladiatorial shows in Greece, but never in the great games there, gave the death blow to real boxing. Virgil describes it and the vicious results of its use.1696

There are fewer representations of boxing matches on vases than of almost any other Greek sport, despite its great popularity. Gardiner has collected a number of vase-paintings dating from the sixth to the fourth centuries B. C., which illustrate the different positions assumed by boxers in action—attack, slipping, ducking, and leg and arm movements. We reproduce two from r.-f. kylikes in the British Museum. In one by Douris (Fig. 54)1697 we have, besides the group already mentioned of two athletes preparing to put on thongs, three pairs of boxers engaged in a bout. In two groups one of the contestants is seen from behind; in all three the boxers extend their left arms for guarding and draw the right back for hitting—the fists being level with the shoulders. In one group we see the beginning of the fight, in the other two the middle, perhaps, and the end of it, respectively. In the last scene one contestant has fallen to the ground on his knee, and his conqueror has swung his right hand far back for a final blow, only to be stopped by the other, who raises his finger in token of defeat. On the other vase we see, besides a scene from the pankration, two pairs of boxers sparring (Fig. 55).1698 Here in one group the contestants do not have their fists doubled, but keep their fingers opened. On an Attic b.-f. Panathenaic panel-amphora in the University Museum in Philadelphia (Fig. 56),1699 we see bearded boxers sparring, while a boxer with thongs in his right hand stands to the right, and a trainer with his rod at the left. Statues of victorious boxers at Olympia were represented either in motion, i. e., probably in the position of sparring, or in repose, like that of the boy boxer Kyniskos by the elder Polykleitos discussed in the preceding chapter. The same foot position visible on the Kyniskos base1700 occurs on two other Olympia bases, which, therefore, must have240 supported Polykleitan statues represented in repose. One of these, in the form of an astragalos, will be discussed further on in our treatment of pancratiast statues; the other supported the statue of the boy boxer Hellanikos of Lepreon, who won a victory in Ol. 89 ( = 424 B. C.).1701 In this case the statue was also life-size, the left foot was firmly placed, and the right was set back resting on the ball, the stride being a little longer than in the case of the Kyniskos. Three other Olympia bases supported statues of boxers represented in repose, those of the boy Tellon from the Arkadian town Oresthasion,1702 of the Epidaurian Aristion by the241 elder Polykleitos,1703 and of the Rhodian Eukles by Naukydes of the Polykleitan circle.1704 Furtwaengler believed that a number of existing statues of the Hermes type reproduced the statue of Aristion, because of a similar foot position. Among them the Pentelic marble one in Lansdowne House, London, is the best preserved, and most faithfully reproduces the Polykleitan style.1705

Boxing Scenes.
Fig. 54.—Boxing Scenes. From a r.-f. Kylix by Douris. British Museum, London.
Boxing and Pankration Scenes.
Fig. 55.—Boxing and Pankration Scenes. From a r.-f. Kylix. British Museum, London.


We may infer how a Polykleitan statue of a boxer at rest looked, from the Roman copy of one in Kassel.1706 Here a youth just out of boyhood is represented as standing with the weight of the body resting upon the right leg and the head turned to the right. The forearms are covered with gloves, the right fist being raised for attack and the left for defense. Statue of a Boxer. Fig. 57.—Statue of a Boxer, from Sorrento. By Koblanos of Aphrodisias. Museum of Naples. Another marble statue, representing a boxer in repose, was found in a fragmentary condition in Sorrento in 1888, and is now in the National Museum at Naples (Fig. 57).1707 It is inscribed as the work of Koblanos of Aphrodisias in Karia, whom Boxing Scene. Fig. 56.—Boxing Scene. From a b.-f. Panathenaic Panel-Amphora. University of Pennsylvania Museum, Philadelphia. we know as a copyist of the first century A. D., and who was active in reproducing Greek works for the Roman market.1708 The body forms are too badly injured for us accurately to243 date the original from which this copy was made, but the head gives us the clue, as its style appears to be a connecting link between that of the seated statue of Herakles, in the Palazzo Altemps in Rome1709 and the Munich Oil-pourer (Pl. 11),1710 as it shows affinity to both. Though Sogliano referred it to the school of Lysippos and Juethner to the beginning of the fourth century B. C., it shows indubitable Myronian characteristics and may have been the work of Myron’s pupil Lykios, who is known to us as an athlete sculptor.1711 In this statue the youth is resting his weight on his right leg, the left, with full sole on the ground, being turned to one side. The left forearm is extended outwards and to the side, the head leaning toward the right leg—in other words, the athlete is represented in an attitude similar to that of the Idolino (Pl. 14). As there is an olive crown in the hair, it seems reasonable to conclude that the original statue was that of an Olympic victor.

By the beginning of the fifth century B. C., if not earlier, boxers were represented in violent motion, as we saw in the case of the statue of the boy boxer Glaukos, by the Aeginetan sculptor Glaukias,1712 represented in the act of sparring (σκιαμαχῶν). Whether he was represented as facing an imaginary antagonist or as merely punching a bag we can not say, though the latter seems the more probable. The motive is depicted in many art works, notably in the figure of a youth punching a bag which hangs from a tree on the Ficoroni cista in the Museo Kircheriano, Rome,1713 and in that of another represented on the so-called Peter cista in the Museo Gregoriano Etrusco of the Vatican, whose engraved scenes show exercises of the palæstra.1714 The same motive is seen also in a statuette in the Museo Chiaramonti of the Vatican, which is proved to be that of a boy boxer by the glove on the right hand.1715 Here the boy is represented with the right foot far advanced and rising on the toes of both feet, the right shoulder being drawn back, the right forearm raised, and the left extended forwards. The marble torso of a copy of the same original on a large scale is in Berlin.1716 While Amelung244 believes that the original of both statuette and torso was a bronze of the second half of the fourth century B. C., Furtwaengler thought that the torso went back to the severe style of the fifth century, and that this original once stood in Olympia, where it might have served as the inspiration for a carelessly worked bronze statuette of a boxer found there, which repeats the motive of the torso and similarly belongs to the fifth century B. C. (Fig. 2).1717 The Olympia statuette also has the right foot advanced, the upper part of the body leans backward, and the left arm with open palm is outstretched for defense, while the right with balled fist is held up ready to strike. It certainly is a votive offering of an Olympic victor—doubtless one of the small reductions, which were not uncommonly erected for economy’s sake.1718 Whether the Aeginetan Glaukias also made victor statues in repose is doubtful.

Waldstein, on insufficient grounds, has argued that the so-called Strangford Apollo in the British Museum (Fig. 14)1719 is a copy of the statue at Olympia of the famous Thasian boxer and pancratiast Theagenes by Glaukias. Its close observation of nature finds its analogy in the statues of the Aeginetan pediment groups (see Figs. 20, 21). The statue of the boy boxer Athenaios of Ephesos, by an unknown sculptor, was represented as lunging at his adversary, as we see from the footmarks on the recovered base. The left foot was advanced and turned outwards, while the right one touched the ground only with the toes.1720 Similarly the statue of the boxer Damoxenidas by Nikodamos of Arkadia was represented as about to strike. On its recovered base the left foot stood solidly upon the ground, while the right foot was drawn back and touched the ground only with the toes—if we judge rightly from the size of the missing part of the stone.1721 The statue of the Ionian boxer Epitherses by Pythokritos of Rhodes seems to have had but one foot flat upon the ground, and consequently must have been represented in motion, though we are not sure of the position of the other, since one stone of the base is missing.1722

The bronze plate from the base of the statue of the boy boxer Philippos, an Azanian of Pellene, was found at Olympia and has been referred to the end of the fourth or beginning of the third century B. C.1723 245 However, since Pausanias says that Myron made the statue,1724 various attempts have been made to reconcile the discrepancy in dates. Our own solution is that the statue seen by Pausanias did not represent Philippos at all, but some earlier unnamed Arkadian boxer, who was contemporary with Myron.1725 Years later the Azanian boy Philippos Statue known as Pollux. Fig. 58.—Statue known as Pollux. Louvre, Paris. won a victory at Olympia and attached the recovered epigram to the old base, in which he implored Zeus to let the ancient glory of Arkadia be revived in him, and also a newer one in which he said that he had restored the statue of Myron.1726 Pausanias saw the newer one, but omitted to mention the older, which was probably illegible from weathering. He therefore thought that the original Myronian statue used by Philippos represented the latter victor.1727 The words on the affixed plate beginning ὧδε στὰς ὁ Πελασγὸς ἐπ’ Ἀλφειῷ ποκα πύκτας κ. τ. λ., may refer to the position of the boxer rather than to a portrait of the victor.1728 We have long ago hazarded the suggestion1729 that the so-called Pollux of the Louvre (Fig. 58),1730 whose body forms recall the Marsyas and whose head recalls the Diskobolos, may go back to the statue of the unnamed Arkadian by Myron.1731 But the uncertainty which we have found in a former section1732 in assigning this and kindred works to Myron or to Pythagoras leaves it only a suggestion.



The pankration (παγκράτιον)1733 was a combination of boxing and wrestling, in which the contestants fought either standing, or prone on the ground. While the wrestler merely tried to throw his opponent in a series of bouts, the pancratiast continued the fight on the ground until one or the other acknowledged defeat. The etymology of the word shows that it was a contest in which every power of the contestants was exerted to the utmost.1734 Strangling, pummeling, kicking, and, in fact, everything but biting and gouging were allowed. Both Lucian1735 and Philostratos1736 speak of the prohibition against biting and gouging, which statements Gardiner thinks are quotations from the rules governing the contest at Olympia, as they are twice quoted by Aristophanes.1737 Philostratos, however, says that the Spartans allowed both biting and gouging, but that the Eleans allowed only strangling. A case of gouging the eye of an opponent with the thumb is seen on the r.-f. kylix in the British Museum, already mentioned (Fig. 55).1738 Here the official is rushing up with his rod to punish such a breach of the rules. Philostratos calls the men’s pankration the “fairest” of contests at Olympia, probably in reference to the impression made on the spectators by the various positions of the contestants, who had to rely quite as much on skill as on strength. Pindar wrote eight odes in praise of this contest.1739 However, even though it was carefully regulated at Olympia by rules, it was a dangerous sport—τὸ δεινὸν ἄεθλον ὅ παγκράτιον καλέουσιν, in the words of the protesting philosopher Xenophanes.1740 But it was never the brutal sport which some modern writers have pictured it.1741 Plato, to be sure, kept it out of his ideal State,1742 not, however, because of its brutality, but merely because its distinctive feature, the struggle on the ground, was of no service in training a soldier. The Greeks themselves considered the boxing match far more dangerous. Inasmuch as gloves were not used in the pankration, this seems reasonable.1743 We have in the preceding section men247tioned the epithets applied to boxing. Pausanias, in speaking of the boxing match between Theagenes and Euthymos, says that the former was too much wearied by that contest to enter the pankration, and was in consequence compelled to pay a talent to the god and another to Euthymos.1744 In speaking of another contest, between Kapros and Kleitomachos, he records that the latter told the umpires that the pankration should be brought on before he had received hurts from boxing.1745 Artemidoros states that no wounds resulted from the pankration.1746 However, death by strangulation was often the result of the bout. Thus the pancratiast Arrhachion was crowned after he had been throttled by his adversary, for just before expiring he was able to put one of the toes of his opponent out of joint and the pain caused the latter to let go his grip.1747 Pausanias tells also how the boxer Kreugas was slain by Damoxenos in the pankration at Nemea, but adds that the body of the former was proclaimed victor.1748

The pankration was not known to Homer, though later writers ascribed its invention either to Theseus or Herakles, the typical mythical examples of skill as opposed to brute force.1749 It was introduced at Olympia in Ol. 33 ( = 648 B. C.),1750 long after the separate events, wrestling and boxing, had appeared there. The boys’ contest was instituted at Olympia in Ol. 145 ( = 200 B. C.),1751 though it had appeared elsewhere much earlier.1752 It must have been a popular sport at Olympia, since Pausanias records statues erected to twenty victors for thirty victories in this contest.

Vase-paintings1753 show many grips and throws of the pankration—the flying mare, leg hold,1754 tilting backwards by holding the antagonist’s foot, “chancery” (i. e. catching the adversary around the neck with one arm and hitting his face with the other fist), stomach throw (i. e., seizing the adversary by the arms or shoulders and at the same time planting one’s foot in the other’s stomach, and then throwing him over one’s head),1755 jumping on the back of one’s opponent,1756 strangling, wrestling and boxing combined, and kicking and boxing combined.248 Ground wrestling is very commonly depicted on vases and especially on gems, since such groups were adapted to oblong or oval spaces.1757 We reproduce a pancratiast scene from a Panathenaic amphora of Kittos, dating from the fourth century B. C., in the British Museum (Fig. 59).1758 This is a conventional representation of wrestling and boxing combined. The pancratiast at the right of the group has rushed in with his head down and has been caught around the neck by his adversary’s arm, a hopeless position, from which he can not escape. The latter is either about to complete the neck hold (if it be an actual case of “chancery”), or perhaps to hit him with his right hand. A third pancratiast is looking on from the extreme right, while a paidotribes, switch in hand, appears at the left. The fight on the ground is well depicted on the r.-f. kylix of the British Museum already discussed as showing boxing scenes (Fig. 55).1759

Pankration Scene.
Fig. 59.—Pankration Scene. From a Panathenaic Amphora by Kittos. British Museum, London.

We have but few representations of pancratiasts in sculpture. The preliminary sparring—known as ἀκροχειρισμός1760—must have characterized the statue of the Sikyonian pancratiast Sostratos at Olympia by an unknown sculptor, since Pausanias says that this victor was known as ὁ ἀκροχερσίτης, explaining the epithet as that of one who gained his249 victories by seizing and bending his adversaries’ fingers, holding them fast till he yielded.1761 Since a Delphian inscribed base1762 gives the same number of victories as Pausanias, we infer that they were given also on the Olympia base, the source of Pausanias’ information. Since nothing is said, however, of Sostratos’ mode of fighting in the Delphi inscription, Pausanias must have argued it from the pose of the statue. The Sicilian wrestler Leontiskos of a century earlier, whose statue was by Pythagoras, had, according to Pausanias, used similar tactics, for “he vanquished his adversaries by bending back their fingers.”1763 These cases show that statues of pancratiasts and wrestlers were frequently represented in vigorous lunging attitudes as well as in groups. The epigram on the base of the monument of the pancratiast Teisikrates at Delphi shows that the statue was represented in a similar way.1764 The same lunging attitude is also shown on the Halimous grave-relief.1765 Sometimes the contest ended with the preliminary sparring, though usually it developed into wrestling and boxing.

Bronze Statuette of a Pancratiast.
Fig. 60.—Bronze Statuette of a Pancratiast (?), from Autun, France. Louvre, Paris.

A good representation of a pancratiast trying to kick his antagonist seems to be furnished by the small bronze statuette from Autun, South France, now in the Louvre (Fig. 60).1766 This statuette is of mediocre workmanship, its hard muscles, imperfect proportions, and realism showing that it comes from the Hellenistic period of Greek art. It represents a bearded athlete, who holds his hands ready to strike and his left foot raised apparently to kick his adversary’s leg. The foot is just ready to return to its original position, so that the motive of this poor little statuette discloses a transient period of time between two movements, just as the Diskobolos and Marsyas of Myron did. We have already noted1767 that on the head is a cap with a ring in the top, by which it could be suspended as a decorative piece, or perhaps as part of a steelyard. Hauser believes that this motive was known to the elder Polykleitos and that this is the interpretation of that sculptor’s statue of a nudus talo incessens mentioned by Pliny, a statue which has formed the basis for much discussion among archæologists.1768 The Plinian passage, therefore, is to be250 translated as “the nude man attacking with his heel (talo)”—in other words, it describes a statue represented as kicking, which was allowable in the pankration. The manuscripts of Pliny all read talo, which Benndorf1769 thought could be retained only by assuming that the naturalist mistranslated his Greek source γυμνὸς ἀστραγάλῳ ἐπικείμενος, translating the word ἐπικείμενος “standing upon,” as incessens “pursuing.” He therefore assumed that Polykleitos’ statue stood upon an astragalos (talus) basis, which he believed was the forerunner of the statue of Opportunity (Καιρός) by Lysippos,1770 and he referred it to the knuckle-bone basis found at Olympia.1771 Woelfflin,1772 however, has shown that talo incessens can only mean “mit einem Knochel nach Jemand einwerfen.” Following this, Furtwaengler showed1773 how impossible on251 grammatical and other grounds it was to read talo in Benndorf’s sense, since the passage then would mean “advancing towards” or “pursuing,” by means of a knuckle-bone, which is manifestly nonsense. The word could be only instrumental in use, as Woefflin said, i. e., the weapon by means of which the man was attacking. Furtwaengler, therefore, followed Benndorf’s earlier alternative reading telo, assuming that Pliny mistakenly wrote talo because he was influenced by the presence of the same word in the passage immediately following: duosque pueros item nudos talis ludentes qui vocantur astragalizontes.1774 But Hauser’s interpretation of talo meets all the conditions better, since it keeps the manuscript readings, makes grammatical Latin, and seems to be illustrated by the statuette in question.

Sometimes the statues of Olympic pancratiasts were represented at rest with the weight of the body equally on both legs, as we see from the recovered basis of the statue of the Athenian Kallias by the Athenian sculptor Mikon.1775 Furtwaengler has identified a statue in the Somzée Collection as a copy of this work.1776 The footprints on the recovered base of the statue of the Rhodian Dorieus show that it was represented at rest with one leg slightly advanced.1777 We have actual remnants of statues of Olympic pancratiasts in the marble head found at Olympia, which we are to assign to the statue of the Akarnanian Philandridas by Lysippos, mentioned by Pausanias (Frontispiece and Fig. 69),1778 and the beautiful statue of Agias discovered by the French at Delphi in 1894, a work by the same sculptor (Pl. 28 and Fig. 68).1779

The struggle on the ground implies groups and not single statues. Our best representation of such a group is furnished by the famous marble one in the Uffizi, Florence (Pl. 25).1780 Though having no pretensions to be a victor monument, this group is the most important monument extant connected with the pankration, a fine anatomical study from Hellenistic times, evincing the direct influence of Lysippos252 in its proportions.1781 It shows affinity of design to certain sculptures from the frieze of the Great Altar at Pergamon.1782 Pliny speaks of a symplegma by Kephisodotos, the son of Praxiteles, at Pergamon, but that group was of an erotic character and can not have had anything to do with the Florentine one.1783 Unfortunately the group in question has been much restored, though the restoration in the main is right. The heads, though probably antique, do not seem to belong to the statues, but both appear to be copies of the head of one of the Niobids, with which group the pancratiasts were discovered in 1583. The right arm of the uppermost athlete seems to have been wrongly restored; in any case this athlete is not strangling his opponent. One youth has thrown the other down on to his knee, and his left leg is intertwined with the left leg of the other, and he is drawing back his arm to aim a blow. The wrestler underneath supports himself upon his left arm, and the intention of his opponent is to destroy this support by a blow of the fist, which would bring the contest to a sudden conclusion, since the right arm of the under youth is fast and he must defend himself with the left. As Gardiner points out, such a situation is illustrated by Heliodoros’ description of the match between Theagenes and an Aethiopian champion.1784 The under man’s position, however, may suddenly change and the issue yet be in his favor. Many writers have explained the group as ordinary wrestlers,1785 but Gardiner has conclusively shown that it belongs to the pankration, since in wrestling the contest is ended when one of the contestants has been thrown, while here the struggle is continuing on the ground.1786


Marble Group of Pancratiasts.
Marble Group of Pancratiasts. Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

Kapros of Elis was the first of seven Olympic victors to emulate the fabled feat of Herakles by winning the pankration and wrestling matches on the same day—that is, he was the first professional strong man.1787 The other six all came from the East. It has been suggested1788 that the colossal Farnese Herakles found in Rome in the ruins of the Baths of Caracalla in 1540 and now in Naples, inscribed as the work of the Athenian Glykon, which represents the hero leaning wearily on his 253club against a rock,1789 may represent the type of these professional strong men, who called themselves the successors of Herakles. But such a suggestion is as unfounded as the one already examined, which identifies the original of the Seated Boxer of the Museo delle Terme (Pl. 16 and Fig. 27) with Kleitomachos of Thebes, the redoubtable opponent of Kapros, since the dates in both cases are against such identifications. The Farnese statue and other replicas of the same original1790 obviously revert to a Lysippan original, though they are considerably metamorphosed by the taste of a later age. Such big swollen muscles at first sight appear to be alien to the sculptor of the graceful Agias, but that the Naples copy by Glykon—who, from the inscription on the base, must be referred to the first century B. C.1791—really represents the work of Lysippos seems well established by the fact that a smaller copy, though still over life-size, of poorer workmanship, in the Pitti Gallery in Florence, is inscribed as Λυσίππου ἔργον.1792 This type of weary hero appears in the Telephos group on the small Pergamene frieze, but is even earlier, since the latter seems to have been borrowed from a statue which is reproduced on a coin of Alexander, which was struck at least as early as 300 B. C.1793 The type of Herakles wearied by his superhuman labors was inaugurated still earlier by Lysippos, who was fond of representing the hero in many poses, seated and standing, resting and laboring. We might mention his colossal bronze statue of Herakles, which was set up in Tarentum and then carried to Rome and placed on the Capitol by Q. Fabius Maximus, when Tarentum was captured in 209 B. C., and was later transferred to the Hippodrome at Constantinople, where it remained until the sack of that city by the Franks in 1202.1794 It is hazardous, therefore, to reject the evidence, and it will be best to see in the original a genuine Lysippan work, as do Bulle, Overbeck, von Mach, Schnaase,1795 and others, and so to make Glykon responsible only for the exaggerations of his own copy. Thus we have to face the fact of divergent styles in the great bronze founder of the fourth254 century B. C., even if we admit with Richardson that “for our peace of mind this statue might well have been sunk in the sea.”1796

Fig. 61.—Bronze Head of Boxer (?), from Olympia. National Museum, Athens.

