Page images
PDF
EPUB

I need not make any assumption as to the numbers in the case of Tisamenos. Pausanias says of him, 3. 11. 6, ovтw πένταθλον Ολυμπίασιν ἄσκησας ἀπῆλθεν ἡττηθείς, καί τοι τὰ δύο γε ἦν πρῶτος· καὶ γὰρ δρόμῳ τε ἐκράτει πηδήματι Ἱερώνυμον ̓́Ανδριον, καταπαλαισθεὶς δὲ ὑπ ̓ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἁμαρτὼν τῆς νίκης, κ.τ.λ. Hêr. 9. 33 tells us that Τισάμενος παρὰ ἓν πάλαισμα ἔδραμε νικᾶν Ολυμπιάδα Ἱερ. τῷ ̓Α. ἐλθὼν ἐς ἔριν. If these were the only competitors, and Hieronymos was first in spear-throwing and discus-hurling, Pausanias seems to say too much and too little. Bacchylides, 9. 32 to 36, says that Automedes won with discus and spear and in the wrestling, and in 1. 7, 8 Melas is distinguished for running and wrestling.

Theoretically any number of competitors might stay in for the wrestling, as for example if the order of n 1 competitors A, A, &c. (n being greater than 2) in the first four contests were A ̧, 1, 1, n − 1, n − 1; 4, 2, 2, n − 2, n − 2 ; ...; An-1, n − 1, n − 1, 1, 1.

1

2

But practically there would almost always be some competitors already beaten after the 3rd and 4th contests; and often, no doubt, the ultimate victor would be absolutely first in three out of the first four contests.

My hypothesis avoids the following difficulties:

Firstly. If two competitors were each first twice, or if 3, 4, or 5 competitors were each first once, we have on these assumptions no means of determining the final decision.

Secondly. Prof. Gardner's difficulty (p. 221) "that at first sight" Xenophon's language, Hellenica, 7. 4, "would seem to imply that the running contests of the pentathlon took place all at once."

Thirdly. The apparently necessary assumption that seven competitors is an extreme case, and that one can only fit in the three heats required in this case "provided, of course, that they went on at the same time as other contests." There happens to be a little indirect evidence on this point. O. 8. 38 tells us that from eleven to sixteen boys competed in

и

66

wrestling at once. Of course when the term "pedpos was used metaphorically the case which naturally presented itself was the peopos at the most critical stage of a contest, namely when only three were left in, and proves nothing as to the original number of competitors. We must not forget that the pentathlon was in high favour among the Greeks" (p. 210), so that a theory as to the nature of the pentathlon ought to admit of as many competing in the boys' pentathlon (N. 7) as are implicitly recorded to have competed at once in the boys' wrestling. Prof. Gardner's heats would have taken as long in the case of five competitors as in his "extreme case" of seven. Then as to the pentathlon going on during other contests Pausanias tells us, 6. 24. 1, that the pentathlon took place towards the middle of the day after the running, and before wrestling and the pankration. This passage then supports the "at first sight" interpretation of Xenophon, Hellenica, 7. 4, as also does N. 7. 72-74, to which I shall return. The most conclusive' passage on this point is Pausanias 5. 9. 3, which tells us that, in the 77th Olympiad the horse-racing and pentathlon were deferred to a second day, because they, especially the pentathlon, extended the pankration to night. This passage, together with ib. 6. 24. 1, proves that the pentathlon did not go on simultaneously with other contests. These citations offer an argument against the system of heats for the pentathlon, as they tend to show that contests which took place in the same place came together. First the scene was in the dromos, then in the hippodromos, then the pentathlon in leaping- and hurling-ground, dromos, and wrestling-place, whence there was no further move till night.

Fourthly comes the difficulty presented by the great advantage which an ephedros would have over competitors who had wrestled. Prof. Gardner justly says (p. 214) "We cannot

1 Pointed out by Mr Ridgeway.

help wondering what sort of a throw with a spear an athlete could make after a bout or two of wrestling."

This remark suggests a fifth difficulty, namely, that when one or more couples in the first heat had wrestled, the performance in the subsequent heats would have been miserable.

Sixthly, it seems strange that a popular contest should be carried on during other contests, and that its interest should be divided.

Seventhly, time being an important consideration, a system of heats presupposes expenditure of time, while the pentathloi pass more than once from leaping-place to δρόμος, and thence to wrestling-ground.

