Ancient Mediterranean + Europe
- Ancient Greece, an introduction
- Introduction to ancient Greek art
- Contrapposto explained
- Classic, classical, and classicism explained
- Introduction to Greek architecture
- The classical orders
- Greek architectural orders
- Black Figures in Classical Greek Art
- Greek sanctuaries as artistic hubs
- Olympic games
- Victorious athlete: The Vaison Daidoumenos
- Prize amphora showing a chariot race
- A competitor in the long jump
- Sprinter on a vase from Rhodes and a bronze running girl
Known as the Daidoumenos (ribbon wearer) this statue shows a triumphant athlete tying a ribbon round his head immediately after a victory. Winners in the ancient Olympics were allowed to set up statues of themselves at Olympia. If they won three times they could set up specially commissioned portrait statues which could cost up to ten times the average yearly wage.
© Trustees of the British Museum. Created by British Museum.
Want to join the conversation?
- Would the Greeks put the woolen ribbons on the statues as well? I see a place on the sculpture where it should be.(12 votes)
- i know what versuchen is talking about, it's part of the statue. I don't think they put it on the statue they probably made it look like that was a ribbon there to honor the statue as well as the olympian as well(4 votes)
- This video mentions that the victors didn't receive material prizes; however aren't there vases and bowls dedicated to certain victors/games? Another article here explicitly states that the victors got a 40L jar of olive oil even.
Have I misconstrued something?
Or rather is it the differences in the 600 years of Olympic history that caused the discrepancy?(7 votes)
- I too have heard that prices were given. However, when I looked into it that was for the Pan Athenian games. http://www.kendowden.bham.ac.uk/relsrc/greek/festsrc.htm
"75 ARISTOTLE, Constitution of Athens 60.1-3
That is the position with regard to the nine archons. Ten men are appointed by lot as athlothetae, one from each tribe. After being scrutinized they hold office for four years: they administer the procession at the Panathenaea, and the musical contests, the athletic contests and the horse race; they are responsible for the making of the robe, and together with the council for the making of the vases, and they present the olive oil to the winning athletes. The oil is collected from the sacred olives. The archon exacts it from each tree. Formerly the state let out the contract for collecting the crop, and if anyone dug up or cut down a sacred olive he was tried by the council of the Areopagus and, if convicted, sentenced to death. Nowadays, however, the oil is levied from the owners of the land, and the law remains but trials are no longer held: the state now obtains the oil simple from the property, not specificaly from the sacred trees. The archon collects the oil produced in his year of office, and hands it over to the treasurers of Athena on the Acropolis: he is not allowed to take his place in the council of the Areopagus until he has handed all the oil to the treasurers. The treasurers keep the oil on the Acropolis for the meantime, and then at the Panathenaea they measure it out to the athlothetae and the athlothetae give it to the victorious contestants. The prizes are money and gold for winners of the musical contests, shields for the contest in manliness (euandria), and olive oil for the athletic contests and the horse race."(3 votes)
- Would this athlete have been a slave?(3 votes)
- I don't think we have any indication that this athlete was a slave. Many athletes competed for "fame and celebrity" and I don't recall many Greek athletes competing for freedom. This would be different of course to how we think of the Colosseum and much of Roman sporting competitions which WOULD utilize many slaves...(6 votes)
- Does anyone happen to know this particular athelete's name?(1 vote)
- The Vaison Diadumenos does not carry a name, at least not one that is preserved. The statue is recognized by scholars as a Roman marble copy of a bronze original made by Polykleitos. The original bronze would have been created ca. 440 B.C.E.(5 votes)
- is there a specific reason why Greek sculptures were carved in nude forms?(2 votes)
- Yes, of course - the celebration of the human form and the artists' long endeavor to create naturalistic artistic representations of the human form defines the long continuum of figural art. See more - http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/nuan/hd_nuan.htm. The human form is something to be celebrated, not to be hidden away.(2 votes)
- It makes complete sense that there were no material prizes. I would rather have a portrait of myself in the White House or a statue of myself somewhere in Washington D.C. than any material prize. The symbology of it, in my opinion, is more important and meaningful than any golden trophy or amount of cash.
What does everybody else think?(1 vote)
- As I was told in the Army, "that medal and a dollar will get you a cup of coffee". Of course, persons wearing the congressional medal of honor, though having no material reward beyond the medal, were (and are) eligible for several cups of coffee without payment at all!(4 votes)
- Who exactly was this person.(2 votes)
- Greek Mythology is Great to learn but when are they going to talk about the Greek gods those are my favorites!(2 votes)
- Who was the most famous athlete during this time period.(1 vote)