Long ago, I referred the life-size bronze portrait-like head of a boxer or pancratiast found at Olympia, now in the Athens Museum (Figs. 61A and B),1797 to one of two statues of the pancratiast Kapros mentioned by Pausanias.1798 The remnant of a wild-olive crown in the hair proves that it comes from the statue of an Olympic victor. Its bruised appearance may, however, betoken the punishment administered by the gloves of a boxer rather than by the bare fists of a pancratiast. That Greek sculpture was not always ideal we have seen from the description of the Seated Boxer of the Museo delle Terme (Pl. 16 and Fig. 27). This peculiarly life-like head is another example of the same realism; it would be hard to name a more brutal and repellent piece from the whole range of Greek sculpture. The profession of this bruiser is evident in every feature, for the sculptor has betrayed it by the swollen ears, flat nose, thick neck, swollen cheeks, projecting under lip, frowning brows, and unkempt hair and beard. All these traits—especially the treatment of the eyes—give to it the sullen gloomy look so characteristic of boxers and pancratiasts.1799 The man appears to be awaiting the attack,255 his contracted brows showing alert expectation, and his closed lips great determination. Furtwaengler, Bulle, Flasch, and others have dated it in the fourth century B. C., and are fain to see in it the work of an artist of the immediate circle of Lysippos or Lysistratos;1800 but its exaggerated realism seems rather to point to a later period, not earlier than the third century B. C.1801 The bronze foot of a victor statue also found at Olympia (Fig. 62)1802 has been assigned by Furtwaengler to one of the statues of Kapros, an ascription which we also have followed.1803 The position of this foot shows—as an experiment with a living model has disclosed—great movement, which makes it obvious that it comes from a statue in lively motion, probably of a boxer or pancratiast. It belongs to the statue of a strong man of coarse build; there is not the slightest trace of unnecessary flesh on it, but the whole is vigorous muscle, even the swollen veins being clearly visible in the photograph. While Furtwaengler finds its stylistic parallels in the copies of the Pergamene works of the third century B. C., e. g., the Dying Gaul statues, the material and form of the base fitting that period, Wolters emphasizes its stylistic analogy to the bronze head just discussed.

Bronze Foot of a Victor Statue.
Fig. 62.—Bronze Foot of a Victor Statue, from Olympia. Museum of Olympia.

The monuments which represent equestrian victors will be left for another chapter.




Plates 26–27 and Figures 63–67.

In the preceding chapters we have considered the monuments of victors in various gymnic contests, in which the victor won by his own strength and skill. In the present chapter we shall be concerned chiefly with the monuments set up by victors at Olympia in chariot- and horse-races, in which the victory did not depend upon the athletic prowess of the victor, but upon the skill of his charioteer or jockey and the endurance of his horses.1804 Though such events were not in the strict sense a part of Greek athletics, they formed a very important feature of the festival at Olympia as elsewhere.1805 Indeed the four-horse chariot-race was the most spectacular and brilliant event at Olympia. Chariot-races, and to a less extent horse-races, were the sport only of the rich—kings, princes, and nobles.1806 Thus victories were won in these events at Olympia in the fifth century B. C. by Hiero and Gelo, kings of Syracuse, and Arkesilas IV of Kyrene; in the fourth, by Philip II of Macedonia, and in Roman days by Tiberius, Germanicus, Nero, and many others. Alkibiades in Ol. 91 ( = 416 B. C.), i. e., in the midst of the great Peloponnesian war, entered seven chariots at Olympia and won three prizes.1807 Sometimes a city entered a chariot or horse. Thus in Ol. 77 ( = 472 B. C.) the public chariot of Argos, and in Ol. 75 ( = 480 B. C.) the public horse of the same city, won at Olympia.1808 Such entries show not only the expense attending these contests, but also their importance in the eyes of the Greeks.

Hippodromes, chariot-races, and horse-races were very common in Greece. A votive inscription in the museum at Sparta, dating from near the middle of the fifth century B. C., enumerates sixty victories by Damonon and his son Enymakratidas in both chariot- and horse-races at eight different meets in or near Lakonia, and Damonon was merely258 a local victor, unknown at Olympia.1809 Greeks of Sicily and Magna Græcia were especially fond of such contests, as we see these constantly represented on coins of different cities there from the beginning of the fifth century B. C. on.1810 However, only a few of the sites of these many hippodromes are now known, and only one can be positively identified, that mentioned by Pausanias on Mount Lykaios in Arkadia.1811 The others are known from literary sources.1812 The one at Olympia was destroyed in the course of centuries by the floods of the Alpheios, and its exact location can not be determined, though we know in general that it lay somewhere southeast of the Altis, between the river and the Stadion, and surmise that it ran somewhat parallel to the latter.1813

Its measurements, however, are known to us from a Greek metrological parchment manuscript in the old Seraglio, Constantinople, which dates from the eleventh century A. D.1814 According to it the length of the course, i. e., from the starting-point to turning-post and return, was about 8 stades (1538 meters, 16 centimeters) or nearly 1 mile. One of the two sides—which Pausanias says were of unequal length1815—was 3 stades and 1 plethron long. The breadth of the course at the starting-point was 1 stade and 4 plethra. We are told, however, that only a portion of the entire course, six stades, or about two-thirds of a mile, was traversed in the various races.

The oldest literary account of a Greek chariot-race is found in Homer in the description of the games of Patroklos—the longest and finest episode there described.1816 But the first trace of such a contest goes259 back to mythology, to the story of Pelops and Oinomaos contending for the hand of the latter’s daughter Hippodameia.1817 This mythical race began at the village of Pisa in Elis and ended at the altar of Poseidon on the Isthmus of Corinth.1818 The chariot-race was the chief if not the only event at the oldest funeral games in Greece, those mentioned by Pausanias as held in honor of Azan, the son of Arkas, in Arkadia.1819 It figured largely in mythology1820 and was represented in many works of art.1821 At Olympia it was one of the earliest, and perhaps the earliest, of the events. Pausanias says that the four-horse chariot-race was introduced there in Ol. 25 ( = 680 B. C.),1822 but this may merely mean, as Gardiner points out, the date of exchanging the older prehistoric two-horse chariot for the one drawn by four horses. In any case the antiquity of the race at Olympia is shown by the great number of early votive offerings in the form of models of chariots and horses, which have been found there in a stratum extending below the foundations of the Heraion.


By the middle of the third century B. C. the fully developed programme of equestrian events at Olympia and elsewhere consisted of six races, three for full-grown horses (τέλειοι), and three for colts (πῶλοι); for each of these two classes there were a four-horse chariot-race (ἅρμα, τέθριππον), a two-horse chariot-race (συνωρίς), and a horse-race (κέλης), thus:

ἅρματι τελείῳ, συνωρίδι τελείᾳ, κέλητι τελείῳ.
ἅρματι πωλικῷ, συνωρίδι πωλικῇ, κέλητι πωλικῷ.

These six events comprised the ἀγὼν ἱππικός at Olympia, Delphi, Nemea, Corinth, Athens, and elsewhere, as opposed to the ἀγὼν γυμνικός.1823 The distinction between horses and colts was apparently a matter which was decided by the Hellanodikai at Olympia. Thus, Pausanias recounts how the Spartan victor Lykidas entered a pair of colts for the chariot-race, and that one of them was rejected by the judges; he thereupon entered both for the race with full-grown horses and260 won it.1824 Though such a story does not fit the date of Lykidas, who won before the colt-race was introduced at Olympia, it shows the method of selection.1825 The race in which the chariot was drawn by four full-grown horses (ἵππων τελείων δρόμος) was introduced, as we have seen, in Ol. 25. The contestants drove twelve times round the course, a distance of seventy-two stades or over eight miles.1826 Pausanias mentions the monuments of eighteen such victors at Olympia for nineteen victories. The race in which the chariot was drawn by four colts (πώλων ἅρμα) was introduced in Ol. 99 ( = 384 B. C.),1827 and extended eight times round the course, or about 5.5 miles.1828 Pausanias mentions the monuments of only two such victors at Olympia.1829 The race in which the chariot was drawn by pairs of full-grown horses (συνωρίς) was introduced in Ol. 93 (408 B. C.) and extended eight times round the course.1830 Pausanias mentions but one victor in this event at Olympia1831 and an Olympic victress who had a statue erected to her in Sparta for such a victory.1832 This was probably the original chariot-race at Olympia revived in Ol. 93, since the two-horse chariot was the historical descendant of the Homeric war-chariot.1833 Panathenaic vases show that this race existed at Athens in the sixth century B. C., side by side with the four-horse chariot-race and horseback-race. The earliest of these vases, the so-called Burgon vase in the British Museum,1834 was a prize there for this event. The race in which the chariot was drawn by a pair of colts (συνωρὶς πώλων) was introduced at Olympia in the third century B. C., in Ol. 129 ( = 264 B. C.),1835 and extended three times around the course. Pausanias mentions no monument erected to a victor in this race. The horse-race (ἵππος κέλης) was instituted in Ol. 33 ( = 648 B. C.)1836, and the foal-race (πῶλος κέλης) nearly four centuries later, in Ol. 131 (256 B. C.).1837 Neither of261 these races was known to Homer, for κελετίζειν in the Iliad,1838 as we saw in Chapter I, refers only to the acrobatic feat of vaulting from the back of one horse to that of another. Pausanias mentions monuments erected to eight victors (for nine victories) in the regular horse-race at Olympia. We conclude from a passage of his work1839 that the riding-race consisted of one lap only or six stades, about two-thirds of a mile. A mule chariot-race (ἀπήνη) was introduced in Ol. 70 ( = 500 B. C.), and a trotting-race with mares (κάλπη) in Ol. 71 ( = 496 B. C.), but both were abolished in Ol. 84 ( = 444 B. C.).1840 Pausanias mentions one monument erected to an anonymous victor in κάλπη, who won some time between Ols. 72 and 84 ( = 492 and 444 B. C.).1841 He mentions the first victor in the mule-race, Thersias of Thessaly, but this does not occur in his periegesis of the Altis.1842 Only three other victors in this event are known to us, and they came from Sicilian towns.1843

Equestrian events were discontinued at Olympia in the first century B. C., owing to the waning of interest in athletics in consequence of the Roman conquest of Greece in 146 B. C. They were revived thereafter under the Empire only spasmodically and were destined finally to be replaced by the amusements of the Roman circus. Thus we learn from the Armenian version of Africanus that the chariot-race ceased at Olympia in Ol. 178 ( = 68 B. C.). It must, however, have been reinstated toward the end of the century, since Tiberius Claudius Nero—afterwards the Emperor Tiberius—won in Ol. 194 ( = 4 B. C.).1844 It again went into disuse, since Africanus says that it, πάλαι κωλυθείς, was reintroduced in Ol. 199 ( = 17 A. D., when Germanicus, the adopted son of Tiberius, won.1845 Once more it was discontinued, and again renewed262 in Ol. 222 ( = 109 A. D.), according to the same authority, who, however, does not name any victor for that date. Just when this discontinuance took place, we can not say, but it was certainly after Ol. 211 ( = 65 A. D.), when the emperor Nero is known to have won victories in various kinds of chariot-races.1846 Three Olympiads before, an Elean, Tiberios Klaudios Aphrodeisios, had also won the horse-race.1847



Racing Chariot and Horses.
Racing Chariot and Horses. From an archaic b.-f. Hydria. Museum of Berlin.

Representations of the various chariot-races are commoner than those of any other Olympic contest, appearing on vases, reliefs, coins, and gems.1848 There seem to have been two distinct types of racing-chariot in Greece.1849 The four-horse chariot was a modification of the heroic two-horse war-chariot, which was a low car on two wheels, surmounted by a box consisting of a high framework, open only at the rear, and large enough to contain the chieftain and the charioteer. The war-chariot was known to both Mycenæan Greece and Crete. There is a relief of uncertain date in the Museum of Candia, which represents a chariot and charioteer.1850 It is far superior to the type of chariots appearing in relief on the gravestones found at Mycenæ,1851 though the type on both is of the same general pattern, having the same box and four-spoked wheels. On the Mycenæan reliefs the box seems to rest directly upon the rim of the wheel, and the portrayal of a single horse is very inartistic. On the Candia relief, however, there are at least two horses discernible, and both the horses and the warrior, who is about to mount the car, are lifelike. The Greek racing-car was much lighter than the Homeric and Mycenæan war-chariot, and the box had room only for the charioteer. It was drawn usually by four horses. The Athenian type appears on Panathenaic vases throughout the whole history of the manufacture of these vases,1852 and also on Macedonian and Sicilian coins. On certain vases of later date the car is still lighter and has larger wheels. One of the earliest racing-cars is seen on a 263vase in the British Museum,1853 dating from the eighth century B. C. It seems to be a two-horse car, as we should expect at this early date, though the artist has drawn but one horse. The charioteer is clothed in a long chiton, a custom which was generally kept throughout the history of the chariot-race. The regular two-horse type of chariot appears on vases as a cart, the body of the old war-chariot being so diminished that nothing is left but the driver’s seat with a square open framework on the sides. The driver rests his feet on a footboard suspended from the pole.1854 Perhaps this represents a peculiarly Athenian type of chariot, since the two-horse chariot on coins of Philip II, son of Amyntas and father of Alexander the Great, a victor at Olympia in both horse-racing and charioteering, resembles the ordinary four-horse car, and the driver stands instead of sits.1855 The mule-car was like the two-horse chariot, as we see in representations of it on coins of Rhegion and Messana.1856 The best illustrations of racing with four-horse cars are afforded by coins of Sicilian cities.1857 We see an excellent representation of such a race on a sixth-century B. C. Panathenaic vase recently found at Sparta, on which a chariot driven by a standing charioteer is represented as passing a pillar on the right, and therefore perhaps near the end of the race.1858 The harnessing of two horses to a racing-car is seen on an archaic b.-f. hydria in Berlin (Pl. 26).1859 Here a third horse appears, led by a nude youth, who is crowned, and who therefore probably represents a victorious horse-racer. Several other b.-f. vase-paintings showing four-horse chariots have been collected by Gerhard.1860 However, we are not dependent upon vase-paintings and coins to judge of the magnificence of Greek chariots of the historical period, for we have actual remains of them—war-chariots, to be sure, but not very unlike the ones used at the corresponding dates in Olympia. Among these is the fine bronze biga found in the grave of an Italian prince at Monteleone, Etruria, in 1902, and now one of the chief264 treasures of the Metropolitan Museum in New York.1861 This is a war-chariot of the beginning of the sixth century B. C., the only complete ancient bronze chariot now known. The restored frame of wood is sheathed with thin bronze plates richly ornamented with reliefs in repoussé. Because of its form and its relationship to chariots appearing on archaic Ionic monuments of Asia Minor, for example, on the reliefs of sarcophagi from Klazomenai, and because of the strong resemblance between its decorative designs and those of archaic Italian monuments of Ionicizing style, Furtwaengler has classed it as the product of Ionic Greek art. Professor Chase, on the other hand, finds these decorations pure Etruscan in character, comparing them with the reliefs on three bronze tripods in the possession of Mr. James Loeb, which are dated some half a century later.1862 In any case this chariot is “das glaenzendste, vollstaendigste” archaic metal work yet recovered. In the British Museum there are considerable remnants of the chariot-group of King Mausolos and his wife Artemisia, which once stood on the apex of the Mausoleion at Halikarnassos, the work, according to Pliny,1863 of Pythis (or Pytheos), the architect and historian of the tomb.1864 Besides the figures of the royal pair, we have the head of one horse, the hinder half of another, fragments of still others, and one wheel of the chariot.1865


Great artists were engaged to set up chariot-groups at Olympia and elsewhere. Many of the quadrigae and bigae mentioned by Pliny as the works of sculptors and painters must have been agonistic offerings.1866 Aeginetan sculptors were especially in favor at Olympia. Thus Onatas, in conjunction with the Athenian Kalamis, made a group for King Hiero,1867 and Glaukias made another for Hiero’s brother Gelo;1868 Simon made an equestrian group for Phormis,1869 and Philotimos made a statue for the horse-racer Xenombrotos of Kos.1870 The oldest dedication by a chariot victor at Olympia was the votive offering of Miltiades, the son of Kypselos, of Athens, which consisted of an ivory horn of Amal265theia, inscribed with archaic letters and set up in the treasury of the Sikyonians. Miltiades won his victory in Ol. (?) 54 ( = 564 B. C.).1871 The next oldest dedication at Olympia was that of a chariot, without any human figure, by the Spartan Euagoras, who won three victories in Ols. (?) 58–60 ( = 548–540 B. C.).1872 This custom of dedicating merely the model of a chariot continued sporadically into the third century B. C. Thus Polypeithes of Sparta, who won a victory near the end of the sixth century B. C.,1873 dedicated a chariot, while a figure of his father, the wrestler Kalliteles, stood beside it.1874 A Pythian victor, Arkesilas IV, son of Battos IV, king of Kyrene, who won a victory in the 31st Pythiad ( = 462 B. C.), dedicated a chariot at Delphi.1875 At the beginning of the fourth century B. C. the Spartan princess Kyniska set up “bronze horses less than life-size” in the pronaos of the temple of Zeus at Olympia. The recovered base shows that Pausanias was right about the size of this votive offering.1876 Theochrestos of Kyrene, who won some time between Ols. (?) 100 and 122 ( = 380 and 292 B. C.),1877 and Glaukon of Athens, who won in the third century B. C.,1878 also set up votive chariots. The recovered base of Glaukon’s chariot shows that it was small. Sometimes a chariot victor, for economy’s sake, contented himself with dedicating merely a statue of himself in honor of his victory—a custom which continued from the sixth to the third centuries B. C. Perhaps one of the oldest examples of such a dedication of which we have record is that of the Elean Archidamas, who won a victory at an unknown date, but certainly some time after Ol. 66 ( = 515 B. C.).1879 In the fifth century B. C., the Spartans Anaxandros1880 and Lykinos1881266 dedicated merely statues of themselves. In the fourth century B. C. the Elean victors Timon,1882 whose monument was by Daidalos, Troilos, whose monument was by Lysippos,1883 and Telemachos, whose statue was by Philonides,1884 set up statues in honor of their victories. The footprints on the inscribed base of the statue of Telemachos show that he was represented standing at rest with both feet flat on the ground. This was probably the position of the statues of the other two victors mentioned. The statue of the Spartan victor Polykles, surnamed Polychalkos, stood in a singular group. He was represented as being greeted on his return home by his children, one of whom held a small grace-hoop in his hand, while the other was trying to snatch the victor ribbon from his father’s hand.1885 We learn from Diogenes Laertios that the tyrant Periandros of Corinth vowed to set up a golden statue of himself if he won the chariot-race.1886

The first instance chronologically recorded by Pausanias of a chariot victor dedicating his statue along with chariot and horses is that of king Gelo of Syracuse, the group being the work of the Aeginetan Glaukias.1887 The first instance of a victor dedicating his statue in a group with chariot, horses, and charioteer, is that of Kleosthenes of Epidamnos, the group being the work of the Argive Hagelaïdas.1888 Even the names of the horses were inscribed on this monument.1889 The owner of the chariot, to be sure, took the prize, but he felt that the victory was due to the horses and driver, and so he associated them with himself in the monument. Sometimes the victor acted as his own charioteer. Thus the Spartan Damonon, already mentioned as the hero of many chariot victories in and near Sparta, tells in the inscription appearing on his votive relief that he was his own charioteer.1890 In the first Isthmian Ode Pindar congratulates Herodotos of Thebes, who won the chariot-race (?) in 458 B. C., on not entrusting his chariot to strangers, but driving267 it himself.1891 Thrasyboulos seems to have driven his father’s car at the victory commemorated by the sixth Pythian Ode, sung in honor of the chariot victory of Xenokrates of Akragas in 490 B. C. at Delphi. Karrhotos, the charioteer of Arkesilas of Kyrene already mentioned, was the latter’s brother-in-law.1892 Similarly Aigyptos appears to have ridden his own horse at Olympia instead of entrusting it to a jockey.1893 Sophokles, in the Electra, has the hero Orestes drive his own chariot at the Pythia. Kyniska, the daughter of king Archidamas of Sparta, was the first woman to enter the contests at the race-course and the first to win an Olympic victory with her chariot.1894 Apart from the small votive offering, already mentioned as standing in the temple of Zeus, she had also a victor-group at Olympia, by the sculptor Apellas, consisting of chariot, horses, charioteer, and herself. The rounded form of the recovered base,1895 in connection with the description of Pausanias, permits us to assume that the statue of the princess stood in front on the projecting rounded portion of the pedestal. This is the contention of Loewy, who opposes the theory of Furtwaengler1896 that the statue stood away from the rest of the group, since Pausanias makes no mention of such an arrangement. In any case, the charioteer in the group can not have been separated from the car.

In an unpublished paper by my former teacher, Dr. Alfred Emerson, which was read by Professor D. M. Robinson before the Archæological Institute of America at its Christmas meeting in Providence in 1910, and entitled The Case of Kyniska,1897 the argument was made that the chariot was in miniature; that the statue of Kyniska was a portrait, because of the wording of the recovered epigram; and, lastly that the smallest of the so-called bronze dancers from the villa of the Pisos in Herculaneum, now in Naples, is a late reproduction of the statue at Olympia by Apellas. Emerson thinks that Pliny no doubt often visited the villa and may well have had these statues in mind when he mentioned Apellas as the author of several statues of women adorning themselves.1898

The monument erected by Hiero, son of Deinomenes and brother and successor of king Gelo at Syracuse, who won two horse-races and a four-horse chariot victory at Olympia in Ols. 76, 77, 78 ( = 476–468 B. C.),1899 consisted of a bronze chariot, on which the charioteer was mounted, and on either side a race-horse with a jockey on each. Onatas made the chariot (and possibly the statue of the driver), while Kalamis268 sculptured the horses and jockeys. Such a division among sculptors was not uncommon at Olympia. Thus the Aeginetan artist Simon and the Argive Dionysios made a group in common for Phormis, which we have already mentioned, consisting of two horses and two charioteers.1900 The Chian Pantias and the Aeginetan Philotimos made a group in common for Xenombrotos of Kos, victor in horse-racing, and for his son, the boy boxer Xenodikos, which consisted of statues of the man and the boy on horseback.1901 Pliny mentions a four-horse chariot-group for which the elder Praxiteles made the charioteer and Kalamis the chariot, adding that Praxiteles did this out of kindness, not wishing it to be thought that Kalamis had failed in representing the man after succeeding in representing the horses.1902

In some of the Olympic chariot-groups doubtless the charioteer was represented at the moment of entering the chariot or already in it. Sometimes a figure of Nike took the place of the charioteer, in order that the victor’s exploit might be more exalted. Thus Pausanias, in mentioning the bronze chariot of Kratisthenes of Kyrene by Pythagoras of Rhegion,1903 says that statues of Nike and Kratisthenes himself are mounted upon the car. The Nike in some cases was replaced by the figure of a young maiden, who stood beside the victor, as in the cases of the Elean Timon1904 and the Macedonian Lampos.1905 Pliny notes a similar example in reference to the chariot of Teisikrates, a Delphian victor in the two-horse chariot-race.1906 The maiden in all these cases may have been merely a Nike personified or a mortal.1907 Pliny records that the painter Nikomachos, son and pupil of Aristeides, painted a Victoria quadrigam in sublime rapiens.1908 The figure of Nike appears often on reliefs. Thus on a terra-cotta sarcophagus from Klazomenai we see a two-horse chariot driven by a boy, while alongside is a winged female figure—Iris or Nike—mounting it.1909 The moment of victory is shown on an Attic marble votive relief representing a four-horse chariot, now in the British Museum. Here a figure of Nike is represented as269 floating in the air and extending a wreath (now wanting) towards the head of the charioteer, who is draped with a tunic girdled at the waist, as he mounts the car. If the charioteer in this relief is a female (which is doubtful), it may he the personification of the city to which the winner belongs.1910 On a votive relief in Athens a horse is represented as being crowned by Nike.1911 On a relief in Madrid Nike is represented as driving a chariot.1912 A quadriga with a female figure, apparently Nike, appears on a relief dedicated to Hermes and the Nymphs, which was found in Phaleron.1913 Doubtless some of the chariot-groups at Olympia represented movement—the start, the course, or the end of the race—as do these and similar reliefs.1914 We should add that the figure of Nike was not confined to equestrian monuments. On the Ficoroni cista in Rome is represented the boxing match between Polydeukes and Amykos among the Bebrykes. In the centre we see Amykos hanged to a tree by the hands, while to the right stands Athena, and above her Nike is flying with a crown and fillet of victory for Polydeukes.1915


From this discussion of the literary evidence about the monuments of chariot victors at Olympia and elsewhere, we shall turn to a brief consideration of certain existing works of sculpture, reliefs and statues, which will serve to illustrate the manner in which the sculptor represented this class of victor monuments.

Charioteer Mounting a Chariot.
Fig. 63.—Charioteer Mounting a Chariot. Bas-relief from the Akropolis. Akropolis Museum, Athens.

The motive of representing a figure in the act of mounting a chariot is old. Amphiaraos was thus represented on the chest of Kypselos at Olympia1916 and appears in a similar pose on the b.-f. Corinthian vase from Cerveteri, now in Berlin, which we have already mentioned.1917 Among reliefs we shall first discuss the Parian (?) marble one found in 1822 near the Propylaia at Athens and now in the Akropolis Museum (Fig. 63).1918 Here we see represented a robed figure stepping into a chariot, holding the reins in the extended hands. This Attic work, perhaps dating from270 the very beginning of the fifth century B. C., has long been admired for its vigor and grace. Whether the figure is male or female, human or divine, is still a matter of debate. The head is too badly weathered to make the decision final. The upper part of the figure of Hermes (?) on another fragment, which appears to come from the same relief and which was found near the south wall of the Akropolis in 1859,1919 has made it seem reasonable to call the charioteer a god, perhaps Apollo.1920 The hair of Hermes and of the charioteer is arranged in the old Attic krobylos fashion. This also makes it natural to interpret the271 charioteer as male, despite the slender and delicate arms and hands, which appear to be female.1921 But such effeminate male figures are not unknown to Attic art, which was characterized by grace and softness.1922 The line of the breast, however, shows no such fulness as archaic masters were wont to give to female forms, and hence this figure may very well be that of a male. Schrader has tried to refer the slab to the frieze of the Old Temple of Athena, which, he believes, survived the sack of the Akropolis by Xerxes,1923 thus assuming a chariot-frieze similar to the later one appearing on the Mausoleion at Halikarnassos, which antedated similar scenes on the Parthenon frieze by nearly a century. As the Parthenon slabs represent mortal charioteers, who are doubtless males, the relief may also represent a mortal. However, the Akropolis relief may have had nothing to do with any temple frieze nor with the adornment of a great altar of Athena, as Furtwaengler contended,1924 but may be from a votive monument set up by a chariot victor.1925

We see a good representation in relief of a chariot-group on one side of the arched roof of the so-called Chimæra tomb discovered by Sir Charles Fellows at Xanthos in Lykia. Here is represented a chariot drawn by four horses, in which stands a charioteer, with sleeved tunic and Phrygian cap, and an armed figure. Because of the figure of the Chimæra in the lower right-hand corner, the charioteer, despite the absence of Pegasos, has been called Bellerophon.1926



On the north frieze of the Parthenon there were originally at least 9 four-horse chariot groups,1927 while on the south frieze there were 10 such groups.1928 These various groups represent a ceremonial chariot-race called the apobates, known at Athens and in Bœotia and a favorite contest at the Panathenaic games.1929 This race preserved the tradition of Homeric warfare, when the chieftain was driven to battle in his chariot, but dismounted to fight, remounting only to pursue or avoid his enemy. During the race, while the charioteer kept the horses at full speed, the apobates dismounted, ran alongside the chariot, and mounted again. In the last lap he dismounted and ran beside the chariot to the goal.1930 In the North frieze we see the charioteer in the chariot, and the apobates, armed with shield and helmet, either stepping down from the chariot or standing beside it; while a third figure, a marshal, stands nearby. Thus on slab XIV we see the apobates about to step down; on slab XV he is standing up in the chariot; on slab XVII (Fig. 64) he is leaning back, supporting himself by means of his right hand, which grasps the chariot rail, and is just ready to step down; on slab XXII he is remounting the chariot. In the scenes on the South frieze, on the other hand, the apobates is not represented as dismounting, but is standing either inside the chariot or by its side. The South frieze, therefore, represents preparation or the beginning of the race, while the North one represents the actual course. There is, therefore, as Gardiner points out, no need to accept Michaelis’ theory that the two friezes portray different motives, the North one representing the apobates at the games and the South one representing war-chariots. The double character of the race is shown by inscriptions which make both charioteer and apobates equally victors. Many other reliefs show the apobates dismounting. Thus, on a fragmentary relief found in 1886 at the Amphiareion at Oropos and now in Athens,1931 we see a nude and beardless youth standing in a chariot, which is moving rapidly to the left. He has a helmet on his head and a shield in his left hand and273 holds on to the rim of the chariot, as in the Parthenon frieze slab just mentioned. To his right is a charioteer with his arms outstretched to hold the reins. As this relief is obviously influenced by the Parthenon frieze, it must stand midway between that frieze and the Hellenistic relief to be described below. Another relief, found at Oropos in 18351932 and dating from the first half of the fourth century B. C., represents a four-horse chariot moving to the left and containing two persons. One is the charioteer, who has long waving hair and a short beard and is clothed in the usual long tunic; the other is a nude apobates, who is armed with helmet and shield and holds on to the rim of the chariot with his right hand, the upper part of his body being inclined backwards, the knees bent, and the shield held away from the body.1933 We can not say whether these two reliefs from the Amphiareion represent offerings of apobatai, who were victorious at races held in Oropos or elsewhere in Bœotia, or represent the victorious Panathenaic apobatai. They may well be ex votos to the hero Amphiaraos at the games held in Oropos. We see an excellent illustration of an apobates in the very act of dismounting on a Hellenistic votive relief discovered in 1880 on the Akropolis, which dates from the end of the fourth century B. C.1934 A marble relief, supposably from Herculaneum, but now274 in Portugal,1935 represents a figure dressed in a long chiton. Wolters suggests that it may represent an apobates, but the absence of the usual armor makes it probable that a charioteer is intended. In a future section we shall discuss the apobates in the horse-race at Olympia known as κάλπη.

Apobates and Chariot.
Fig. 64.—Apobates and Chariot. Relief from the North Frieze of the Parthenon, Athens.
Fig. 65.—Charioteer. Relief from the small Frieze of the Mausoleion, Halikarnassos. British Museum, London.


The best-preserved slab from the small Parian marble chariot-frieze from the Mausoleion of Halikarnassos, now in the British Museum, represents a male figure standing in a chariot (Fig. 65).1936 This long-haired charioteer, dressed in a tunic which extends to the feet and is girded at the waist, is leaning forward in an eager attitude. The folds275 of his garment curved to the wind show the speed of his horses, and the mutilated face discloses a look of intense excitement. The deep-set eyes and overhanging brows recall the Tegea heads of Skopas (Fig. 73) and the combatants pictured on the so-called Alexander Sarcophagus discovered near Sidon in 1887 and now in Constantinople.1937 The pose is so characteristic and spirited that it was copied by later artists on reliefs and gems.1938 The same pose, forward inclination of the body, half-opened mouth, and intense look seem to be reproduced in a statue of the fourth century B. C. now in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (Pl. 27).1939 Robinson, because of the similarity of its head to certain heads of Apollo published by Overbeck,1940 interpreted this statue as Apollo starting to run. Von Mach, however, has pointed out that its head bears a more striking resemblance to that of a Kore in Vienna.1941 Klein interpreted it as a jumper, assuming that the two supports on the legs were for the wrists, indicating that the arms were held downwards, the hands, then, holding halteres. But von Mach makes it clear that these supports are not parallel, as Klein thought, but that they diverge outwards and consequently may have made the connection with the sides of a chariot rim. Furthermore, the likeness to the figure on the Mausoleion frieze (Fig. 65) makes it probable that we are here concerned with a charioteer. The objection to this theory on the ground of nudity is baseless. Though the conventional garb of the charioteer in Greek art from the eighth century B. C. onwards1942 was certainly a long, close-fitting chiton, there are several examples in existence of nude charioteers.1943 Similarly the objection that the artificial head-dress does not belong to a charioteer is equally erroneous. Klein has shown that it276 appears on several heads of boys, and, as von Mach says, it is certainly no better suited to Apollo or a jumper than to a boy driving colts in a chariot-race. The pose of the Boston statue also reminds us somewhat of that of the small bronze statue of a boy found in the Rhine near Xanten in 1858 and now in Berlin.1944 This is a Roman work seemingly inspired by a Greek prototype, and has been interpreted variously as the statue of Bonus Eventus, Novus Annus, and Dionysos. However, here again the forward inclination of the body points to the interpretation of a charioteer,1945 despite its nudity. The nude statue found on the Esquiline in 1874 and now in the Palazzo dei Conservatori, Rome, which has already been mentioned,1946 has been shown to be that of a charioteer by a comparison with figures on Attic vases which represent mortals and gods entering chariots, and with a figure on the so-called Satrap Sarcophagus in Constantinople.1947 The youth is represented as standing on his left foot; he places his right on the chariot floor and extends his hands to hold the reins. The statue seems to be a mediocre Roman copy of a Greek original bronze of about the middle of the fifth century B. C., as it shows certain traces of archaism. Furtwaengler has assigned it to the sculptor Kalamis along with a closely connected group of monuments.1948


Statue of a Charioteer (?).
Statue of a Charioteer (?). Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Finally, in this connection, even though it has nothing to do with monuments set up at Olympia, we shall discuss the life-size bronze statue of the Charioteer discovered by the French in 1896 in the excavations of Delphi, and now the cynosure of the village museum there. (Fig. 66.)1949 This example of ripe archaic art is one of the finest 277bronzes yet recovered in Greece. Its ancient fame is disclosed by the fact that it was copied in many monuments down to the end of antiquity.1950 The figure is clothed in a short-sleeved chiton, which reached nearly to the ground, and is girded above the waist. With the figure Bronze Statue of the Delphi Charioteer. Fig. 66.—Bronze Statue of the Delphi Charioteer. Museum of Delphi. were found also fragments of reins, which were held in the extended right hand, portions of three horses, a chariot pole, and the left arm and hand of a second figure, that of a boy or woman, showing that the Charioteer was part of a group. The group rested on a base on which was cut a two-line metrical inscription, the ends of which are preserved. The first line ends Πολύζαλός μ’ ἀνέθηκεν. A part of the inscription is lost and another part, including the above words, is written over the erased original, which is still partly legible. The original inscription gives the name of the first dedicator as ending in ιλας. From this ending Professor Washburn recovers the name Ἀρκεσίλας. He refers the original dedication to Arkesilas IV of Kyrene,1951 and identifies it with the group known from Pausanias to have been dedicated at Delphi by the people of Kyrene, representing Battos and the figure of Libya crowning him in a chariot and the charioteer personified as Kyrene outside, the whole being the work of the Knossian sculptor Amphion.1952 Svoronos1953 follows Washburn’s suggestion and identifies the Charioteer with Battos, believing that the fragment of the left arm found with the statue278 is from the statue of Kyrene represented as a charioteer.1954 Ingenious as the theory is, there are chronological difficulties in the way of accepting it unreservedly. Thus Amphion’s pupil Pison worked on the Spartan memorial of Aigospotamoi at Delphi in 404 B. C.1955 Furthermore, the ending ιλας may equally well refer to Anaxilas, the tyrant of Rhegion, as the original dedicator,1956 in which case it seems reasonable to assume that the group might have been the work of Pythagoras, the great sculptor of Rhegion.1957 A Greek scholar believes that the original dedicator was Gelo, and that his name was erased and replaced by that of his brother Polyzalos; he consequently dates the group shortly after Gelo’s death in 478 B. C.1958 He refers it to Glaukias of Aegina, while Joubin1959 classes the Charioteer as an Attic work. However, the whole subject of Greek sculpture in the years just after the Persian war period is too complicated to name definitely the artist of this simple and severe work. Its deficiencies are as apparent as its virtues. Thus the parallel folds of the chiton show little of the form beneath; the feet are too flatly placed on the ground, and the contour of the head and face is not altogether graceful.1960 Whatever the original purpose of the group was, it may well have been used by Polyzalos to honor the Pythian victory of his brother Hiero.1961 From it, then, we can get, perhaps, an idea of the magnificence of Hiero’s monument by Onatas and Kalamis at Olympia.


The hippic victor at Olympia frequently dedicated merely the model of his victorious horse without the jockey, just as the early chariot279 victor dedicated a chariot without the charioteer. We have evidence of several instances of this custom from the sixth century B. C. on. Krokon of Eretria dedicated a small horse of bronze in the Altis.1962 The Corinthian Pheidolas dedicated a model of his horse alone, but for a different reason.1963 The jockey who rode for him fell off at the start, but the mare, named Aura, continued the race and reached the goal as victor. The owner was allowed by the judges to set up a monument to her. The sons of Pheidolas were also victors in the horse-race1964 and set up a horse on a column with an epigram upon it—ἵππος ἐπὶ στήλῃ πεποιημένος καὶ ἐπίγραμμά ἐστιν ἐπ’ αὐτῷ. Just how this monument looked is doubtful. Pausanias may have seen the bronze horse of the father Pheidolas, and nearby a column with a bas-relief representing the horse of the sons;1965 or the horse may have stood on top of the column in the round, since the epigram was ἐπ’ αὐτῷ (on the horse) and not ἐπ’ αὐτῇ (on the stele).1966

More frequently a jockey was seated upon the model of the horse, just as we see frequently on vase-paintings. In the Olympic monument of King Hiero already mentioned, race-horses with boys seated upon them stood on either side of the chariot in honor of his two victories in the horse-race and one in the chariot-race.1967 Another Olympia group represented the boy horse-racer Aigyptos on horseback, and his father, the chariot victor Timon, standing beside him.1968 This is also a case in which the victor (Aigyptos) acted as his own jockey. In the group representing Xenombrotos of Kos, the horse-racer, and his son, the boy boxer Xenodikos, by the Aeginetan Philotimos and the Chian Pantias respectively, the boy was seated on a horse and the statue of the father stood nearby.1969 The base of this group has been recovered, large enough to have carried the two monuments.1970 Pliny says that the sculptors Kanachos and Hegias made groups of horse-racers.1971 We have seen that Pausanias mentions others by Kalamis and Daidalos. The work of Kalamis, the immediate predecessor of Pheidias, an artist noted for his grace and softness and as an unrivaled sculptor of horses,1972 must have been excellent.



When we turn to the monuments which illustrate the horse-race, we find as varied a number—vase-paintings, reliefs, coins, statuary, etc.—as in the case of chariot victors.

Fig. 67.—Horse-Racer. From a Sixth-Century B. C. b.-f. Panathenaic Vase. British Museum, London.

Vase-paintings show that the jockey was generally nude and rode without stirrups or saddle. We see nude long-haired jockeys on horseback with whips pictured on a sixth-century B. C. Panathenaic amphora in the British Museum.1973 One also appears on a silver tetradrachm in the same museum, which commemorates the Olympic victory of Philip II of Macedonia.1974 Here the victorious mounted jockey has a palm in his hand, the symbol of his victory. On the other hand, the jockey is sometimes represented as wearing a close-fitting short-sleeved chiton. We see such a one on an archaic b.-f. Panathenaic vase of the sixth century B. C. in the British Museum (Fig. 67).1975 In front of the mounted youth on this vase stands a herald in official robes, from whose mouth issue the words “the horse of Dyneiketos is victorious.” Behind the jockey is an attendant bearing a wreath in his left hand and holding a prize tripod over his head. The short chiton also appears on a horse-racer on the Amphiaraos vase.1976 We see racing boys on a proto-Corinthian lekythos in the museum at Taranto,281 with tripods as prizes.1977 A fine example of five nude horse-racers also appears on a vase pictured in the Daremberg-Saglio Dictionary.1978 Here one has fallen from his horse and is being dragged by the bridle.

A boy on a galloping horse is shown on a terra-cotta relief from Thera.1979 On a funerary marble relief from Sicily, now in the Museo Gregoriano, Rome, a rider is represented urging his horse on with a whip.1980 An Athenian relief shows victorious ephebes leading horses,1981 while another from Athens shows a mounted boy.1982 Horsemen representing Athenian knights appear on many slabs of the Parthenon frieze,1983 either mounted or standing by their horses.

The inscribed base of Onatas found on the Akropolis seems to have borne the statue of a horse-racer.1984 The bronze statue of Isokrates at Athens, which represented him as a παῖς κελητίζων, is mentioned by the pseudo-Plutarch.1985 A bronze statuette in Athens from Dodona represents an ephebe on a galloping horse.1986 A statue in the Palazzo Orlandi in Florence represents a horse-rider.1987 In the Akropolis Museum there are two monuments which we should mention in this connection. One is the lower part of the statue of a nude rider on horseback, the mutilated horse being represented as pawing the ground with its forefoot. Closely resembling it in scale and finish, though more developed in style, is another fragmentary statue of a horse without a rider, the latter probably to be understood as standing in front of the horse, as in some of the riders pictured on the Parthenon frieze. The two are good examples of pre-Persian Attic sculpture.1988 A later example is the small bronze statuette of an ephebe represented as a horseman (the horse is lacking) discovered recently at the French excavations at Volubilis in Morocco. This almost perfectly preserved work has been referred to282 the first half of the fifth century B. C.1989 The position of the hands holding the reins reminds us strongly of the Delphi Charioteer (Fig. 66). The diadem in the hair shows that a victor is represented. A small bronze statuette in the Loeb collection in Munich represents a boy riding a prancing horse, which is standing on its hind legs. This vigorous, but poorly finished, work is decorative in character and probably once belonged to the crown of a candelabrum. It appears to be either an Etruscan or early Roman work based on a Hellenistic original.1990


In a previous section we discussed the apobates chariot-race run at the Panathenaic games in Athens, in which the apobates leaped down and ran to the goal abreast of the chariot. We shall now briefly speak of a similar race at Olympia (the κάλπη) in which the rider leaped from his mare in the last lap and ran with her to the goal.1991 There is no certain illustration in sculpture or on vase-paintings of this race, but Gardiner believes that something like it appears on coins of Tarentum, on which a nude youth, armed with a small round shield, is represented in the act of jumping from his horse.1992 The military character of this race, like that of the apobates chariot-race discussed, is shown by the shield held in the left hand of the dismounting horseman. Helbig has shown that the Greek knight of the sixth century B. C. was merely a mounted infantryman, the successor of the Homeric warrior who used his chariot merely for pursuit or flight, while actually fighting from the ground.1993 Just so the knight rode to battle on his horse, but dismounted when near the enemy, leaving the horse in charge of his squire, as the Homeric chieftain left his chariot in charge of his charioteer. This old custom of the heroic age survived not only in the Panathenaic chariot-race, but also, for a few years in the fifth century B. C., in the Olympic mare-race known as the κάλπη. It seems to have been instituted there for military reasons in order to revive the old form of fighting that had gone out of use just at the close of the sixth century B. C., but it endured for only a half century, from Ols. 71 to 84 ( = 496 to 444 B. C.). The corresponding chariot-race at Athens and elsewhere continued at least to the end of the fourth century B. C.283


In closing this chapter we shall say a few words about monuments erected to trumpeters, heralds, and musical victors at Olympia, though such contests had nothing to do with athletics.

Contests for trumpeters and heralds were held in many parts of Greece.1994 They were introduced at Olympia in Ol. 96 ( = 396 B. C.), when Timaios of Elis won as trumpeter and Krates of Elis as herald.1995 Pausanias mentions an altar, near the entrance to the stadion, upon which trumpeters and heralds stood when competing.1996 Such contests seem to have been mere displays of lung power. Herodoros, for example, who won as trumpeter at Olympia ten times in the last quarter of the fourth and beginning of the third century B. C.1997, could blow two trumpets at once so loud that no one could stand near him.1998 To perform such a feat he was said to be a very large man.1999 Diogenes, son of Dionysios of Ephesos, won five victories in trumpeting at Olympia. He was twice periodonikes and also won many other victories at the Isthmus, Nemea, and elsewhere—eighty in all.2000 We have an excellent bronze statuette of a trumpeter, which was found in the Hieron of Athena Chalkioikos at Sparta, dating from the middle of the fifth century B. C., about a century and a half before the event was introduced at Olympia.2001 This “little masterpiece of Spartan art,” whose style resembles that of the Olympia pediment sculptures, represents a nude man standing, the left arm hanging by his side, while the right is bent upwards to the mouth, where it held a tubular object pointing upwards. Since the lips are tightly compressed, Dickins has interpreted the object as a trumpet. A much damaged bronze statuette in the British Museum represents a man playing on a long284 trumpet-shaped instrument.2002 Trumpeters also appear now and then on r.-f. Attic vases of the middle of the fifth century B. C.

Music victors played a greater role at Delphi than elsewhere, since music from the first was the chief interest there. Monuments to such victors, though few in number, by little-known artists were set up there, but they seem to have enjoyed the same meagre honor at Delphi as the statues of athletic victors.2003 We have record of a statue of the Epizephyrian Locrian kitharoidos Eunomos, set up in his native town in honor of his Pythian victory over Ariston of Rhegion. Timaios says that this monument showed a cicada seated on the singer’s lyre.2004 Whether such monuments at Delphi or elsewhere were regarded as victor or votive in character, we can not say.2005 Pausanias mentions several statues of poets and musicians, mostly mythical, on Mount Helikon, which were set up partly in consequence of victories won there or elsewhere.2006 Of these the statue of the Thracian or Odrysian Thamyris was represented as a blind man holding a broken lyre;2007 that of Arion of Methymna as riding a dolphin;2008 that of Hesiod, seated, as holding a lute on his knees; and that of the Thracian Orpheus with Telete at his side and round about beasts in stone and bronze listening to his song. Of the statue of the Argive Sakadas, Pausanias says that the sculptor, not understanding Pindar’s poem on the victor, made the flutist no bigger than the flute.2009 The epigram on the statue of the Sikyonian flutist Bacchiadas, mentioned by Athenæus as standing on Mount Helikon,2010 was votive in character. The inscribed base of the statue of the kitharoidos Alkibios has been found on the Athenian Akropolis.2011 Musical contests are pictured on many imitation Panathenaic vases, and many Greek reliefs seem to have been set up in honor of such victors. Among the latter we might instance the one in the Louvre representing Apollo, Artemis, and Leto,2012 and another found in Sparta in 1885, which represents Artemis pouring a libation before Apollo.2013

At Olympia flute-playing accompanied certain of the events of the pentathlon. Pausanias says that the reason why the flute played a285 Pythian air while the athletes jumped was that this air was sacred to Apollo, who had beaten Hermes in running and Ares in boxing at Olympia.2014 Thus on the chest of Kypselos a flutist was represented as standing between Admetos and Mopsos at their boxing match.2015 But the explanation given by Philostratos seems more sensible, that leaping was a difficult contest, and that the flute stimulated the jumpers.2016 At Argos, at the games in honor of Zeus Σθένιος, wrestlers contended to the tune of the flute.2017 Many vase-paintings illustrate flute-playing at the pentathlon.2018 At Olympia only a few monuments were set up in honor of musical victors, and these seem to have been statues erected honoris causa, instead of primarily for victories. An example is that of the Sikyonian flutist Pythokritos, who won a victory as αὐλητής in the sixth century B. C.2019 Pausanias says that his monument was that of a small man with a flute wrought in relief on an inscribed slab. The explanation of such a description probably is that the size of the flute made the victor appear small, just as in the case of the monument of Sakadas just mentioned.2020 We know that artists, poets, prose writers, musicians, and actors all had an audience at Olympia, and that statues were often erected there in honor of such men, though these are not to be treated as victor monuments and do not properly fall within the scope of the present work.2021



Plates 28–30 and Figures 68–77.


If in these later years our knowledge of Skopas has been greatly augmented by the discovery of the Tegea heads (Fig. 73), that of Lysippos has been almost revolutionized. With the discovery in 1894 at Delphi of the group of statues dedicated by the Thessalian Daochos2023 in honor of various members of his house, whose dates covered nearly two centuries,2024 an entirely new impetus was given to the study of the last of the great Greek sculptors. Homolle immediately recognized the fourth-century origin of the group, and at first pronounced the statue of Agias Lysippan;2025 later he saw in the types, poses, and proportions of the group the mixed influences of Praxiteles, Skopas, and Lysippos, but referred the Agias to the school of Skopas,2026 while still later he again pronounced it Lysippan.2027 But its true character was not destined to be long in doubt. When Erich Preuner2028 found almost the same metrical inscription, which was on the base of the best preserved statue of the group, that of Agias (Pl. 28 and Fig. 68),2029 in the traveling journal of Stackelberg,2030 copied from a base in Pharsalos, the Thessalian home of 287Daochos, with the additional information that Lysippos of Sikyon made the statue, our views of the work of that artist had to undergo a thorough revision. For this discovery brought the Agias—if not the others of the group—into direct relation to Lysippos by documentary evidence, while the easily recognized Lysippan characteristics of the statue—the slender body and limbs, the small head, the proportions and pose—confirmed this connection on stylistic grounds. It became clear that Daochos had set up a series of statues in honor of his ancestors both at Pharsalos and Delphi. Whether the Thessalian group was of bronze, as is generally held, owing to the widespread belief that Lysippos worked only in metal, and the Delphian group was composed of contemporary marble copies of those originals, will be discussed further on. If the marble group was a copy, we may infer that it reproduced the original statues, not mechanically and laboriously as was often the case in Roman days, but accurately; for having employed a noted artist in the one case, the dedicator would have desired an accurate reproduction of the work in the other.



Statue of the Pancratiast Agias.
Statue of the Pancratiast Agias, from Delphi. Museum of Delphi.
Head from the Statue of Agias.
Fig. 68.—Head from the Statue of Agias (Pl. 28). Museum of Delphi.


Statue of the Apoxyomenos.
Statue of the Apoxyomenos, after Lysippos or his School. Vatican Museum, Rome.


But another statue, the Apoxyomenos, of the Vatican (Pl. 29),2031 ever since its discovery by Canina in 1849, had held the honored place of being regarded as the centre of the stylistic treatment of Lysippos. Seldom has the discovery of a Roman copy of a Greek original proved so important for the study of ancient sculpture as this athlete statue, which was found in an appropriate place, in the ruins of a building, which almost certainly was a Roman bath. Despite unimportant restorations, the statue is well preserved. The fingers of the right hand holding the die were wrongly restored by the sculptor Tenerani at the suggestion of Canina who wrongly interpreted the passage in Pliny (XXXIV, 55), which refers to two works by Polykleitos, destringentem se et nudum talo incessentem, as meaning one and the same monument.2032 This slightly over life-size statue represents a nude athlete, who is standing with legs far apart, employed in scraping the sand and oil from his extended right arm with a strigil held in the left hand. This, as we saw in Chapter III, was a common palæstra motive.2033 Despite certain portrait-like features, this statue may not represent an individual victor, but, like Myron’s great work, an athletic model. The words of Pliny,2034 which mention one of the best-known works of Lysippos in antiquity—it heads the list in his account of the sculptor—as an athlete destringentem se, and his statement in another passage2035 that Lysippos introduced a new canon into art capita minora faciendo quam antiqui, corpora graciliora siccioraque, per quae proceritas signorum major videretur, i. e., a canon of bodily proportions essentially different from that of Polykleitos, seemed to have their best illustration in the slender and graceful body and limbs, and noticeably small head of this statue. It was, therefore, though admittedly a Roman work, long regarded as a direct copy of the Lysippan original, and as faithfully representing his style in every detail.2036 Such a view, of course, was founded entirely on circumstantial evidence, and could not survive any positive evidence to the contrary which might come to light in the future. G. F. Hill, in speaking of the insufficient evidence on which the Apoxyomenos had been accepted as the key to Lysippan style, rightly remarks: “It is more scientific, until we acquire documentary evidence of excellent character, 289to classify our extant examples of ancient art as representing tendencies rather than men.”2037 The Lysippan character of the Vatican statue had not been seriously attacked until the discovery of the Agias. Its original was certainly a work worthy of Lysippos. Its rhythm, proportions, and fine modeling have received praise of connoisseurs ever since its discovery. Its difficult pose had been remarkably well executed. While appearing at rest, the statue suggests vigorous action both by its supple limbs and the suppressed excitement indicated by the partly opened lips, an excitement befitting a victorious athlete. Perhaps it was the difficulty of such a pose that best explains why the Apoxyomenos has left no other copy.2038 The very excellence of the Vatican statue prejudiced us in favor of regarding it as an illustration of Lysippos’ ideal of bodily proportions. But we really knew very little of the original Apoxyomenos, only what we gathered from Pliny, that Lysippos made such a statue and that it was carried to Rome by M. Agrippa and was set up in front of his Thermæ, whence it was removed by the enamored Tiberius to his bed-chamber, only to be restored when the populace remonstrated. As for the proportions of the supposed copy in question, they only prove that this statue goes back to an original which was not earlier than Lysippos, but not that it was by the master himself.2039 The discovery of the Agias showed us at last on what slender foundations our theory had been built. Despite certain well-marked similarities in the pose, proportions, and relatively small head—characteristics which were not even exclusively Lysippan, since they are just as prominent in certain other works, e. g., in the warriors of the Mausoleion frieze—between the Agias and the Apoxyomenos, nevertheless just as striking differences appear, which make it difficult to keep both statues as examples of the artistic tendency of one and the same artist, even if we should assign them to different periods of his career.


These differences are most apparent in the surface modeling and facial expression of the two works. In the Agias the muscles are not over-emphasized in detail, but show the simple observation of nature characteristic of artists who worked before the scientific study of anatomy at the Museum of Alexandria had reacted upon sculpture. In the Apoxyomenos, on the other hand, we see an intentional display of the new learning in the labored and detailed treatment of the muscles, which disclose a knowledge of anatomy unknown before the Hellenistic age. This academic treatment, culminating later in such realistic works as the Laocoön and the Farnese Herakles, can hardly have antedated the beginning of the third century B. C., when anatomy was studied by the290 physicians Herophilos and Erasistratos, a date after the close of the activity of Lysippos. We see no trace of this influence in the Agias. Moreover, the face of the latter discloses the intense expression, which is elsewhere seen only in works supposed to be by, or influenced by, Skopas, which recalls what Plutarch2040 said of Lysippos’ portraits of Alexander, that they reproduced his masculine and leonine air (αὐτοῦ τὸ ἀρρενωπὸν καὶ λεοντῶδες); for a comparison of this face with that of the Apoxyomenos, which exhibits the lifelessness and lack of expression so characteristic of many early Hellenistic works, makes it still more evident that we must be on our guard against assuming that both works are representative of the same sculptor. The essential differences in physical type and artistic execution between the two statues have been well summarized by K. T. Frost in a letter published by Prof. Percy Gardner in the latter’s treatment of the same subject.2041 After a careful analysis of these differences, Frost closes by saying: “It is difficult to believe that the two statues represent works by the same artist; it is not only the type of man, but the way in which that type is expressed which forms the contrast.” He compares the Apoxyomenos with the Borghese Warrior (Fig. 43) as true products of the Hellenistic age.

When we consider these differences between the two statues, we see that our judgment of Lysippan art must depend on how we interpret them. We may either flatly reject the Apoxyomenos and put the Agias in its place as representing the norm of Lysippan art, or keep the Apoxyomenos and reject the Agias as evidence; or lastly we may keep both as characteristic works of two different periods in the artistic career of Lysippos, explaining the differences as the result of influence or of the lapse of years. A recent writer, to be sure, has cut the Gordian knot by rejecting both statues, and placing the Apoxyomenos of the Uffizi—which we have treated at length in a preceding chapter (Pl. 12)—as the key to our knowledge of the art of Lysippos.2042 But such a solution of the problem raises even more difficulties. Long before the Agias came to light some critics, indeed, had doubted whether the Apoxyomenos really represented the work of Lysippos, as its Hellenistic character seemed evident. Thus, in 1877, Ulrich Koehler,2043 following a still earlier judgment,2044 had come to the conclusion that the Vatican statue was only a free reproduction of Lysippos’ masterpiece and attributed its Hellenistic characteristics to the Roman copyist; but even yet the school which long recognized the Apoxyomenos as the291 norm of Lysippos has its supporters,2045 though many archæologists have now supplanted the Apoxyomenos by the Agias.2046 Others, not willing to renounce the Apoxyomenos as evidence, accept both it and the Agias as characteristic works of the master, appealing to the length of his career to explain the differences, and suggesting that in his youth Lysippos was under the influence of Skopas, but later in life attained independence, and followed a more anatomical rendering for his athlete statues.2047 However, despite the fact that other artists must have influenced Lysippos,2048 the Agias can not be shown to be a youthful work of his, nor can the special influence of Skopas be shown to have been that of master on pupil, but rather of one great master on another and equally great contemporary. The difficulty about penetrating the obscurity surrounding Lysippos comes largely from the fact that he borrowed traits from several of his predecessors and contemporaries. The influence of Polykleitos, Skopas, and Praxiteles, and especially of the last two, as Homolle emphasized in his study of the Daochos group,2049 can be certainly traced in the Agias. Fräulein Bieber, in a recent article,2050 while denying that Lysippos had anything to do with the Delphian group, tries to prove that one figure in it shows the influence of Praxiteles, another that of Polykleitos, and a third that of Skopas. She believes that the sculptor of the Agias had seen the original bronze statue, the work of Lysippos, which stood in Pharsalos. However, we may leave any such conclusion to one side, and judge between the Agias and the Apoxyomenos solely on the merits of the two statues.

The differences between them appear to us too great to be reconciled on any such principles as those just rehearsed, for their style and tech292nique seem to represent two distinct periods of art. If one is to be rejected, the connection of the Agias with Lysippos certainly rests on better evidence than does the Apoxyomenos. By separating them completely, it is possible both to assign to Lysippos the early date which other evidence points to, and to remove the Apoxyomenos entirely from the fourth century B. C., thus explaining its later modeling, comparatively expressionless features, body-build (which shows the use of three planes, instead of two), and other Hellenistic details. We should, then, see in its original a work not by Lysippos at all, but by some pupil or later member of his school, a work retaining merely traces of the style of the master. In thus eliminating the Apoxyomenos we are justified in following Homolle’s lead in assigning the statue of Agias to Lysippos, in spite of arguments which have been adduced against attributing it to Lysippos and in spite of recent criticism of the inscriptions of the Delphian bases, by which Wolters tries to prove that the inscription on the base of the statue of Agias, and consequently the Agias itself, antedate the inscription and dedication at Pharsalos.2051 We may, therefore, until further discoveries prove the contrary, consider it as the centre of our treatment of that sculptor. Whether the Apoxyomenos is to be explained as emanating from the immediate environment of Lysippos, or is to be regarded as a work illustrating the last phase of his development, or the innovation of another master—in any case it seems to us clearly to belong to an age essentially different from that which conceived the Agias.2052

As the Agias is a statue of a victor in the pankration, we can learn from it how Lysippos represented such an athlete. In giving up the Apoxyomenos, we must also give up statues of athletes which have hitherto been assigned to Lysippos on the basis of their resemblance to it, and the future ascription of statues of this class must be based on stylistic resemblances to the statue of Agias. Thus, for example, we should give up the statue of a youth in Berlin, and the two statues of athletes represented in lunging attitudes in Dresden, which Furtwaengler, on the basis of the Apoxyomenos, believed were copies of originals by Lysippos,2053 and the Roman male head in Turin, published by A. J. B. Wace,2054 whose original is somewhat later than that of the Apoxyomenos.293 On the basis of the Agias, on the other hand, we may regard as Lysippan the statue of an athlete in Copenhagen,2055 and perhaps the Parian marble statue of an athlete from the Palazzo Farnese now in the British Museum,2056 with copies in Paris and Rome.2057 This latter statue Furtwaengler ascribed to the school of Kalamis of the fifth century B. C., on account of the similarity of its style to that of the Apollo-on-the-Omphalos (Fig. 7B) and of its motive to that of the Lansdowne Herakles (Fig. 71 and Pl. 30); however, A. H. Smith finds it very similar to the Agias, and so rightly refers it to the fourth century B. C.


Impressed by its remarkable likeness to the head of the Agias, I hazarded the opinion some years ago,2058 that the much discussed Pentelic marble head from Olympia (Frontispiece and Figure 69)2059 was Lysippan, Marble Head. Fig. 69.—Marble Head, from Olympia. Museum of Olympia. and attempted to bring it into relation with the statue of the Akarnanian pancratiast (whose name I restored as Philandridas), which Pausanias2060 says was the work of Lysippos. Since then, after a careful revision of the evidence, this earlier opinion has become conviction, and I now have no hesitancy in expressing the belief that in this vigorous marble head we have to do with an original work by Lysippos himself. It will be our task briefly to rehearse the reasons for making such an ascription, despite the serious and weighty objections which might be raised against it.

At first this head was ascribed with surprising unanimity to the school of Praxiteles,2061 and subsequently, after the discovery of the Tegea heads, with almost equal unanimity to that of Skopas. Treu, who first published the head,2062 pointed out its near relationship to the Hermes of Praxiteles, which appeared to him to be obvious, notwithstanding the injured con294dition of the chin, nose, mouth, and brows. He found the general proportions, the shape of the cranium and forehead, and the form of the cheeks and mouth the same in both, while the differences, such as the deeper cut and wider opened eyes with their γοργόν expression, the hair, and the fact that the head is harder, leaner, and bonier than that of the Hermes, were all explained by the different character given to the statue of a victor or Herakles. Many other archæologists, as Boetticher,2063 Laloux and Monceaux,2064 and Furtwaengler,2065 have also seen sure signs of the hand of Praxiteles or his school in the graceful attitude, delicate chiseling, and finish of the work. Still others,2066 however, found every characteristic of Skopas in this head. Even Treu in his later treatment of the head found it more Skopaic than Praxitelian, and yet, by a careful analysis,2067 he conclusively showed that the formation of the eyes, the opening of the mouth, and the treatment of the hair were so different in the heads from Tegea (and especially in that of the Herakles, Fig. 73) as to preclude the possibility of assigning them and the head from Olympia to the same sculptor, and so declared for some independent sculptor among the contemporaries of Skopas. However, he did not see Lysippos in this allied but independent artist, though he admitted the resemblance of the head in question to that of the Agias, as also Homolle,2068 Mahler,2069 and other critics have done.


A detailed comparison of this head with that of the Agias will show wherein the wonderful resemblance—so striking at first glance—consists and will disclose its Lysippan character. Neither head is a portrait, nor even individualized; the Agias could be no portrait, for Agias was the great-grandfather of Daochos, who enlisted the services of his contemporary Lysippos in erecting his statue, and he won his victory in the pankration more than a century before this statue was set up.2070 A glance at the head from Olympia also clearly discloses its ideal character; for it is no portrait of Philandridas, but the victor κατ’ ἐξοχήν in the pankration. The small head of the Agias—under life-size—first arrests attention as the chief characteristic of the whole statue and (taken with the other proportions of the body) as the chief mark of its Lysippan origin. As Homolle says, it is not that small heads are not found outside the school of Lysippos or before his day—for Myron can295 furnish examples of them—but it is only with Lysippos and after him that we see a conscious intention of having the proportions thus reduced. Now the head from Olympia is also less than life-size,2071 but as the head alone is preserved, we can only assume that the proportions it bore to the body were similar to those we see in the statue of Agias. The conformation of the crania of both is, as in Attic works, round, with small, only slightly projecting occiputs, as opposed to the squareness of Polykleitan heads, which are longer from front to back and flatter on top—showing how Lysippos in this respect departed from the creator of the Doryphoros. This cranial conformation is almost identical in the two heads, as is clearly shown in Fig. 70, where one is drawn in profile over the other.

Profile Drawings of the Heads of the Agias.
Fig. 70.—Profile Drawings of the Heads of the Agias and the Philandridas.

The head of the Agias is turned slightly upward and to the left. Treu found traces of the use of a file on the back of the neck of the head from Olympia, which show from their position, what also was clear from the muscles of the throat, that this head also was inclined somewhat to the left and upward, possibly more than that of the Agias. The outlines of the face—lean and bony in both—are oval, in the head from Olympia somewhat broader, rounder, and fleshier toward the chin. In both the forehead is remarkably low, with a low depression or crease in the middle, and with a prominently projecting superciliary arcade, which breaks the continuous line from forehead to nose very perceptibly. This line is concave above and below, but convex at the projection itself, though this is less prominent in the Agias. The powerful framing of the eyes, which are deep-set and thrown into heavy shadows by the projecting bony structure of the brows and the overhanging masses of flesh, the eyeballs slightly raised and peering eagerly into the far distance, the slight upward inclination of the head, and the prominent forehead drawn together, all combine to give both heads296 (though young and vigorous) a pensive, even a sad look of heroic dignity, a look seemingly of one who takes no joy nor pleasure in victory, though it is not mournful. This humid and pensive expression was doubtless a characteristic of works of Lysippos—it was, as we know, present in his portraits of Alexander—but he did not treat it with as great intensity as did Skopas.