My supposition that it was not necessary for the victor to be absolutely first except in wrestling is not only supported by the above-mentioned case of Pêleus, which was most probably in accordance with the usage of the historic pentathlon, but also by Xenophon, Hellenica, 4. 7. 5, ἅτε δὲ νεωστὶ τοῦ ̓Αγησιλάου ἐστρατευμένου εἰς τὸ ̓́Αργος, πυνθανόμενος ὁ ̓Αγησίπολις τῶν στρατιωτῶν μέχρι μὲν ποῖ πρὸς τὸ τεῖχος ἤγαγεν ὁ ̓Αγησίλαος μέχρι δὲ ποῖ τὴν χώραν ἐδῄωσεν, ὥσπερ πένταθλος πάντῃ ἐπὶ τὸ πλέον ὑπερβάλλειν ἐπειρᾶτο, and still more strongly by Plato, p. 138 D, Erastae, Πότερον οὖν καὶ περὶ ταῦτα λέγωμεν, ἔφην, πένταθλον αὐτὸν δεῖν εἶναι καὶ ὕπακρον, τὰ δευτερεῖα ἔχοντα πάντων τὸν φιλόσοφον, κ.τ.λ. Even in Plutarch, Symp. Probl. 9. 2, where alpha ταῖς τρισὶν ὥσπερ οἱ πένταθλοι περίεστι καὶ νικᾷ, definite classes of letters are vanquished at each contest', so that this passage can scarcely be quoted to support heats on Prof. Gardner's plan. Prof. Gardner cites the Scholiast ad Aristidem, οὐχ ὅτι πάντως οἱ πένταθλοι πάντα νικῶσιν, ἀρκεῖ γὰρ αὐτοῖς γ' τῶν έ πρὸς νίκην (Ed. Frommel, p. 112). But Aristides, Panathenaicus, p. 341, says ἐμοὶ μὲν οὐδὲ πένταθλοι δοκοῦσιν οἱ πάντα νικῶντες τοσοῦτον τοῖς πᾶσι κρατεῖν.

Plutarch and Aristides allude either to the most famous

1 In using this passage to support his own theory Dr Pinder seems to press the simile too much.

pentathloi of old, who would naturally occur first to the minds of late writers, if they thought of old times at all, or perhaps to the exhibitions of professional athletes of their own times; while Plato refers to ordinary cases in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. The authority of the Scholiast ad Aristidem is perhaps somewhat lowered by the fact that he does not repudiate the idea that the pankration might have taken the place generally assigned to the leaping (see, however, Plin. N. H. 34, c. 19). But it is not my desire to damage his authority, for the three passages on the rplayμós do not "prove beyond all cavil that for victory in the pentathlon it was necessary to win three events' (p. 217), but simply that the winning of three events was a familiar case.

The appointment of only three Hellânodikae for the pentathlon is to my mind almost an argument against pairs being set to work simultaneously; for one official is required at the starting line to see that the leap or throw is fair, and another to determine the lengths, unless the one walks backwards and forwards, so wasting a great deal of time.

Then again an extra judge might well be wanted to see that in the first two contests, or one of them, competitors did not purposely take it easy, which would give them a considerable unfair advantage in the last three or four contests.

The placing of several competitors in three or four contests, which I have assumed, takes more judging than merely placing the first two. But after all the appointment of three Hellânodikae is fully accounted for by the pentathlon taking a much longer time than the other contests.

Even if my interpretation of N. 7. 72-74 were wrong, and the poet were alluding to a false throw often preventing a man wrestling, it is mere assumption to talk of disqualification and stoppage of the pentathlon. For the competitor who won the discus-hurling would often if he had lost the spear-throwing be debarred from wrestling by his principal rival beating him (or being first) in leaping, spear-throwing, and running. Now

Prof. Gardner, though he speaks of ": "five very various contests" (p. 217), calls discus-hurling and spear-throwing "two very kindred contests" (p. 217), suggesting that "perhaps there was no absolutely fixed order" for these two. But Flavius Philostratus tells us that the discus-hurling was Bapús and spearthrowing κοῦφος. It seems to me that a frequent distribution would be that suggested by the actual case of Tisamenos and Hieronymos-Tisamenos superior in leaping and running, and Hieronymos in discus-hurling, so that the spear-throwing was a crucial point in this contest. Had Tisamenos won it, the words ἐξέπεμψεν παλαισμάτων would at any rate have applied to Hieronymos. I take it that the representatives of kovoórηs and Bápos were not seldom more evenly matched in this contest than in the four others. Hence perhaps its prominence on vases and Pindar's allusions N. 7. 72-74.

Prof. Waldstein writes:

.Especially after the Persian war, when the public Palaestrae became fully organised, they were more consciously meant to provide for the physical education of Greek youths, the ultimate aim of which education, as is well known, was to produce good citizens who could guard the integrity of the state as strong and agile soldiers. No doubt in the subsequent stages we find that this ultimate aim is lost sight of, and that what was to be a means to a higher end becomes the end in itself, thus leading to an overstraining of the importance of the athletic games and to professional athletes. Within this palaestric organisation we can distinguish various subdivisions corresponding to the various requirements of a good physical education. When once the games had become systematised, the first broad distinction is between the heavy and light games; the Bapus and koûpos to which you draw attention, those that tended to develop more the strength, and those that developed more the agility. Boxing and the Pankration, for instance, are heavy games ; while running, jumping, and throwing the spear, are light. Every quality that tended to make a perfect soldier had its own game. A good runner, a good jumper, an agile wrestler, a boxer with powerful arms for thrusting and skill in parrying, all tended to make a good soldier.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »