« PreviousContinue »
who bears all the marks of a fondness for good living, and carries a flask and a ham ; the glutton (Nos. 118 and 119), distinguished by his large padded stomach; the money-lender (No. 120), with his acute and cunning expression, grasping his purse tightly by his side with both hands, and partially concealing it beneath his cloak (fig. 37). The adventures of the slave and his punishments were a favourite theme with poets of the new comedy. No. 121 (fig. 38) may represent the trusted elderly slave aghast at the misdoings of his young master. A still greater favourite is the runaway slave who seeks refuge from his irate master in the protection of the altar. The bronze statuette (No. 122) and the
terracotta (No. 123) show him seated on the altar, and in No. 124 his hands are tied bebind him. A typical comic mask (No. 116*) is illustrated above (fig. 39 on the l.), characterised by its exaggerated features, especially the wide open mouth, the snub nose, and thick bushy eyebrows. The satyric play, which of the three kinds of Greek drama kept nearest in spirit to the early Dionysiac village revel, is illustrated by the satyric masks (fig. 39, centre), with their high upstanding hair and semi-bestial features, as well as by the masks of the bald-headed Seilenos, the constant companion of Dionysos in his revels (No. 116**).
Vases, IV., F 269; cf. Heydemann in Jahrb. d. arch. Inst., I. (1886), p. 260 ff.; (113) Cat, of Vascs, IV., F 151; (114) Cf. Froehner, Hoffmann Sale Cat., 1886, p. 38, No. 127; (115) Gazette Arch., 1877, p. 66, pl. 12.
On the ancient theatre generally, see Haigh, The Attic Theatre, edn. 3, where references to literature will be found.
(Wall-Cases 107-108.) ATHLETIC contests were already developed in Greece in the Homeric Age, but only at a much later date were they elaborately organised. At Olympia, the great festivals were said, according to tradition, to have begun in 776 B.C., and it was from that year that the Greeks calculated their dates, reckoning by the periodical return of the meeting every fourth year.
The events at the games which may specially be called athletic were six in number: the contest of strength or pankration, and the 'five contests' or pentathlon, a competition made up of the jump, the foot-race, throwing the diskos, throwing the javelin, and wrestling. The pentathlon was decided by a system of “heats," and the victor enjoyed a great reputation as an exceptional “ allround” man. The contest of strength on the other hand was thought to develop a race of heavy men, who valued strength above quickness, and certainly led beyond all else to the production of those professional athletes whom Euripides condemned as the most pestilent of men, and the great generals of the fourth century B.c. banished from their armies. How far the degeneration in bodily development went may be seen in a bronze statue of a boxer, a work of the third century B.C., found and preserved at Rome. The evils of a brutal professionalism have stamped themselves in the outward appearance of the man, in his dull but ferocious expression. The artist has, with a painful realism, laid emphasis on the cuts across the arms and the swollen ears, and is careful to render with accuracy the heavy boxing-gloves, made of solid leather and strengthened with iron.
It is pleasant to turn back from the time of decay to an earlier period, to which the objects in this Case (107–108) belong. In
Ant. Denkmäler, I., pl. 4; Lanciani, Anc. Rome in the light of rec. disc., Frontispiece.
the sixth and fifth centuries B.c. the victorious athlete was still held in high honour by his native city. The prize at the games was indeed of no value-at Olympia it was a crown of wild olivebut on his return home the victor entered the city in triumph, feasts were held and odes were sung in his honour, he was maintained for the remainder of his life, and his statue was set up in the place where his victory had been won. Stories of his feats were handed down to later generations, and his speed in running or the length of his jumps magnified, to the great confusion of modern students, as for instance when we are told that Phajllos of Croton cleared fifty-five feet in the long jump.
Some of the instruments used in the games themselves and in the training-ground are shown in this case. Among the most interesting are the jumping-weights (halteres), of which the use
has been warmly recommended by more than one modern athlete. The pair in lead (No. 125) are of a type which is seen not infrequently on Greek vases, consisting of two blocks of lead joined by a flat bar. The weight for the left hand, which is completely preserved, weighs 2 lb. 5 oz. With this pair may be compared the cast of a single stone jumping-weight (No. 126) found at Olympia and now at Berlin (fig. 40). It differs from the pair just described, and resembles the type described by Pausanias,? who travelled through Greece in the second century of our era, as forming half of an elongated and irregular sphere. It probably dates from about 500 B.C. Another type is represented by a remarkable but cumbrous example in limestone, from Kameiros in Rhodes, a long cylindrical instrument with deep groove for the thumb and fingers, to give a firm hold (No. 127 ; fig. 41). On the vase E 499 (No. 128) exhibited at the top of Case 107 an
i Anth. Pal., App. iii. 28.
athlete is represented with the halteres in his hands, about to "take off ” for the jump.
Another branch of ancient athletics illustrated in this case is the throwing of the diskos, one of the oldest and most popular contests at the great festivals. It was already known in Homeric times, and we read of Odysseus using a disc of stone, and of one of iron hurled at the funeral games in honour of Patroklos ; but all existing examples are in bronze except a lead disc at Berlin which cannot have been used in athletics. The diskos was used, not like the modern quoit, with the object of hitting a mark, but with a view to throwing as far as possible, as in the modern contest of putting the weight.
Fig. 41.-STONE JUMPING-WEight (No. 127). L. 74 in.
Existing discs vary considerably in size and weight, and were doubtless made to suit various degrees of strength, like modern dumb-bells or Indian clubs. The plain bronze example in this Case (No. 129) weighs as much as 8 lb. 13 oz., but the small disc (No. 130), which was dedicated by Exoidas to the Dioscuri after a victory over his Kephallenian competitors (cf. above, p. 37), weighs only 2 lb. 12 oz. The weight used at modern athletic sports weighs 16 lb. and has been put 48 ft. 2 in.
Diskos-throwing reached its greatest popularity in the sixth and fifth centuries, and it is to the middle of this period that the remarkable votive disc here shown (No. 131; fig. 42) may be assigned. It is engraved with finely-incised designs, representing on one side an athlete with jumping-weights; on the other,
202. Then put 48 ft. Spularity in
another holding a hurling-spear in both hands. This disc weighs rather more than 4 lb. The method of handling the disc will be
Fig. 42.-ENGRAVED BRONZE Diskos (No. 131). Diam. 87 in.
readily understood from the bronze figure and representations on vases exhibited in this Case; they should be compared with the
1 The lines on this side appear to have been worn down and re-cut, but the restorer has misunderstood the spear, and left it as a single fine line.