The eyeballs in both heads are strongly arched, though the inner angles are not so deep as in Skopaic heads; the raised upper lids form a symmetrically narrow and sharply defined border over the eyeball, and in neither head is this lid covered by a fold of skin at the outer corners, as in the Tegea heads; the mass of flesh at the outer corners is heavier in the head from Olympia, and the expression of the eyes is more free and defiant than in the more meditative Agias. In both, the cheek bones are high and prominent. The elegant contour of the lips of the Agias is wholly wanting in the head from Olympia, in which the lips are broken off, like the nose and the chin, but it is clear that the lips were slightly parted, just showing the teeth—not, however, as in the Tegea examples, as if the breath were being drawn with great effort. The look of pensiveness is also increased by the open lips. The contour of the jawbone is not so visible as in the Agias, where it is clearly discernible beneath the closely drawn skin, giving the face a look of greater leanness, as of an athlete in perfect training.

In both heads the swollen and battered ears, though small, are prominent, and in both the hair is closely cropped, as becomes the athlete. The hair of the Agias does not show so much expression as is displayed in that of some Lysippan heads, nor the fine detail we should expect from Pliny’s statement that Lysippos made improvements in the rendering of the hair2072—for it is in great measure only sketched out. In Lysippan portraits of Alexander the hair is generally expressively treated, and this is often the case in early Hellenistic heads.2073 However, we should not expect an elaborate treatment of the hair in the statue of a pancratiast. The head from Olympia also shows great simplicity in this regard. As in Skopaic heads, the hair is fashioned into little ringlets ruffled straight up from the forehead in flat relief, but here the curls are shorter and more tense. It covers the temples and surrounds the ears as in the Agias, but it is not, as there, bounded by a round, floating line across the forehead, nor divided into little tufts modeled in relief radiating in concentric circles from the top of the head. While lacking in detail, the hair of the Agias is treated carefully, and with the greatest variety. Narrow bands, perhaps the insignia of victory, despite their small size, encircle both heads; in the Agias the band is dexterously used to heighten the effect of variety297 in the hair by alternately flattening and swelling it here and there. In neither head is there any sign of the use of the drill to work out the tufts of the hair; only the chisel was used.2074

Finally, the whole expression of these two ideal heads is one of force and energy, of heroic dignity tempered by pensiveness and pathos, which is, in the head from Olympia at least, even a little dramatic. Both heads, while ideal, show close observation of nature in modeling and expression; and both show the predilection of Lysippos for types in which force and energy predominate, and his indifference to the softer and more delicate types of manly beauty so characteristic of his contemporary, Praxiteles.

In the foregoing comparison, we have tacitly assumed that this marble head is from an athlete statue, and, moreover, that it, as the Agias, represents a victor in the pankration, though many have seen in it the representation not of a victor, but of a youthful Herakles.2075 The swollen ears and the band in the hair might pass equally well for either, just as the fact that it was unearthed near the ruins of the Great Gymnasion (if it were necessary to assume that the statue once stood there) might be adduced as evidence for either interpretation; for statues of athletes Head of the Statue of Herakles. Fig. 71.—Head of the Statue of Herakles (Pl. 30). Lansdowne House, well as those of Herakles and Hermes (as we have shown in Ch. II)2076 adorned palæstræ and gymnasia. That the head is of marble and slightly under life-size seems to lend some support also to the belief that it is a fragment of a statue of Herakles, on the assumption that statues of victors in the Altis were uniformly of bronze, an assumption, however, not supported by the facts, as will be shown in Chapter VII. So some have seen the heroic features of the youthful hero in the γοργόν of the eyes, the energetic forehead, closely cropped hair, muscular neck, and almost challenging inclination of the head seemingly corresponding with an energetic raising of the left shoulder.2077 In Chapter III we saw that swollen ears were of little use in determining whether a given head belongs to the statue of a victor or to one of Herakles, since they formed no personal characteristic, but only a professional one common to athletes and to gods, if these latter were concerned with athletics.2078 Where personal attributes are absent, it is often difficult, therefore, to determine whether an ideal athlete or Herakles is intended, for it may be the hero in the guise of the athlete, or an athlete in the guise of the hero. The head under discussion, then, may furnish merely another illustration of the process of assimilation of type which we have already discussed. Thus it is not surprising that some have regarded this head as298 that of a youthful Herakles. Yet such a view is wrong; for, apart from all considerations which we shall adduce to identify it with the Akarnanian pancratiast, and in the absence of distinguishing attributes, if we compare it with another Lysippan head from a statue generally recognized as that of a Herakles—the famous Pentelic marble one in Lansdowne House, London (Pl. 30 and Fig. 71),2079 which Michaelis long ago characterized as “unmistakably in the spirit of Lysippos”—we can see how fundamentally different is the whole spiritual conception of the two, and how differently an athlete (even if highly idealized) and a hero are treated by the same sculptor. If we once recognize a victor in the head from Olympia, then the swollen ears, the fierce, barbarous look of the eyes, and the half-painful expression of the mouth, all concur in convincing us that we here have to do with a victor in boxing or the pankration, the two most brutal and dangerous contests.



Statue of Herakles.
Statue of Herakles. Lansdowne House, London.

Having established, then, the Lysippan character of the head and the probability that it comes from the statue of a boxer or pancratiast, we shall next discuss the evidence for identifying it with one of the monuments mentioned by Pausanias in his periegesis of the Altis. He names only five statues of victors by Lysippos: those of Troilos,2080 victor in the two- and four-horse chariot-races; of Philandridas2081 and of Polydamas,2082 victors in the pankration; of Cheilon,2083 victor in wrestling, and of Kallikrates,2084 victor in the hoplite-race. Of these, the only two which can come into consideration are those of the two pancratiasts; and one of these, that of Polydamas, can at once be eliminated; for this small head can have had nothing to do with the pretentious monument mentioned by Pausanias in these words: ὁ δὲ ἐπὶ τῷ βάθρῳ τῷ ὑψηλῷ Λυσίππου μέν ἐστιν ἔργον, μέγιστος δὲ ἁπάντων ἐγένετο ἀνθρώπων, κ. τ. λ. 299 Fragments of the base of this monument have been recovered, and it stood in a part of the Altis2085 too far removed from the spot where the statue of Philandridas stood, or from that where the marble head was found. Our choice is limited to the statue of the Akarnanian, the tenth in the series of 168 victors2086 named by Pausanias in his first ephodos.

We can determine very closely the position of these first few statues in the Altis. Pausanias begins his enumeration ἐν δεξιᾷ τοῦ ναοῦ τῆς Ἥρας, in the northwest of the sacred enclosure.2087 He is often loose in his employment of words to denote locations, and especially so in that of the terms ἐν δεξιᾷ and ἐν ἀριστερᾷ, which must sometimes be interpreted from the viewpoint of the spectator, and sometimes from that of a given monument. We shall show in Chapter VIII that these words in this connection must be taken as referring to the temple pro persona, and consequently to the southern side of the Heraion. The marble head was found in this neighborhood, in the wall of some late Byzantine huts behind the southern end of the stadion-hall of the Great Gymnasion, 23.50 meters north of its southeastern corner and 5 meters east of its back wall,2088 and consequently very near the Heraion. Inasmuch as the inscribed tablet from the base of the statue of Troilos,2089 the sixth statue mentioned by Pausanias, and the inscribed base of the monument of Kyniska,2090 the seventh, were both found in the ruins of the Prytaneion nearby, and the basis of the statue of Sophios,2091 the twenty-second in the series, was discovered also in this part of the Altis, in the bed of the Kladeos,2092 we can conclude that all four monuments originally stood near together, and in the order named by Pausanias, along the southern side of the Heraion. The remarkably good preservation of the surface of the marble head points to the fact that it was set up in a sheltered place.2093 Furthermore, the unfinished condition of the back hair, which is only roughly blocked out, so that not even the contour of the locks is indicated, shows that the statue was intended to be set up against a solid background, i. e., in front of a wall, niche, or column.2094300 From this fact we may conclude that the statue of Philandridas, and perhaps those of some of the other victors first mentioned by Pausanias, stood on the southern stylobate of the Heraion, over against the columns of the peristyle.


The date of the victory of Philandridas is not recorded, but it probably must lie within the years of the activity of Lysippos, who made the statue.2095 On the principle which has been sufficiently demonstrated in my monograph de olympionicarum Statuis, that statues of nearly contemporaneous victors were grouped together in the Altis, as well as those of the same family and state, or those who had been victorious in the same contest, I have already in that work2096 proposed Ol. 102 or Ol. 103 ( = 372 or 368 B. C.) as the probable date of his victory, as his statue stands among those of victors, none of whom could have won later than Ol. 104 ( = 364 B. C.). The first six named by Pausanias are Eleans and the dates of their victories fall between Ols. 94 and 104 ( = 404 and 364 B. C.); the sixth, Troilos, is known to have won his two victories in Ols. 102 and 103.2097 None of the next seven Spartans—among whose statues that of Philandridas was placed—can be dated later than Ol. 97 ( = 392 B. C.), while most of them belong to the close of the fifth century B. C. Sostratos of Sikyon won in the same contest in which Philandridas did in Ol. 104 ( = 364 B. C.);2098 and doubtless his two other known victories should be assigned to the two succeeding Olympiads. To bring Philandridas down as far as Ol. 107 ( = 352 B. C.) is unwarranted, since no statue of so late a date stood in this vicinity. On the other hand, to place his victory earlier than Ol. 102, is also out of the question, owing to the inexpediency of dating Lysippos so early. Doubtless, therefore, his statue by Lysippos was placed in the Spartan group about the same time that the image of Troilos, by the same sculptor, was placed among the Eleans. This is an independent argument, then, for so early a date for Lysippos.2099

Percy Gardner, in the discussion of the date of this artist,2100 has shown how slight is the evidence for any date later than 320 B. C. The date301 of the second Olympic victory of Cheilon of Patrai, whose statue was by Lysippos, can not be later than 320 B. C.2101 Pausanias quotes the inscription on the base of the statue to the effect that Cheilon died in battle and was buried for his valor’s sake by the Achæan people. He infers the date of his death by reference to the date of Lysippos as either 338 B. C. (Chæroneia) or 322 B. C. (Lamia). In another passage, VII, 6.5, he says that the Olympic guide told him that Cheilon was the only Achæan who fought at Lamia. Gardner justly remarks that either of these dates, the two occasions in the lifetime of Lysippos when the Achæans took part in an important war, fall within the dates of the artist’s activity.2102 The dates of the two hoplite victories of Kallikrates of Magnesia, on the Meander, whose statue was also the work of Lysippos, must be left indeterminate.2103 Gardner also shows that the wish not to separate Lysippos from the Apoxyomenos has been the real reason which has influenced so many archæologists to extend his activity to the end of the fourth century,2104 and to explain away the evidence for an earlier date offered by the statue of Troilos, who won his second victory in 368 B. C. If we once for all give up the Apoxyomenos, the difficulty of an early dating disappears, as does also the theory that Skopas could have strongly influenced the youthful Lysippos as a master would influence a pupil, and it becomes clear that this influence must have been mutual, that of one great contemporary upon another. Although Lysippos worked longer, as is attested by his work for Alexander and his generals, he could have been but little if any younger than either Skopas or Praxiteles, from both of whom he learned. We have already quoted Homolle2105 as saying that an analysis of the style of the Agias discloses the mixed influences of Praxiteles and Skopas, as well as the independent work of Lysippos, in the pose, proportions, and whole type of the figure.

Lysippos was a great reformer in art, breaking away from Argive and Polykleitan traditions, even though he called the Doryphoros as well as Nature his master, and though the influence of Polykleitos is visible in the body of the Agias, just as that of Skopas in the treatment of its forehead, eyes, and mouth, and in the intensity of its expression. Evidently he was strongly affected by the work of his great predeces302sors and contemporaries, but developed at the same time new and independent tendencies. Thus the Philandridas must have been—just as the lost statue of Troilos—an early work of the master, whereas the Agias was the work of his mature genius. The difference between the two can thus be explained by the lapse of time between them, and by the influences that surrounded the youthful artist; but the similarities between them are, at the same time, striking, and there is little resemblance in either to the Apoxyomenos. This is another link in the chain of evidence that the latter work could not have been produced by the same artist; for artists do not radically change their style after many years of work, and Lysippos must have been at least fifty years old when he created the Agias.

The identification of this marble head with that of the victor statue of the Akarnanian pancratiast by Lysippos raises two questions which we shall briefly examine: whether the statues in the Altis were ever made of marble, and whether Lysippos ever worked in that material. The first of these questions will be left for the following chapter; the second will be discussed in the present connection.


To regard a marble statue as an original work of Lysippos, who has been looked upon almost universally as a sculptor in bronze exclusively, seems at first sight to be baseless. Pliny certainly classed Lysippos among the bronze-workers, for in the preface to his account of bronze-founders2106 he tells us that this artist produced 1,500 statues, and doubtless we are to infer that the historian regarded them all as being made of metal. He further2107 speaks of Lysippos’ contributions to the (ars) statuaria, and it seems clear that this term, as the modern title of Book XXXIV, is to be taken in its narrow sense of sculpture in bronze as opposed to sculptura,2108 that in marble. How firmly the belief is established that Lysippos worked only in bronze can be seen from the following words of Overbeck: “Zu beginnen ist mit wiederholter Hervorhebung der durchaus unzweifelhaften und wichtigen Tatsache dass Lysippos ausschliesslich Erzgiesser war.2109 That Lysippos was preëminently a bronze-worker, and that his ancient reputation was due chiefly to his bronze work, can not be doubted. But to say that he never essayed to produce works in marble, as so many other Greek artists303 did who were famed as bronze-workers,2110 is, as one writer has lately expressed it, a kindisches Vorurtheil.2111 That marble work was done in his studio, if not by his hand, is well attested by the reliefs from the base of the victor statue of Polydamas mentioned above, which have been generally referred to Lysippos’ pupils.2112 These are too damaged to be used as exact evidence of his style, but the legs of Polydamas himself, in the central relief, so far as their contour can be made out, are thin and sinewy, as we should expect in Lysippan work, and this relief doubtless would have been regarded as the work of the master himself, if it had not been taken for granted that he worked only in bronze. But for the same assumption some critics would have seen an original from the hand of Lysippos in the statue of Agias at least, if not in the others of the Delphian group.2113 It will be interesting to rehearse some of the arguments by which the statue of Agias has been adjudged a copy.2114

It has been generally assumed that the original group of statues at Pharsalos was of bronze (though we have no proof that it may not have been of marble), while the one at Delphi was copied almost, if not quite, simultaneously in marble2115—so faithfully, indeed, that even the proper marble support to the figure of Agias was omitted. While Homolle notes the absence of this support as evidence of the marble statue being an exact copy of the original bronze, Gardner argues that this proves a free imitation, where the support was not needed.2116 The inexact modeling of the hair, since hair can not be rendered so perfectly in marble as in bronze, has been adduced as a sign that the marble statue was a copy of the bronze original. This in itself is a weak argument, since the slight and sketchy treatment of the hair of the Hermes of Praxiteles—which is, for the most part, merely blocked out2117—might with just as good reason be used as evidence that that statue is only a copy, especially as we know that Praxiteles also worked in bronze.2118 The omission of the artist’s304 signature on the base of the Agias has also been taken to indicate that some pupil of Lysippos (Lysistratos, for example) did the work of transference in the master’s studio under his supervision and doubtless from his model.

Despite all such arguments, which prove little, it must be admitted that the careless finish of the Delphian statue is not what we should expect in a masterpiece by so renowned a sculptor as Lysippos, as the statue can not be said to be a first-rate work of art. But that it was made under the direct supervision of Lysippos can hardly be questioned. It seems reasonable to believe that Daochos, who employed the great artist in the one case, would not have trusted a mere copyist in the other, or one who was free to indulge his individual taste in details,2119 especially as the statue was to be placed in so prominent a place as Delphi. He probably gave the orders for the two statues at the same time, and Lysippos must have had the oversight of the Delphian one. So it seems best to regard the statue of Agias as a “double,” and not as a copy in the later sense of the word. The custom of making such doubles goes back at least to the middle of the sixth century B. C. Thus the statue of the Delian Apollo by Angelion and Tektaios, known as the “Healer” (Οὔλιος),2120 had a “double” in both Delphi2121 and Athens.2122 Similarly the Philesian Apollo of Branchidai near Miletos, by the elder Kanachos,2123 had a double in Thebes known as the Ismenian Apollo, which Pausanias says differed from the one in Miletos neither in form nor size, but only in material, for it was of cedar-wood,2124 while the Milesian one was of bronze. Furtwaengler2125 has demonstrated that contemporary doubles of works by Polykleitos, Pheidias, and Praxiteles existed. The case of the statues of the athlete Agias at Pharsalos and at Delphi is paralleled by that of the Olympic victor Promachos, who had statues, probably alike, both at Olympia and in his native city Pellene.2126 A double of the base of the Nike of Paionios at Olympia was discovered at Delphi,2127 and a fine head in the collection of Miss Hertz in Rome is from the same original.2128 A Polykleitan head305 in the British Museum, similar to that of the Westmacott Athlete (Pl. 19), seems to be a contemporary replica of an original of the fifth century B. C.2129 Such examples (and many more could be cited) show the difference between contemporary “doubles” and the later copies of Greek masterpieces. The former are Greek originals in a very true sense, made, as we assume the Agias was, under the direct supervision of noted sculptors. In this sense only the Delphian statue should be called a copy.


We shall next discuss the beautiful Pentelic marble head of a boy, with a lion’s scalp drawn over the top so that the muzzle comes down over the forehead, which is said to have been discovered near the Marble Head of a Boy, Fig. 72.—Marble Head of a Boy, found near the Akropolis, Sparta. In Private Possession in Philadelphia, U. S. A. Akropolis at Sparta in 1908 (Fig. 72). This head was for a time in the University Museum, Philadelphia, and later was exhibited at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. At last accounts it was in private possession in Philadelphia. It has been published as the head of a youthful Herakles by my colleague, Professor W. N. Bates, in the American Journal of Archæology.2130 Of its style he says: “The points of resemblance which the Philadelphia Heracles bears to the heads from the Tegean pediments are so many and so striking that they must all be traced back to the same sculptor; and that he was Skopas there can be little doubt.” He therefore concludes that it is “probably a very good copy of a lost work of Skopas.”2131 A little later, Dr. L. D. Caskey, of the Museum in Boston, found these resemblances hardly close enough, in view of the influence of Skopas on later Greek sculpture, to justify so definite an attribution.2132 He found them confined to the upper part of the face, while he believed that the lower portion resembled heads which could be assigned to Praxiteles or his influence, and conse306quently he pronounced the head “an eclectic work in which features borrowed from Skopas and Praxiteles have been combined with an unusually successful effect.”

As Dr. Bates points out, there is no recorded statue of Herakles by Skopas which corresponds with this head. The stone one mentioned by Pausanias as standing in the Gymnasion at Sikyon2133 has been thought by the authors of the Numismatic Commentary on Pausanias to be reproduced on a Sikyonian copper coin of the age of Geta, now in the British Museum.2134 Many statues and busts scattered in European museums, which represent a beardless Herakles and show Skopaic influence, have been traced back to this original.2135 However, the coin represents the hero wearing a wreath, and so, if it was copied from the original in the Gymnasion, the latter could not have been the prototype of the head under discussion.

It is now universally acknowledged that all constructive criticism of the art of Skopas must be based on a study of the heads found at Tegea. Besides those discovered in 1879, and now in the National Museum in Athens,2136 two other male heads (in addition to the torso of a female figure draped as an Amazon, and a head on the same scale which probably belongs to it, as both are of Parian marble, representing probably Atalanta of the East pediment) were discovered by M. Mendel in his excavations of the temple of Athena Alea in 1900–1901, and referred to the pedimental groups described by Pausanias.2137 As one of these (Fig.73) is characterized by a lion’s scalp worn as a helmet, the hero’s face fitting into the jaws, its teeth showing above his forehead, it has been regarded as the head from a statue of Herakles, although Pausanias mentions no such statue in his enumeration of the figures composing the group of the Eastern pediment, and although it is difficult to explain the presence of the hero in the group of the Western pediment, which represented the battle between his son Telephos and Achilles. Mendel considers this head to be inferior in workmanship to the others, and so refers it to the school of Skopas rather than to the master himself, and designates it “un travail d’atelier.” In describing it, however, he says: “tous ces caractères, qui sont ceux des têtes du Musée central, se307 retrouvent dans nôtre tête d’Héraclés.”2138 Here we have a head of a youthful Herakles (or of some hero who has borrowed his attribute of the lion’s skin—perhaps Telephos), which, if not by Skopas himself, is still a work of his school reproducing all his characteristics; consequently, of all these heads from Tegea, it is with this one chiefly that we should compare the head from Sparta similarly covered with a lion’s scalp.

So-called Head of Herakles.
Fig. 73.—So-called Head of Herakles, from Tegea, by Skopas. National Museum, Athens.

Though badly injured, it is still possible to see in this head of the so-called Herakles found at Tegea, both in full view and in profile, the characteristic Skopaic expression of passion, and to discover the means by which the artist effected it. The expression is due in great measure to the upward direction of the gaze, and to the heavy overshadowing of the deep-set eyes. It is further enhanced by the contracted brow, dilated nostril, and half-open, almost panting, mouth, whose parted lips clearly disclose the teeth. The structure of the head is in keeping with the strength of character portrayed; the skull is very deep from front to back, and its framework is massive and bony; the face is broad and short and the chin is heavy; everything emphasizes the impression of a virile and muscular warrior violently engaged in the fray. The subjects of the two pedimental groups—the Kalydonian boar hunt and the battle between Achilles and Telephos—justified the expression of308 unrestrained violence which we see in this and the other male heads, and gave the sculptor an opportunity to represent his heroes in the excitement of action and danger. To effect this intensity of expression Skopas relied mainly on the treatment of the eye. In one of the heads (the unhelmeted one in Athens) the gaze is not turned upwards as in the Herakles, nor are the neck-muscles strained as in the others, and yet the expression is even more violent than in them. Thus it is the modeling of the flesh about the eye which is the real distinguishing feature of Skopas’ work. In describing the helmeted head in Athens, E. A. Gardner says:

“The eyes are set very deep in their sockets, and heavily overshadowed, at their inner corners, by the strong projection of the brow, which does not, however, as in some later examples of a similar intention on the part of the artist, meet the line of the nose at an acute angle, but arches away from it in a bold curve. At the outer corners the eyes are also heavily overshadowed, here by a projecting mass of flesh or muscle which overhangs and actually hides in part the upper lid. The eyes are very wide-open—with a dilation which comes from fixing the eyes upon a distant object—and therefore suggest the far-away look associated with a passionate nature.”2139


It is to the facial characteristics in the Tegea heads that Dr. Bates calls attention in basing his argument for the Skopaic origin of the head from Sparta: the forehead horizontally divided by a median line, the swelling, prominent brow, the deep-set eyes with their narrow lids—only 2 mm. wide—embedded in the projecting flesh at the outer corners, and the parted mouth. He also sees a resemblance in the small round curls bunched together above the ears. But if there are resemblances (especially in the modeling of the eyes) there are also great differences observable in the Tegea heads and the one from Sparta. Let us confine our comparison of the latter with the Herakles of the Tegea pediment, though the comparison with any of the other male heads would lead to substantially the same results.

In the first place the structure of the two heads in question is very different. As the head from Sparta is broken in two at the ears and the whole back part is missing, we can not tell whether it had the great depth of the one from Tegea. But of the massive, bony framework of the latter there is little trace in the former. In the Tegea example we are struck with the squareness of the head and the breadth of the central part of the face; the sides do not gradually converge toward the middle, but seem to form distinct planes. The distance between the eyes is also in keeping with the breadth of the skull as measured between the ears; the breadth of the face almost equals its length from the top of the forehead to the chin, and this fact, together with the massive, promi309nent chin, gives an element of squareness to the whole.2140 On the other hand, the head from Sparta has a long, narrow face whose sides softly converge toward the middle in beautiful curves about the cheeks; its cheek-bones are not so high nor so prominent as those of the other; it ends in a delicate, almost effeminate chin, which slightly retreats and gives the whole lower part of the face an oval structure, thus recalling Praxiteles and fourth-century Attic works. The length of the face is accentuated by the considerable height to which the head rises above the forehead, in contrast with the flatness of the skull in the example from Tegea. The eyes are not so wide-open; they are longer and not so swollen nor compressed toward the centre; if we view the two heads from the side, we see that the eye-socket in the Tegea head is larger and appreciably deeper than in the one from Sparta.

Apart from these surface differences in the structure of the head and face, it is in the resultant expression that we see the greatest divergence from the Skopaic type. This seems to me to be fundamentally different in the Sparta head. In the Herakles, as in all the other Tegea male heads, and even in those of the boar and the dogs, the really characteristic feature, which differentiates them from all other works of Greek sculpture, is the passionate intensity of their expression. The one unforgettable impression left on the spectator by them all is this expression of violent and unrestrained passion, which the sculptor has succeeded in imparting to the marble. This is what marks him as the master of passion and the originator of the dramatic tendencies carried to such lengths in the Hellenistic schools of sculpture; it is this which explains Kallistratos’ characterization of his works as being κάτοχα καὶ μεστὰ μανίας.2141 The head from Sparta shows only a little of this intensity. Notwithstanding the similar upward gaze and slightly parted lips, the intention of the artist seems to have been to portray the hero in an attitude of expectancy, tempered by a look almost of calmness. The look is deeply earnest, but not violent; it is even melancholy. It is this last feature, the delicate and compelling melancholy of the face, which impressed me most on first viewing it. This is further enhanced by the full, soft modeling of the lower face, that gives to the whole a delicate, almost effeminate character, which strongly reminds us of Praxitelean heads. In fact, the shape of the lips and the modeling of the310 flesh on either side of the mouth, together with the soft, dimpled chin, have little in common with the massive strength and remarkable animation of the Tegea heads. As Dr. Caskey has intimated, if we had only the lower portion of the face for comparison, we should be inclined to ascribe it to the influence of Praxiteles. If we considered the upper part only, resemblances to Skopaic work seem well marked; but if we take into account the expression of the face as a whole, we see that it lacks the most essential of Skopaic features, the look of passionate intensity. Consequently we shall find it difficult to bring the head into such close relation to that artist; for here there is little analogy to the vigorous warrior types of the Tegea pediments. For its quieter mien it might be better to compare it with the head of Atalanta,2142 though none of the gentle pathos or eagerness of the Sparta head is there visible. The Atalanta, though full of vigorous life, utterly lacks the unrestrained passion so characteristic of her brothers; her eyes are not so deeply set, nor so wide-open; they are narrower and longer, and are not over-hung at the outer corners by heavy masses of flesh.2143 In speaking of the absence of these rolls of muscle, E. A. Gardner notes a curious peculiarity: “This is a clearly marked, though delicately rounded, roll of flesh between the brow and the upper eyelid, which is continued right round above the inner corner of the eye, to join the swelling at the side of the nose, which itself passes on into the cheek.”2144 He detects this same peculi311arity in certain other Skopaic heads, notably in the Apollo from the Mausoleion and the Demeter from Knidos, though it is quite lacking in the Tegea male heads. It all goes to show that Skopas was not strictly consistent in his treatment of the eye. The lower face of the Atalanta is also longer and more oval than that of the male heads, and thus shows Attic rather than Peloponnesian influence. If it is difficult, then, to conceive of the Atalanta and the male heads as the work of the same sculptor, the contrast, both in structure and expression, between these two heads of Herakles, the one from Tegea, the other from Sparta, makes it more difficult to assume the same authorship for both; for here we can not explain the difference as the contrast between the types of hero and heroine; here we are comparing two heads which are supposedly of the same hero.


Attic Grave-Relief.
Fig. 74.—Attic Grave-Relief, found in the Bed of the Ilissos, Athens. National Museum, Athens.

In view, then, of the differences enumerated I should hesitate to assign a Skopaic origin to the head from Sparta. In the lower part of the face, with its small mouth and delicate chin, I see signs only of Praxitelean influence; in the upper part I am much more inclined to see affinities to the art-tendencies of Lysippos, as we now know them from the statue of Agias. In the present state of our knowledge it is not difficult to separate works of Praxitelean origin from those of Skopas; but it is a very different thing to distinguish those of Skopaic origin from those of Lysippos; here the line distinguishing the two masters is much finer and harder to draw. Before the discovery of the Tegea heads, the deep-set eye,2145 prominent brow, and “breathing” mouth were looked upon as characteristic features of Lysippos, as they were known to us from representations of Alexander, especially on coins. We now know that these traits belonged to Skopas to a much greater extent. When the Agias was found, and before its true authorship had been determined, Homolle, as we have seen, had at first classed it as showing the manner of Lysippos, only later to see more of Skopas than Lysippos in it. Such a conclusion was natural so long as we regarded the Apoxyomenos as the key to Lysippan art. By assigning these traits definitely to Skopas, we were compelled to view the work of Lysippos as conventional and somewhat lifeless in comparison. But with the assumption that the statue of Agias represented true Lysippan characteristics, we were forced to recognize that the same traits belonged to Lysippos also, though to a less degree, since the energy of the Tegea heads was absent from the features of the Agias and their fierceness was here replaced by a look of quiet melancholy. The study of such allied works as the beautiful and excellently preserved Lansdowne Herakles (Pl. 30 and Fig. 71), the athlete on the Pentelic marble312 stele found in the bed of the Ilissos in 1874, and now in the National Museum in Athens (Fig. 74),2146 the so-called Meleager in the Vatican (Fig. 75),2147 and other copies of the same original (e. g., Figs. 76, 77), also shows how closely the type of Lysippos approached that of Skopas. Long ago I expressed the view2148 that these and similar works should be313 assigned to Lysippos rather than to Skopas, to whom most critics had referred them. Thus, after the discovery of the Tegea heads, scholarly opinion began to follow the arguments of Furtwaengler in bringing the Lansdowne Herakles into the sphere of Skopas.2149 But Michaelis, as far back as 1882, commenting on the characteristically small head, Statue of the so-called Meleager. Fig. 75.—Statue of the so-called Meleager. Vatican Museum, Rome. short neck in comparison with the mighty shoulders, and long legs in proportion to the thick-set torso, had declared: “Without doubt the statue offers one of the finest specimens, if not absolutely the best, of a Herakles according to the conception of Lysippos.”2150 Now opinion varies again; only those who believe that the Agias is Lysippan class the Herakles as a Lysippan work.2151 Of the Meleager, Graef2152 gives eighteen copies besides the one in the Vatican. This number shows how common an adornment it was of Roman villas and parks. Some of these copies have a chlamys thrown over the arm, e. g., the Vatican example, and belong to imperial times, while others without the mantle, e. g., the torso in Berlin,2153 are older. In addition to the Vatican example we reproduce two other copies, the beautiful Parian marble head now placed on the trunk of a Praxitelean Apollo in the gardens of the Medici in Rome (Fig. 76),2154 and the statue without arms or legs and without the chlamys, found in 1895 near Santa Mari314nella, 30 miles from Rome, and since 1899 in the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University (Fig. 77),2155 one of the most beautiful of the many replicas. At first the original of these copies was supposed to be Lysippan, being identified with the Venator at Thespiai mentioned by Pliny as the work of Euthykrates, the son and pupil of Lysippos,2156 but after the discovery of the Tegea heads it was almost universally315 referred to Skopas.2157 Here again the Skopaic group of Graef has been broken by P. Gardner2158 and others, and the Meleager, like the Herakles, has been given to Lysippos.

Head of the so-called Meleager.
Fig. 76.—Head of the so-called Meleager. Villa Medici, Rome.

Let us analyze a little further wherein the difference between the closely allied art of Skopas and Lysippos lies. We saw that it was chiefly the formation of the eye and its surroundings which characterized Torso of the so-called Meleager. Fig. 77.—Torso of the so-called Meleager. Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, U. S. A. Skopaic work—the depth of the balls in their sockets, and the heavy masses of flesh above the outer corners. This was in harmony with the breadth of brow and the massive build of the Tegea heads. In the Agias and similar works the treatment of the eye is somewhat different. The head of the Agias is of slighter proportions than the heads from Tegea; in conformity with the Lysippan canon it is below life-size, and consequently has no such heavy overshadowing of the outer corners of the eyes. Moreover, as we shall see, this overshadowing is also relatively less in the statue of the Delphian athlete. The formation of the eye is thus described by E. A. Gardner:

“The inner corners of the eye are set very deep in the head and very close together; the inner corners of the eye-sockets form acute angles, running up close to one another and leaving between them only a narrow ridge for the base of the nose; thus they offer a strong contrast to the line of the brow, arching away in a broad curve from the solid base of the nose and forming an obtuse angle with it, such as we see in the Skopaic heads.”2159

The resultant expression is therefore somewhat different from that of the heads from Tegea; while we still see animation and even intensity in the face of the Agias, we see it in a modified degree. The far-away look of the Tegea heads is still present, but it appears to be fixed on a nearer object, and so the look of intensity is tempered; it is also lightened by the fact that the overshadowing of the eyes at the outer corners is less heavy. But even this latter so-called Skopaic trait, though316 it is absent in the Agias, is certainly present in other Lysippan heads. Besides being prominent in representations of Alexander the Great on coins,2160 it is seen in busts of the conqueror, especially in the splendid one from Alexandria in the British Museum.2161 In the latter example we see just such heavy rolls of flesh as we note in the Skopaic heads. It shows that this trait, introduced by Skopas, was used at times with equal effect by Lysippos. We have already noted how in one example, at least, Skopas himself laid it aside—in the Atalanta. Its presence on Lysippan heads shows that too much stress can be laid on this feature in deciding whether a given piece of sculpture is to be referred to Skopas. This trait complicates the whole problem of the style of the two masters.


As the Agias is considered by most critics to be a contemporary copy of the original statue at Pharsalos, perhaps it will be more just to compare the head from Sparta under discussion with the original marble head from Olympia, which we have ascribed in the earlier part of the present chapter to the statue of Philandridas by Lysippos. Such a comparison will, of course, show certain differences, but marked resemblances as well. We shall see that these resemblances are confined to the upper part of the face. In both we note the same low forehead with a corresponding depression or crease across the middle; the similarly bulging brow which breaks very perceptibly the continuous line from forehead to nose, concave above and below and convex at the swelling itself; the same powerfully framed and deep-set eyes thrown into shadows by the projecting bony structure of the brows and the overhanging masses of flesh. The eyeballs in both are similarly long and narrow, though they are slightly arched in the Philandridas just as in the Tegea heads, and not so close together as in the Agias, but their inner angles are farther apart and not almost hidden by the flat bridge of the nose when viewed straight from the front. In this respect they are strikingly like those of the Sparta head.2162 The raised upper lids in both form symmetri317cally narrow and sharply defined borders over the eyeballs. These borders, in each case, are not partially hidden by the folds of skin at the outer corners, as they are in the Tegea heads; and yet the masses of flesh projecting from the brows are almost as heavy as in the latter. In both the heads from Olympia and Sparta the upper lids slightly overlap the under at the outer corners. The eye-sockets in both seem to be equally deep and the cheek-bones similarly high and prominent. We remark in the Philandridas the gradual converging of the sides of the face toward the middle, a trait which we have already observed in the head from Sparta as in contrast with the more angular formation with lateral planes so characteristic of the Tegea male heads. The flatness of the nose and the curves which it makes with the brow on either side are very similar in the two heads under discussion. In both, the hair is treated in the same simple and sketchy manner, being fashioned into little ringlets ruffled back from the temples in flat relief quite in the Skopaic manner, even if the curls seem shorter and more tense.

When we come to a consideration of the lower part of each face, we immediately detect differences. While both faces end in an oval, this is broader, heavier, and more bony in that of the Philandridas, as we should expect in the case of a more mature man. Consequently here the mouth is larger and firmer. The elegant contour of the lips observable in the Agias is also found, to a less degree, in the head from Sparta, whose lips are fuller and more sensuous, but can not be traced in the Philandridas owing to the damaged condition of the mouth. It is clear, however, that the lips of the latter were also slightly parted, just showing the teeth, but not as in the Tegea heads, as if the breath were being forced through them with great effort.

It is, however, in the expression of these two faces that we see the greatest resemblance. In the Philandridas, the powerful framing of the eyes, the slightly upward gaze of the balls, and the contracted forehead combine to give it a pensive, even melancholy, look of dignity, a look seemingly of one who takes no joy or pleasure in victory, though, as we have already mentioned,2163 it is earnest rather than mournful. The almost identical treatment of the eye and its surroundings gives the still more youthful head from Sparta a similar expression. Homolle’s analysis of the expression of the face of the Agias would apply with equal fitness to the mood portrayed in both the heads we are discussing: “L’expression qui résulte de ces divers traits, c’est, dans une figure jeune et vigoureuse, un air pensif ou lassé, une certaine mélancolie, qui ne va pas à la tristesse morne ou à la méditation profonde, mais qui reste plus loin encore de la joie insouciante de la vie et de la pure allégresse de la victoire”.2164 Preuner remarked that318 a verse of the epigram found on the base of the statue of Agias, which runs καὶ σῶν οὐδείς πω στῆσε τροπαῖα χερῶν, is almost an exact copy of the words of Herakles in the Trachiniae of Sophocles.2165 In these words the dedicator of the statue ends the recital of his ancestor’s exploits with a melancholy reflection on the vanity of his glory. They suggest with no less truth the expression of both the heads we are discussing. This expression of pensiveness tinged with melancholy is enhanced in both by the slightly parted lips. We can see the same expression carried much further in many of the portraits of Alexander which go back to originals by Lysippos, and we know from Plutarch that this sculptor was chosen by the conqueror to make his portraits, because Lysippos alone could combine his manly air with the liquid and melting glance of his eyes.2166 But how different is the delicately indicated pathos of these heads from the violent and unrestrained, even panting, expression of the Tegea sculptures! Here there is no trace of the μανία which Kallistratos said characterized the works of Skopas. If it be objected that the expression of the Philandridas is more dramatic than that of the head from Sparta, its fierce, almost barbarous, look of defiance may well be explained by the fact that here is represented a victor from Akarnania, a country noted among the other Greek states for anything but culture and refinement.


It is, then, in consequence of these resemblances to Lysippan work, and because of the differences between it and the Tegean heads, that I am led to see more of Lysippos than of Skopas in this beautiful head from Sparta. An analysis of its style permits us to discover in it the mixed influences of Praxiteles, of Lysippos, and of Skopas. It seems to me necessary, therefore, in view of this mixture of tendencies, to regard it as an eclectic work, in which the unknown artist has combined Lysippan and Praxitelean elements chiefly; and that he was also under the influence of Skopas is evinced by the peculiarities mentioned in the treatment of the eyes and hair;2167 but even in the modeling of the eyes, I believe that his chief debt was to Lysippos. The fineness of surface modeling, commented on by both Professor Bates and Dr. Caskey, 319recalls the delicacy of execution in detail which is mentioned by Pliny as characteristic of Lysippan art.2168 It surely points to a date for the work not much if at all later than the end of the century which was made glorious in the history of sculpture by the labors of these three great masters.

In the preceding account I have tacitly assumed with Professor Bates that the head from Sparta represents a beardless Herakles. But, as Dr. Caskey remarks, one might hesitate to accept this identification if it were not for the attribute of the lion’s skin above the forehead, for here there is little indication of the strength so characteristic of later representations of the hero. Dr. Caskey, however, observes that a head of Herakles, now in the British Museum, which some have regarded as an original by Praxiteles, is even more boyish than this one. However, it is very doubtful if the Sparta head should be referred to a statue of Herakles at all. Pausanias mentions only three statues of Herakles in Sparta, to any one of which it seems futile to try to refer the head under discussion; thus in III, 14.6, he speaks of an ἄγαλμα ἀρχαῖον to which the Sphairians, i. e., lads entering on manhood, sacrificed, as standing on the road to the Δρόμος, outside the city walls; in the same book, 14.8, he says that an image of the hero stood at the end of one of the two bridges across the moat to Plane-tree Grove, i. e., the boys’ exercise-ground; and again in this book, 15.3, he says that an ἄγαλμα ὡπλισμένον of Herakles stood in the Herakleion close to the city wall, whose attitude (σχῆμα), was suggested by the battle between the hero and Hippokoön and his sons. The same writer enumerates only three other statues of Herakles in Lakonia. One of these was in the market-place of Gythion (III, 21.8), another in front of the walls of Las beyond Gythion (III, 24.6), and the third on Mount Parnon near the boundaries of Argolis, Lakonia, and Tegea (III, 10.6). The head under discussion is more probably only one more example of the idealizing tendency of athletic Greek art, which assimilated the type of victor to that of god.2169 In the case of the Agias the sculptor plainly wished to raise the victor to the ideal height of the hero. The same idealization is visible in the head ascribed to the statue of Philandridas. In both these heads the ears, while small, are battered and swollen; the remains of the ears in the head from Sparta are too badly damaged to indicate whether these were swollen or not. But even if they were 320 preserved and were in that condition, they would not be a distinguishing factor in determining whether the head belonged to the statue of a victor or of Herakles. In our consideration of the Olympia head we saw by a comparison with the Lansdowne Herakles, a statue universally recognized as that of the hero, how fundamentally different were the two in their whole conception and how differently a highly idealized athlete and a hero were treated by the same sculptor. The same might be said of the boyish head from Sparta, when compared with a genuine head of Herakles. For this reason, and because of the resemblance in expression between the Philandridas and the head from Sparta, I am inclined to believe that the latter, instead of being a representation of a youthful Herakles, is really the idealized portrait of an athlete, probably that of a boy victor, either in the boxing or wrestling match,2170 assimilated in form to that of the hero.2171



Figures 78–80.

It has been assumed pretty generally by archæologists that the victor statues set up in the Altis at Olympia were uniformly of bronze. Scherer, in his inaugural dissertation de olympionicarum Statuis, which appeared in 1885, was the first to discuss the question fully,2173 and his arguments and conclusions have been followed, for the most part, by later investigators. Thus Dittenberger and Purgold state unequivocally that these statues were “ausnahmslos aus Bronze”,2174 while more recently Hitzig and Bluemner, in their great commentary on Pausanias, have again pronounced the dictum that “die Siegerstatuen waren durchweg von Erz”.2175 Others, however, have not been quite so sweeping in their generalization. Thus Wolters believes that these statues, because they were set up in the open, were “der Regel nach” of bronze,2176 and Furtwaengler and Urlichs assume that they were “fast ausschliesslich aus Bronze”.2177


The arguments adduced by Scherer and others in defense of the contention seem at first sight, although inferential in character, quite conclusive. In the first place, it has been pointed out that all the statuaries mentioned by Pausanias in his victor periegesis,2178 if recorded at all in Pliny’s Historia Naturalis, appear there in the catalogue of bronze founders as workers in bronze κατ’ ἐξοχήν, while none of them is known exclusively as a sculptor in marble. As Hagelaïdas is the first in point of time, who flourished from the third quarter of the sixth century B. C. to the second quarter of the fifth,2179 Scherer believed that all statues from his date down—posteriorum temporum—were of bronze; and as Rhoikos and Theodoros, the inventors of bronze founding, flourished about Ols. 50 to 60 ( = 580 to 540 B. C.),2180 he believed that bronze322 might have been used up to their date. In the next place, the excavated bases, which have been identified as those of victor monuments, show footprints of bronze statues. Thirdly, actual bronze fragments, indubitably belonging to victor statues (of which two are attested by inscriptions), were found during the excavations of the Altis. These consist of the following:

(a) An inscribed convex piece of bronze of imperial times, “anscheinend vom Schenkel einer Bronzestatue herruehrend.”2181

(b) A similar inscribed fragment of the same period.2182

(c) The remarkable life-size portrait head of a boxer or pancratiast, which we have already discussed and reproduced (Fig. 61 A and B).2183

(d) A foot of masterly workmanship (Fig. 62) ascribed by Furtwaengler2184 to the end of the third century B. C. Its position shows that the statue of which it was a part was represented in motion, and consequently it has been assigned to a victor statue.

(e) A beautifully modeled right arm, somewhat under life-size, supposedly from the statue of a boy victor.2185

(f) A right lower leg of excellent workmanship, assigned by Furtwaengler to the same period as fragment e.2186

Still other bronze fragments of statues found at Olympia may have belonged to statues of victors, especially to those of boys.2187 The small number of such fragments recovered—Scherer wrongly thought there was none—is explained by assuming that all of these statues were of bronze, and consequently were destroyed by the barbarians in their inroads into Greece during the early Middle Ages, when this metal was much prized.2188 Another argument for believing that these statues were of bronze is the silence of Pausanias concerning the materials employed in them; for, in his enumeration of 192 such monuments, he mentions the material of only two statues, those of the boxer Praxidamas of Aegina2189 and of the Opuntian pancratiast Rhexibios,2190 and he mentions these because of their great antiquity, peculiar position in the Altis apart from the others (near323 the column of Oinomaos), and the fact that they were made of wood.2191 Furthermore, in his book on Achaia there occurs this passage in reference to the statue of the victor Promachos, which was set up in the Gymnasion of Pellene: καὶ αὐτοῦ [Προμάχου] καὶ εἰκόνας ποιήσαντες οἱ Πελληνεῖς τὴν μὲν ἐς Ὀλυμπίαν ἀνέθεσαν, τὴν δὲ ἐν τῷ γυμνασίῳ, λίθου ταύτην καὶ οὐ χαλκοῦ.2192 Most critics have inferred from these last words, “the one in the Gymnasion being of stone and not of bronze,” that, although Pausanias says nothing about the material of statues of victors in the Altis (barring the two just mentioned), by implication all these statues were of bronze; and they point out the fact that other writers furnish no evidence concerning the material used in them—an argument ex silentio to the same effect. Besides these arguments many others have been urged on purely a priori grounds; e. g., that, since these statues stood in the open air, subject to all kinds of weathering, they must have been made of bronze;2193 that metal statues would have been cheaper and more easily prepared than those of marble;2194 that the later Peloponnesian schools of athletic sculpture, which were characterized by their predilection for bronze-founding, would nowhere have been more prominently in evidence than at Olympia; etc.

Thus the case for the use of metal in these statues seems very well substantiated, and, for the reasons given, it can not be reasonably doubted that the vast majority of these monuments were made of bronze. But that they were not exclusively of metal, and that there were many exceptions to the general rule, not only can be conjectured on good grounds, but can be proved by discoveries made at the excavations. We shall briefly consider, then, each of the foregoing arguments in turn, and see whether, in the light of the accumulated evidence, they are really as well founded as they appear to be.


As for the first point, that the statuaries mentioned by Pausanias appear only in Pliny’s catalogue of bronze founders, we must remember that Pausanias himself says2195 that he is making only a selection of the victor monuments in the Altis, those of the more famous athletes.324 Therefore, the 192 monuments (of 187 victors)2196 which he does mention must be only a fraction of the multitude of such monuments which once stood at Olympia. Pliny, to be sure, says that it was the custom for all victors to set up statues in the Altis;2197 but this refers only to the privilege, of which many victors could not or did not avail themselves on account of poverty, early death, or for other reasons.2198 Still, the number of such dedications must have been very great. Manifestly, therefore, we should not base an argument on the number mentioned. There must, then, have been many other artists employed at Olympia, some of whom may well have been workers in marble. Besides, of the statuaries actually named by Pausanias, many do not appear at all in Pliny’s work, and many of these may have been sculptors exclusively in stone. Of the names found in Pliny, six at least—Kalamis, Kanachos, Eutychides, Myron, Polykles, and Timarchides—appear both in the list of bronze-workers and in that of marble-sculptors.2199 Similarly, in answer to the second argument that the excavated bases show footprints of bronze statues, we must admit that only a fraction of the bases which once supported statues in the Altis have been recovered. Not one-fifth of the victors mentioned by Pausanias are known to us through these bases.2200

The fact that actual remains of bronze statues have been excavated at Olympia is matched by the fact that remnants of marble statues have also been found; and it does not seem reasonable, in the light of the evidence adduced by Treu, Furtwaengler, and others, to reject these as fragments of actual victor statues. These fragments include the following:2201

(a, b) The two life-size archaic helmeted heads (Fig. 30) which we have ascribed to hoplite victors.2202

(c, d, e) Fragments of statues of boy victors: c = trunk with left upper leg, three-fifths life-size (Fig. 78);2203 d = breast, one-half life-size;2204


e = upper part of legs of a statue, two-thirds life-size.2205 Besides these Treu also adduces fragments of four different boy statues, all of which are less than life-size.2206

The reticence of Pausanias as to the material used in these statues Small Marble Torso of a Boy Victor. Fig. 78.—Small Marble Torso of a Boy Victor, from Olympia. Museum of Olympia. is merely in accord with his custom, for he very rarely mentions the materials of monuments, and apparently only where monuments of bronze and stone or other materials stand close together in a circumscribed area, as for instance, in enumerating the various monuments in the Heraion at Olympia.2207 The only inference, therefore, to be drawn from Pausanias’ statement about the statue of Promachos mentioned is that this particular statue of a victor at Olympia was of bronze. We are not justified in going any further. Besides this stone statue at Pellene we have other actual notices of marble statues of Olympic victors outside Olympia, as those of Arrhachion at Phigalia2208 (Fig. 79) and of Agias by Lysippos at Delphi (Pl. 28 and Fig. 68). If they existed outside Olympia, there is no reason why they should not have existed in the Altis also, e. g., the Lysippan marble head found there, which we assigned in the preceding chapter to the Akarnanian victor Philandridas (Frontispiece, and Fig. 69). Many of the older statues, like that of Arrhachion, conformed with the “Apollo” type, as we have shown in Ch. III,5 and doubtless many such at Olympia were of marble.

Reinach’s argument that stone statues in Greece, because of their patina of color, were intended to be placed under cover in the porticoes or cellas of temples and elsewhere, while bronze ones were meant to stand in the open air, has been sufficiently combatted by H. Lechat,2209326 who argues that the use of paint in Greek architecture and on temple sculptures proves the contrary. As the paint was burnt in, it was reasonably durable, and if it did not prove so it was readily renewed. At Olympia, among several examples, we may cite the marble Nike of Paionios, which stood in the open in the space to the east of the temple of Zeus2210 (see Plans A and B), while, on the other hand, a bronze statue of Aphrodite stood within the Heraion.2211 The argument that metal statues were cheaper than marble must also be questioned.2212 In the earlier part of the present work we saw that, for economy’s sake, many victors set up small bronze statuettes instead of statues at Olympia, numbers of which have been recovered. That such dedications were common elsewhere is shown by the countless athlete statuettes—especially diskoboloi—which are to be found in all European museums.2213 For similar reasons victors would choose in place of bronze the less durable and cheaper stone, as in the cases of Arrhachion and Promachos cited, or even wood, as in those of Rhexibios and Praxidamas. Still others, especially boy victors, would set up small marble statues, two-fifths to two-thirds life-size, as the fragments of the seven examples collected by Treu and already enumerated above show.

Thus we see that the contention that the victor statues at Olympia were exclusively of bronze, in the light of the evidence adduced, is untenable.


In his description of Arkadia, Pausanias mentions seeing the stone statue of the pancratiast Arrhachion in the market-place of Phigalia. He describes it as archaic, especially in pose, the feet being close together and the arms hanging by the sides to the hips; and adds that he was told that it once bore an inscription which had become illegible in his day.2214 This Arrhachion won three victories at Olympia in the pan327kration in Ols. 52–54 ( = 572–564 B. C.).2215 Therefore his statue is one of the oldest victor monuments of which we have record. At so early a date, before individual types of victor statues had been developed, we should expect, in harmony with the description of Pausanias, that this statue would conform in style with the well-known archaic “Apollo” type, the most characteristic of early Greek sculpture, which, as we saw in Chapter III, is exemplified in the long series of statues found all over the Greek world, the oldest class being represented by the Stone Statue of the Olympic Victor Arrhachion. Fig. 79.—Stone Statue of the Olympic Victor Arrhachion, from Phigalia. In the Guards’ House at Bassai (Phigalia). example from Thera (Fig. 9), and one of the youngest by that from Tenea near Corinth (Pl. 8A).

In his commentary on the passage of Pausanias, Sir J. G. Frazer records that during a visit in May, 1890, he saw a recently discovered archaic stone statue in a field just outside Pavlitsa, a village on the site of the southeastern precincts of the old city of Phigalia, some 2.5 miles from the temple of Apollo Epikourios at Bassai. He thought that this statue agreed completely with Pausanias’ description of Arrhachion’s, even to the half-effaced inscription which he transcribed from its breast just below the neck.2216 Through the courtesy of Dr. Svoronos, of the National Numismatic Museum in Athens, I have been able to procure a photograph of the monument from K. Kouroniotis, the Arkadian Ephor of antiquities stationed at Bassai, and I present it herewith (Fig. 79). The statue is now328 cared for in the house of the temple guards. This statue, like all other examples of the series, represents a nude youth standing in a stiff, constrained attitude. It is badly mutilated and its surface is rough from weathering. Besides having lost its head, arms, and the lower part of the legs, it has been broken into two parts across the abdomen. The ends of curls on either side of the neck, extending a few inches over the breast, show that the head looked straight forward, thus following the usual law of “frontality,”2217 which precluded any turning of the body; for a median line drawn down through the middle of the breastbone, the navel, and the αἰδοῖα would divide the statue into two equal halves. The body shows the quadrangular form of the earlier examples, the sculptor having worked in flat planes at right angles to one another, with the corners merely rounded off. The remains of arms broken off just below the shoulders show that they must have hung close to the sides. The shoulders are broad and square, and display none of the sloping lines characteristic of other examples, as, e. g., the one from Tenea. From the breast down the body is slender, the hips being very narrow. The legs show the usual flatness and the left one is slightly advanced, as is uniformly the case in every one of the series. They are somewhat more separated than in many other examples. The αἰδοῖα form a rude pyramidal mass, not being differentiated as they are, e. g., in the statues from Naxos and Orchomenos2218 (Fig. 10). Some attempt at modeling is visible in the muscles of the breast and lower abdomen. In general, it may be said that the similarity in attitude of this statue to Egyptian works impresses us, as it does in all the examples of early Greek sculpture. As the subject of Oriental, especially Egyptian, influence on early Greek art has given rise to very diverse views, we shall make a short digression at this point to discuss this interesting question.


This question has been under discussion in all its bearings ever since Brunn, in 1853, tried to demonstrate the originality of the Daidalian ξόανα,2219 but, strangely enough, archæologists are not yet agreed as to its proper settlement. While some emphasize the spontaneous origin of Greek art, others quite as strongly advocate that the early Greek329 sculptor, at least, copied Egyptian models.2220 Thus Furtwaengler, who early assumed a Cretan origin for the “Apollo” type of statues,2221 later became convinced that it developed in Ionia through Greek contact with the colony of Naukratis in Egypt, which was founded in the middle of the seventh century B. C. He concluded that this plastic type “ist bekanntlich nichts als die Nachahmung des Haupttypus aegyptischer statuarischer Kunst”.2222 Similarly Collignon traces the archaic male type to Egyptian influence, and assumes that this influence from the Nile valley was exerted on the Greek artist before the latter half of the seventh century B. C.2223 On the other hand, H. Lechat, in his review of the evolution of Greek sculpture from its beginning, believes that the early sculptor owed but little to Egypt or the East.2224 Deonna entirely rejects the assumption of Egyptian influence, believing that all the so-called characteristics of early Greek statues can be explained as the result of natural evolution in Greece itself.2225 Von Mach also completely excludes all foreign influence when he says: “In her sculpture at least, Greece was independent of influence of any one of the countries that can at all come under consideration in this connection, Phœnicia, Assyria, and Egypt.”2226 But here, as in so many questions about Greek art, the truth must lie between the two extremes.2227 The economic conditions of early Greece certainly prove that the Greeks were dependent on outside peoples in many ways, and there is no a priori reason for denying this dependence in art. We clearly see Egyptian influence, for example, in the ceiling of the treasury of Orchomenos,2228 and that the Greeks learned many animal decorative forms as well as a correct observation of nature from Assyrian art is clear, if we study the best examples of the late period of that art, the reliefs from the palace of Assurbanipal at Nineveh (Konyonjik), now in the British330 Museum. Such decorative designs could be easily transmitted to the Greeks by the Phœnicians on embroidered fabrics. It seems reasonable, therefore, to assume that early Greek artists, especially in the Greek colonies to the east and south of Greece, were acquainted with earlier models and especially with those of Egypt. The Greeks themselves of a later date recognized this debt to Egypt. This is shown by many passages in Pausanias, which mention the similarity existing between early Greek and Egyptian sculptures,2229 and by the curious tale told by Diodoros about the Samian artist family of Rhoikos, according to which the latter’s two sons made the two halves of the statue of the Pythian Apollo for Samos separately, Telekles working in Samos and Theodoros in Ephesos. When joined together the two parts fitted exactly, just as if they had been made by one and the same artist. Diodoros adds that τοῦτο δὲ τὸ γένος τῆς ἐργασίας παρὰ μὲν τοῖς Ἕλλησι μηδαμῶς ἐπιτηδεύεσθαι, παρὰ δὲ τοῖς Αἰγυπτίοις μάλιστα συντελεῖσθαι.2230 Such a story is valuable in that it shows that the later Greeks believed that they had adopted the conventional Egyptian canon of proportions. If we compare any of the “Apollo” statues with Egyptian standing figures of any period of Egyptian art, as Bulle has done, the resemblances in detail between the two types will be found to be very striking. Thus from the Old Kingdom (Memphitic), which included the first eight dynasties of Manetho,2231 we may cite the painted limestone statue of Ra-nefer and the wooden one of Tepemankh in the Museum of Cairo (Fig. 80), two men prominent in the fifth dynasty;2232 or the wood statue of Ka-aper, the so-called Sheik-el-Beled, which represents the apogee of Memphitic art, and that of his “wife,” without legs or arms, the two statues being found similarly in a grave at Sakkarah (Memphis), and now being in the same museum.2233 From the Middle Kingdom, including the eleventh to the seventeenth dynasties,2234 we may mention the painted statue found at Dahshur and now in Cairo, which represents Horfuabra, the co-regent of Amenemhat III, who was one of331 the kings of the twelfth dynasty.2235 From the New Empire, including the eighteenth to the twentieth dynasties,2236 we cite the draped wood statue of the priestess Tui, a gem of Egyptian art, which was found in a grave near Gurna, and is now in the Louvre;2237 and lastly the draped alabaster statue of Queen Amenerdis (or Amenartas) in Cairo, the wife of the Aethiopian King Piankhi, who began to absorb Egypt by 721–722 B. C., just before the twenty-fourth dynasty.2238 After the early dynasties, the Egyptian type of statue was reduced to a fixed and mechanical canon, which was used over and over again with lifeless monotony. In332 all these statues, whose dates extend over a period of many centuries, we note the same technical characteristics which are observable in the Greek “Apollos,” with the exception that the latter are always nude and lifelike. These characteristics may be summarized thus: long hair falling down over the shoulders in a mass;2239 shoulders broad in comparison with the hips; arms hanging down stiffly by the sides2240 or crooked at the elbows;2241 hands closed, with the thumbs facing forward and touching the ends of the index fingers; the left leg slightly advanced and the soles placed flat on the ground; high ears,2242 and the upper body and head turned straight to the front.2243 Only minor differences in the two types appear. Thus the left foot is always further advanced in the Egyptian than in the Greek statues, so that the former appear to have less movement and life.2244 Since there is no trace of this type in Mycenæan art it seems impossible not to conclude that in some way, doubtless through Ionian sources, it was originally borrowed from Egypt. The imitation of the Egyptian models, however, was never slavishly done. The Greek artist immediately rendered the type his own by making it nude,2245 and by transmuting the abstract lifeless schema of the Egyptians into a highly individualized one characterized by life and vigor.2246 This Egyptian influence, it must be remarked, was operative only in the initial stage of Greek sculpture; it was soon lost, as the Greek artist came to rely upon himself. F. A. Lange has truly said: “Die wahre Unabhaengigkeit der hellenischen Kultur ruht in ihrer Vollendung, nicht in ihren Anfaengen”.2247

Fig. 80.—Statues of Ra-nefer and Tepemankh, from Sakkarah. Museum of Cairo.

After this digression we will return to the statue of Arrhachion. Dr. Frazer was unable to decipher the inscription upon the breast with333 certainty, but made out the following letters, the last four of which are plainly visible in the photograph: ΕΥΝΛΙΑΔ. He believed them to be archaic and the first instance of an inscription on this class of statues. He thought that the name was that of a man, which favored the view that the “Apollo” statues represented mortals rather than gods. The letters form a combination manifestly not Greek, and so may have no significance; it is even possible that they were engraved in modern times.2248 In any case we have the statement of Pausanias that the inscription was illegible in his day.

There seems little doubt, then, that this mutilated and weather-worn statue is the very one seen and described by Pausanias and referred by him to the victor Arrhachion.2249 It is presented here for two reasons. In the first place, it is the oldest dated Olympic victor statue in existence. Only three older ones are recorded, and none of these has survived to our time. These three are the statues of the Spartan Eutelidas at Olympia, who won the boys’ wrestling and pentathlon matches in Ol. 38 ( = 628 B. C.);2250 of the Athenian Kylon on the Akropolis, who won the double running-race in Ol. 35 ( = 640 B. C.);2251 of the Spartan Hetoimokles at Sparta, who won five times in wrestling at the beginning of the sixth century B. C.2252 The statue of Oibotas of Dyme, who won the stade-race in Ol. 6 ( = 756 B. C.), was not set up until Ol. 80 ( = 460 B. C.);2253 that of the Spartan Chionis, who won five running-races in Ols. 28–31 ( = 668–656 B. C.), was made later by Myron.2254 Pausanias’ statement (VI. 18.7) that the wooden statues of Praxidamas and Rhexibios, who won in Ols. 59 and 61 respectively ( = 544 and 536 B. C.), were the oldest at Olympia, is of course incorrect. In the second place, the statue of Arrhachion actually proves what has often been assumed, that some of the statues classed as “Apollos” are really victor monuments. As this question has provoked a good deal of discussion in recent years, I will briefly review the arguments by which the opinion has gradually gained acceptance.



