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Classical Studies
Classical Studies 2300
David Lamari

CLASSICS TEXTBOOK NOTES Foot races  Stadion—200 meter sprint o Only Olympic event from 776 until 724 o Victor gave his name to the entire four-year Olympiad o Runners are depicted with their arms extended, and knees high  Diaulos—double stadion – 400 meter sprint o Began in 724 o Runners are depicted similarly to the stadion runners, but knees are lower  Dolichos – distance of this race isn’t known o Began in 720 o May have been 20 laps of the stadium o Runners knees are low and barely bent with the arms close to the sides  Hippios o Began in 520 o Similar to the diaulos o Only at the Nemea games o Competitors carried shields and wore helmets  Track was usually about 30 meters wide and 600 ancient feet in length o Olympia had the longest track o Delphi had the shortest track  Balbis o Stone line at the end of the track o The runner would put his left foot in front, leaning forward with outstretched arms o Four point stance (modern day stance), was not allowed  Poda para poda (foot by foot)—equivalent to on your mark, get set, go!  Only one runner per lane o Thought to be as many as 22 lanes  Hypslex o First seen in Isthmia o The whole system served as individual hinged gates—barriers for the runners o Controlled by a cord that released the barrier o Runners in the inner lanes had a distinct advantage because the barriers on the outer lanes were less responsive o Possibility that a lanes cord could get caught – delaying the runners start o This contraption failed, and was not used  Hypslex II o Seen at all four Olympic games o 2 cords were attached to a post (one at knee level, one at waist level) o The ropes are all released in one single action  Hypslex III o Monumental architectural frames divide the lanes o Intricate pulleys, cords and mental springs, release the barriers  The evolution of the hypslex was to remove all possibility of influencing the outcome of the races  Balbis’ were at the beginning and end (terma) of the race to clearly determine who the winner was (whoever passed the terma first) o All races had 2 balbis’ except the diaulos whose beginning and ending was at the same balbis Wrestling  Wrestling was the next event added to the Olympics in 708 B.C o Also known as pale  Pinning people down in wrestling did not exist  Starting stance was called systasis  Meson echein was a hold that meant to grab the waist  Trachelizein was a neck hold  Hedran strephein was a hold which meant “to turn rear”—throw him over his hip o Another variation of this was the flying mare (ancient name unknown)  Competitors in wrestling were divided into pairs by drawing lots o Each lot was marked with a letter o Athletes that pulled out the same letter were against each other o If there was an odd number of athletes then whoever drew the odd letter would not compete in the first round  This was called ephedros – “on the seat”  The wrestler who threw his opponent three times without first suffering three falls himself was the winner Boxing  Also known as pyx  Introduced in 688, 20 years after wrestling  No helmets were worn, only a shield was used  Philstratos thought that the Spartans invented boxing  Blood was depicted in vase drawing  Himantes were leather strips wrapped around the hands o About 4 meters long o Made out of oxhide that ad been tanned and softened o Fingers were left free and himantes was wrapped around the knuckles and wrist  In 336, the soft hamas were replaced with hard hamas o Fleece-lined leather covered most of the forearm, wrist, and hand up to and including the knuckles  Blows to the head were the essential tactic of the boxer  Korykos were punching bags  Boxing matches took place in a skamma like wrestling  Pairs also determined by lots  Breaks could be taken by mutual agreements but there was no rounds or time limits  Victory was decided when one of the boxers could not continue The Pankration  Most violent competition  Began in 648  Combination of wrestling and boxing  Only rule is you cannot bite or gouge  Winner was determined by the inability of one of the competitors to continue The Pentathlon  Athletes had to be good in more than one sport  Name suggests there was 5 prizes, but today we see 5 competitions, with 1 athlete winning o Stadion race, diskos throw, halma, akon, pale (in that order) o Winner of any three competitions was the overall winner of the pentathlon o However, when there was no definite winner we are not sure how they determined a winner. Some possibilities are:  Point systems  Elimination tournaments  Diskos throw o Hard to tell if the diskoi was standardized o The most common material was bronze, 21 cm in diameter and weighed 2 kg o Starting position—weight on his right leg, holding the diskos at head level in a vertical position; the left hand supports the weight of the diskos, while the right hand (throwing hand) grasps the top edge o Balbis acted as a foul line o Athlete who threw the farthest won o 3 throws were allowed in Olympia o Marked his throw with a semeion (peg)  Long jump (halma) o Used weights (halteres)  Spherical  Made of stone and carved to fit the hand  Grip for the fingers and a hole for the thumb  Long  Made of lead  These halteres did not have a standard weight o Jump itself was made from the bater (“that which is trod upon”) o Jumpers landed in a Skamma o Vases:  Athlete would lean back, bracing himself on his right leg (bent at the knee) and extending his left leg  Holding a halma in each hand and extending arms  Flute was played before the jump to establish the athletes rhythm  Athlete rocks back and forth to the music, and swing the halteres to pull him forward  Once in the air the athlete pulls his legs up into a tuck jump, stretch out his feet and hands in front of him, then swings the halteres to gain added thrust, then drops them as he lands o Longest jump won, but footprints had to be c
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