As the earlier examples of the series were discovered under peculiar circumstances, they gave no clue to their meaning. Thus the “Apollo” of Naxos was found in the quarries of the island, while that from Orchomenos (Fig. 10) was first seen in the convent of Skripou, its exact provenience being unknown. From the first they were denominated “Apollos,” chiefly because of their long hair2255 and nudity,2256 while the existence of many small bronzes in the same schema dedicated to the god,2257 and cult statues of similar pose appearing on vase- and wall-paintings,2258 helped to make the identification more probable. Certain ancient texts, describing archaic statues of Apollo in this pose, were also cited as evidence, and it was pointed out that many of these statues were actually found in or near sanctuaries of the god. Thus Diodoros, in his description of the ξόανον of the Pythian Apollo made for the Samians by Telekles and Theodoros, which we have already mentioned, says: τὰς μὲν χεῖρας ἔχον παρατεταμένας, τὰ δὲ σκέλη διαβεβηκότα.2259 Probably the gilded image by the Cretan Cheirisophos in the temple of Apollo at Tegea was of this type.2260 The later type of “Apollo,” with the arms extended at the elbows, was doubtless followed in the statue of Apollo made for the Delians by Tektaios and Angelion,2261 and in the works ascribed to Dipoinos and Skyllis and their school. It would be easy to give an extended list of such “Apollo” statues found in sanctuaries.2262 We might instance one from Naukratis, Egypt;2263 one from Delos;2264 two from Aktion;2265 several from Mount Ptoion in Bœotia;2266 a copy of the head of the Choiseul-Gouffier Apollo (Pl. 7A) found in Kyrene.2267 Still others have been found in temenoi of temples, e. g., two in that of Apollo at Naukratis,2268 and one in that of Aphrodite there.2269


However, against this exclusive interpretation doubts have been raised with ever-increasing precision, until now we can predicate with certainty what Loeschke long ago assumed, that the more statues of the series there are found, the less probable will it become that they should all be ascribed to Apollo.2270 Conze and Michaelis first argued on the basis of Pausanias’ description of Arrhachion’s statue that this type was employed for victor statues.2271 Koerte’s objection to their view on the ground of the long hair was refuted by Waldstein, who demonstrated that athletes were not represented with short hair until after the Persian wars; he pointed out that the archaic grave-figures of the mortals Dermys and Kitylos discovered at Tanagra, which were sculptured in a constrained attitude analogous to that of the “Apollos,” had long hair.2272 We now know that the hair of some of the “Apollos” is short, which shows the irrelevancy of this argument,2273 and we also know that nudity characterizes many archaic statues of mortals. Nor do we learn much from dedications, for we have examples of statues of gods dedicated to other gods and even to goddesses.2274 Ex votos were often more concerned with the dedicator than with the god to whom the statue was dedicated. Doubtless the cult statues portrayed on vase-paintings are actually those of Apollo, for at this epoch other gods, such as Hermes and Dionysos, are bearded.2275

Moreover, that a more advanced schema for representing the god Apollo had already become fixed toward the end of the sixth century B. C., we know from ancient descriptions of the statue of the god made for the Delians by Tektaios and Angelion, which represented him in the usual archaic attitude, i. e., of the statue of Arrhachion, but with the notable difference that the forearms were outstretched.2276 That this was the recognized type in the early years of the fifth century B. C., is at336tested by the bronze statue of the god fashioned by the elder Kanachos of Sikyon for Branchidai, the pose of which is known from several statuettes and from a long series of Milesian coins.2277 For conservative reasons this favorite pose was kept for cult statues even into the fourth century B. C., as we learn from representations on coins of the golden statue of the god set up in the inmost shrine of the temple at Delphi.2278 But that many of the earlier examples of the “Apollo” series do represent the god, should not be denied. We agree with Homolle that the old appellation “Apollo,” after having received too much favor, has now by reaction become censured too severely, and in general should still be applied to those statues of the series which have been discovered in or near sanctuaries of the god, and in the absence of any other indication to the contrary, also to those which stand upon bases inscribed with dedications to him.2279 Such a statue was found on the island of Thasos at the bottom of the cella of the temple of Apollo at Alki and is now in Constantinople.2280 The colossal statue found on the island of Delos just south of the temple of Apollo,2281 and the huge torso discovered in Megara2282 may be referred to the god, for their size favors an ascription to a deity rather than to mortals. And many other examples of the type found in sanctuaries may very well represent Apollo and other gods.2283

That several of the series were also funerary in character is abundantly proved by the fact that they were discovered in the neighborhood of tombs. Thus the Apollo of Tenea (Pl. 8A) decorated a tomb in the337 necropolis of Tenea near Corinth.2284 Likewise the example from Thera (Fig. 9) was found in a rock-cut niche.2285 Another, now in the British Museum, was found in the dromos of a tomb on the island of Cyprus,2286 while a fourth was unearthed from the necropolis of Megara Hyblaia in Sicily.2287 The one found at Volomandra in Attika in 1900 was also found in an old cemetery.2288 These furnish proof enough of the sepulchral character of many of these statues. Such funerary monuments may, of course, have been been set up also in memory of victors.

We are now in a position, on the basis of Pausanias’ description of Arrhachion’s statue and the actual monument itself, to maintain with certainty what hitherto has been conjectured only, that although some of these archaic sculptures represent Apollo and other gods, sepulchral dedications, and ex votos in general, others were intended to represent athletes also. Doubtless the other early victor monuments recorded, such as the wooden statues of Praxidamas and Rhexibios, and those of Eutelidas, Kylon, and Hetoimokles, already discussed in Ch. III, conformed with the earlier type, while that of Milo, described by Philostratos,2289 conformed with the later. Certain examples of the series have already been ascribed to victors. Thus the marble head of Attic workmanship found in or near Athens and known as the Rayet-Jacobsen head (Fig. 22), has been referred to a pancratiast because of its swollen and deformed ears.2290 Certain statuettes of the same pose as the “Apollos” have been looked upon as copies of athlete statues.2291 So the early doubts2292 as to the meaning of these archaic sculptures have been resolved in many cases. We have added one well-attested example to show that they sometimes represented victor monuments.




Plans A and B.

The first part of this final chapter is a special study in the topography of the Altis at Olympia. It is an attempt to fix, more or less exactly, the positions of victor statues erected there, so far as these can be determined from the data furnished by Pausanias, and from the locations of the inscribed fragmentary bases of the statues which have been recovered during the excavations at Olympia.


We shall first attempt to give the positions of the statues mentioned by Pausanias, who is our chief source of information. After describing the votive offerings (ἀναθήματα) at the end of Book V, he begins the enumeration of the monuments of “race-horses ... and athletes and private individuals” at the beginning of Book VI.2294 This description falls into two routes (ἔφοδοι), the first of which is concerned with the statues of 168 victors,2295 and the second with those of 19.2296 Both accounts also include many “honor” monuments erected to private persons. The first route begins at the Heraion in the northwestern part of the sacred enclosure, while the second begins—manifestly where the first ends—at the Leonidaion at its southwestern corner, and extends to a point near the so-called Great Altar of Zeus near the centre of the Altis (see Plans A and B).2297 Besides these meagre indications of his two routes furnished by Pausanias himself, we are fortunate in knowing exactly the position of one statue, that of Telemachos, the 122d victor mentioned, the base of which still stands in situ near the South wall of the Altis, a little southeast of the temple of Zeus,340 showing that the route passed before the eastern front of this temple and thence westward to the Leonidaion. With these data and with the help of some forty inscribed bases of statues and other monuments mentioned by Pausanias, many of which were found in or near their original positions, it is possible to trace yet more definitely his routes. Several attempts have been made, since the German excavations, to define topographically the positions of these statues, especially by Hirschfeld,2298 Scherer,2299 Flasch,2300 Doerpfeld,2301 and the present writer.2302

The position of several inscribed base-fragments of statues, corresponding with Pausanias’ order of presentation, should alone be sufficient to confute the doubts raised by some scholars that these routes through the Altis were not topographical.2303 But in any attempt to reconstruct them we must constantly be on our guard against assuming that Pausanias describes a continuous line or row of monuments, as both Hirschfeld and Scherer have done. Though here and there this may have been true, still, generally speaking, we must conceive of these statues as being strewn about the Altis in no other order than that they stood in groups, and that these groups had only a general direction; for we shall see that Pausanias sometimes returns to the same spot without mentioning it and often leaves long spaces unnoticed. Apart from the indication of such groups in the description itself, as attested by the use of such words as παρά, ἐφεξῆς, μετά, πλησίον, ἀνάκειται ἐπί, ἐγγύτατα, ὄπισθεν, μεταξύ, οὐ πόρρω, οὐ πρόσω, κ.τ.λ., I have already shown in my previous work that it is possible to reconstruct many other groups, for abundant proof is there given that statues of nearly contemporaneous victors were often grouped together, as were those of the same family or state, or those victorious in the same contest, or those whose statues were made by the same artist.2304 So, in general, we can group only certain statues in belts or “zones” around some building or monument which is still in situ. Further than this we can seldom go. W. Gurlitt has thus well expressed the difficulty of following these routes of Pausanias: “Jede folgende Statue ist nach der vorhergehenden orientirt zu denken ... Beziehungen auf frueher oder spaeter erwaehnte Monumente waren ueberfluessig ... wir sind ... auf341 wenige Fixpunkte angewiesen und verfallen daher leicht in den Fehler, die Wegrichtungen in den Plan zu schematisch einzuzeichnen.... Das Hin und Her auf den viel verschlungenen Wegen der Altis koennen wir nicht mehr controllieren”.2305 In his description of the scattered altars (V, 14.4–15.12), Pausanias had not the same problem to meet as in that of the victor statues. As there was so little continuity in describing the altars, which were strewn all over the Altis, he had to introduce many other monuments to make their locations known; but in the case of the victor statues there was great continuity, and consequently such indications would have been superfluous.2306 And, in general, owing to the number and variety of monuments crowded together in the circumscribed area of the Altis, he was not compelled to describe Olympia with such definite detail as Athens. That these victor statues, however, are described in topographical order is not only attested by the internal evidence of Pausanias’ words,2307 but also by the finding of many of their bases in the order of his presentation. With this introductory warning, let us take up the routes of Pausanias in detail.

The First Ephodos of Pausanias.

Pausanias begins his enumeration in the northeastern part of the Altis: ἐν δεξιᾷ τοῦ ναοῦ τῆς Ἥρας2308—words which have been the subject of much discussion as to whether they are to be understood of the temple pro persona, i.e., the southern side,2309 or of the viewpoint of one facing it, i.e., the space (especially the northern or right hand half) before the eastern front.2310 From the immediate whereabouts of Pausanias we get no clue; for at the end of Book V (27.11) he says that he is in the middle of the Altis, and yet in the following paragraph (27.12)—evidently added as a transition from the account of the altars to that of the victors—he mentions the trophy of the people of Mende, in Thrace, which he says he nearly mistook for the statue of the pancratiast Anauchidas (131), and this, as we shall see, stood near the South wall of the Altis far from the centre. Doerpfeld’s contention, therefore, that Pausanias approached the Heraion from this point, and that consequently the words ἐν δεξιᾷ must refer to its eastern front, is untenable, and we are left dependent on the meaning of these words as gathered from other passages in Pausanias’ work. An examination of several such passages seems to342 be convincing that they are used here of the Heraion pro persona.2311 Furthermore, the finding of the inscribed tablet from the base of the statue of Troilos (6) and the pedestal of that of Kyniska (7) in the ruins of the Prytaneion, i. e., not far from the western end of the Heraion, and the base of that of Sophios (22) in the bed of the Kladeos still further west,2312 makes it reasonable to conclude that the first statues mentioned (VI, 1.3–3.7), those of the Spartan group (Kyniska-Lichas, 7–14), all of the fifth century, B. C., flanked on either side by statues of the fourth, mostly of Eleans (Symmachos-Troilos, 1–6, and Timosthenes-Eupolemos, 15–28), originally stood in the order named by Pausanias along the southern front of the temple.2313

Leaving the Heraion, we get no further fixed point until we arrive opposite the eastern front of the temple of Zeus. For here around the foundation of the statue of the Eretrian Bull—still in situ 32 meters east of the northeastern corner of the temple (see Plans A and B)2314—have been found fragments of the pedestals of the statues of Narykidas (49) and Hellanikos (65) to the south, of Kallias (50) and Eukles (52), beneath that of Kallias, to the north, of Euthymos (56) and Charmides (58) close together to the east.2315 So it is clear that the series of statues from Narykidas to Charmides (49–58, P., VI, 6. 1–7.1) stood in this neighborhood. Now the statues of the family of Diagoras, the Rhodian athlete, stood together (59–63), as Pausanias says (VI, 7.1–2);343 one of them, that of Eukles (52), seems to have been moved from its original position later, as we learn from a scholiast on Pindar’s seventh Olympian ode,2316 who, on the authority of the lost works of Aristotle and Apollas on the Olympic victors,2317 enumerates these statues in an order different from that adopted by Pausanias, showing that a change in their positions must have taken place some time between the date of Aristotle and that of the Periegete.2318 The statues of Alkainetos and his son Hellanikos (64–65) must also have stood together. Inasmuch as the victors from Euthymos to Lykinos (56–68) are, with one exception, all pugilists or pancratiasts and of the fifth century B. C., they must have been grouped together, with the family groups of Diagoras and Alkainetos in the centre.2319 We may also add the statues of Dromeus and Pythokles2320 (69–70) of nearly the same date, and we can also extend the group in the other direction; for the same scholiast says that the statue of Diagoras stood near that of the Spartan Lysandros (35 a).2321 Pausanias (VI, 3.14 and 4.1) says that the statue of Lysandros stood between those of Pyrilampes and Athenaios (35–36). Thus we can conclude that the 36 statues (35–70, VI, 3.13–7.10) stood in the zone of the Eretrian Bull, extending perhaps across the Altis to the vicinity of the Echo Colonnade along its eastern boundary.

It would follow, then, that the intervening statues from Oibotas to Xenophon (29–34, P., VI, 3.8–3.13) stood somewhere between the Heraion and the Eretrian Bull. It is idle to discuss the route between these two monuments more definitely.2322

Our next fixed point is the Victory of Paionios, whose foundation is still standing in its original position, 37 meters due east of the southeast344 corner of the temple of Zeus.2323 For, of the next few statues mentioned, the base of that of Sosikrates (71) was found “somewhere” east of the temple, that of Kritodamos (80) before the “Southeast Building,” and that of Xenokles (85), 4 meters to the northeast of the Victory base, presumably near its original position.2324 Pausanias groups the three Arkadian athletes, Euthymenes-Kritodamos (78–80, P., VI, 8.5); then, after naming four statues of victors from other states, he mentions two more Arkadians together, Xenokles and Alketos (85–86, VI, 9.2); and he continues by saying that the statues of the Argives Aristeus and Cheimon (87–88, VI, 9.3) stood together. One more statue, that of Phillen or Philys2325 of Elis (89), is named before he comes to the chariot of Gelo. Thus we may conclude that the series of statues denoted by the numbers 71–89 (P., VI, 8.1–9.4) stood to the south of the Eretrian Bull in the parallel zone of the Victory.

We next come to the series of statues mentioned between the chariots of Gelo and Kleosthenes (90–99). The position of the bases of these chariots is practically certain. In describing the statues of Zeus in Book V, Pausanias says he is proceeding north from the Council-house (23.1), and first mentions a statue of Zeus set up by the Greeks who fought at Platæa; in describing the victor statues he says that the chariot of Kleosthenes stands behind this statue of Zeus (P., VI, 10.6). After describing the Zeus of Platæa, he mentions a bronze inscribed tablet as standing in front of it (V, 23.4), which recorded the thirty years’ treaty of peace between Sparta and Athens, and then says that the statue of the Zeus of the Megarians stands near the chariot of Kleosthenes (23.5). As he is proceeding north, this Megarian Zeus must have stood north of the Platæan one; thus in one group we have the two statues of Zeus and the chariot of Kleosthenes. Immediately to the north he next mentions the chariot of the Syracusan tyrant Gelo (90), which he says is near the statue of the Zeus of the Hyblæans (23.6). Now in coming south, in the athlete periegesis, he names eight statues between these chariots. Doerpfeld2326 has identified the base of the Platæan Zeus with a345 large pedestal to the northwest of that of the victor Telemachos (122) found in situ near the South Altis wall,2327 a position which is in harmony with the description of the statues of Zeus; just behind it he has identified two large foundations near together as those of the two chariots. So the eight intervening statues stood here. Of the statues between the chariot of Kleosthenes and the base of the statue of Telemachos, the base of that of Tellon (102) was found in the East Byzantine wall near the South Altis wall; that of Aristion (115) nearby, embedded in the same wall; that of Akestorides (119), whose name I have inserted in the lacuna in the text of Pausanias (VI, 13.7),2328 just northeast of the base of Telemachos.2329 Thus the series of statues from that of Gelo to that of Agathinos (90–121a, P., VI, 9.4–13.11) can be grouped in the zone of the Chariots.

As the fragment of the base of the statue of the Athenian pancratiast Aristophon (123) was found near the base of Telemachos, but to the east of it, and likewise that which supported the equestrian monument of Xenombrotos and Xenodikos (133–134) still further to the east near the Echo Colonnade,2330 we can conclude that the twenty-one statues from Aristophon to Prokles (123–138, P., VI, 13.11–14.13), mostly of the fifth century B. C., stood near the South Altis wall to the east (and not to the west of the base of Telemachos, where all other investigators have wrongly placed them),2331 and thus form a group which we can call the zone of Telemachos. So we conclude that the long list of statues346 from Pyrilampes to Prokles (35–138), nearly two-thirds of all those mentioned in the first ἔφοδος of Pausanias, stood in the space to the east and southeast of the temple of Zeus, grouped in the parallel zones of the Bull, Victory, Chariots, and Telemachos.

On the other hand, the statues beginning with the two of Aischines (139) and extending to that of Philonides (154 a) (P., VI, 14.13–16.5) must have stood to the west of the base of Telemachos and along the South Terrace wall some 20 meters south of the temple of Zeus, where many of the following pedestals were found in the order named by Pausanias: that of Aischines (139) was found in the Council-house; that of Archippos (140) nearby between the South Terrace wall and the north wing of the Council-house; that of Epitherses (147) opposite the sixth column of the temple from the west, some eleven paces from the South Terrace wall, and the fragment of the base of the honor statue of Antigonos (147 f) very near it; the bronze foot of one of the statues of Kapros (150) was found in the South Terrace wall, 24.40 meters from the southwest corner of the temple; and lastly, the base of the “honor” statue of Philonides (154 a), Alexander’s courier, was found in the southwest corner of the Altis at the extreme west end of the South Terrace wall, almost, if not exactly, in its original position.2332 Thus Pausanias, after coming south to the statue of Telemachos, first goes eastward as far as the statue of Prokles, then returns, repassing the two chariots on the way without remark, and then continues westward to the southwestern corner of the Altis. All statues west of that of Telemachos are of the fifth and fourth centuries B. C., with the exception of one, that of Eutelidas (148), who won in Ol. 38. This is the oldest statue in the Altis, despite Pausanias’ statement,2333 and it doubtless originally stood in the area occupied later toward the middle of the fifth century B. C. by the temple of Zeus, but was then transferred to its new position south of the temple.

After the statue of Philonides, there are still 19 statues of victors and “honor” men to dispose of in this first ἔφοδος, those from Brimias to Glaukon (155–169, P., VI, 16.5–16.9). Of these statues, the base of that of Leonidas of Naxos (155a), the founder of the great building just outside the southwestern corner of the Altis named after him, was discovered in a Byzantine wall before the eastern end of the north front of that building, while that of Seleadas (159) was unearthed347 within the ruins of the same building; the base which supported the group-monument of Polypeithes and Kalliteles (160–161)—which, owing to the early dates of their victories, some time between Ols. (?) 66 and 70 ( = 516 and 500 B. C.), must have stood originally in the area later occupied by the temple of Zeus, like that of the above-mentioned Eutelidas—a little to the south of the Byzantine church, between the bases of the statues of Leonidas and Glaukon; two fragments of the base of the statue of Deinosthenes (163) have been found, one east of the apse of the church, the other in the ruins of the Palaistra further north; and lastly, that of Glaukon, built into late walls northwest of the church.2334 As the statue of Philonides stood at the extreme western end of the South Altis wall, and as most of these fragments were found in the vicinity of the Leonidaion, it would be natural to conclude that the majority of these later statues stood in the spaces just outside the West Altis wall. But at the end of the first ἔφοδος (VI, 17.1) Pausanias says that he has so far named statues “within the Altis”; hence most investigators have placed these 19 statues either west of the temple of Zeus or in the space at the southwestern corner of the Altis. A little further on we shall see that many other victor statues, not mentioned by Pausanias, stood just outside the West Altis wall, and it is doubtful whether his words ἐν τῇ Ἄλτει (VI, 17.1) should be taken thus literally, especially on any theory of his use of earlier accounts in the final compiling of his own. If they were “within” the Altis, they could scarcely have stood to the west or southwest of the temple of Zeus, for the second ἔφοδος, as we shall see, passed there.

A better alternative can be found. In describing the Leonidaion (V, 15.2), Pausanias says that this building stood “outside the sacred enclosure at the processional entrance into the Altis ... separated from this entrance by a street; for what the Athenians call lanes, the Eleans name streets.”2335 Now Doerpfeld has shown that inside the West Altis wall and parallel to it—just south of the base of Philonides’ statue—is a line of bases ending in the later South wall of the Altis, so that this West wall and row of pedestals form a cul de sac348 (see Plan B).2336 It is clear that no such row of statues would have been placed leading up to a dead wall; therefore these statues must have stood there before the wall was built, and must once have formed the eastern boundary of a broad street skirting the eastern side of the Leonidaion, which was twice as wide as later, when the wall cut off half its breadth and made it a “lane,” though the older name “street” was retained. The later Roman enlargement of the Altis is well known. The long row of pedestals to the south of and parallel to those already discussed as standing along the line of the South Terrace wall, westward of the base of Telemachos, once constituted the southern boundary of the “Processional Way” (ὁδὸς πομπική), which ran from the Leonidaion to where it debouched into the Altis at its southeastern corner. Originally outside the Altis, they were later, together with the road itself, included in it. The pedestals, then, in the above-mentioned cul de sac, and also the fourteen (among them that of Metellus Macedonicus; see Plan B) that adorned the south side of the Processional Way, may be the remains of some of these last statues mentioned by Pausanias.

The Second Ephodos of Pausanias.

We next come to the second ἔφοδος, which is introduced by these words: Εἰ δὲ ἀπὸ τοῦ Λεωνιδαίου πρὸς τὸν βωμὸν τὸν μέγαν ἀφικέσθαι τῇ δεξιᾷ θελήσειας, τοσάδε ἔστι σοὶ τῶν ἀνηκόντων ἐς μνήμην.2337 The Leonidaion, the site of which was still in dispute till after the close of the excavations, was finally identified by Treu2338 with the so-called Suedwestbau, as had been already assumed by many investigators.2339 The site of the Great Altar, however, is still undetermined. The elliptical depression to the east of the Pelopion, whose dimensions (125 feet in circumference) agree with the figures of Pausanias2340 for the prothysis,349 or lowest stage of the altar, identified with it by most scholars,2341 must now be given up since the more recent excavations of Doerpfeld, which prove it to be the remains of two prehistoric dwelling houses with apse-like ends.2342 Nor can the remains of walls lying between the Heraion and the Pelopion, formerly supposed to be those of an altar, any longer be referred to the Great Altar (as Puchstein and Wernicke referred them)2343 since Doerpfeld’s recent discoveries. So we are dependent on the words of Pausanias alone for its location, who says that it stood “equidistant from the Pelopion and the sanctuary of Hera, but in front of both,”2344 therefore somewhat northwest of the elliptical depression nearer the centre of the Altis.2345 Our problem, then, is to find Pausanias’ route between these two points, and here again, as at the beginning of the first ἔφοδος, we must rightly interpret the words ἐν δεξιᾷ. Michaelis, in his article on the use of ἐν δεξιᾷ and ἐν