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Les hippodromes et les concours hippiques dans la grèce antique

 | 
Jean-Charles Moretti
, 
Panos Valavanis

Les épreuves hippiques et les chevaux

Virtual halls of fame. Imagined communities of equestrian victors in the Hellenistic period

Sebastian Scharff

Résumé

This article applies a comparative approach to the study of the self-representation of different communities of equestrian victors in the Hellenistic age. Three case studies of Ptolemaic, Attalid and Thessalian victors are examined. They reveal that each of the three groups shared common motifs in their self-representation: whereas members of the Ptolemaic family created the picture of a victorious dynasty integrating the female members of their family into an image of power, Attalid victors focused on the motif of fraternal unity. Successful horse owners from third-century Thessaly stressed their regional identity and the fame of their horses. This way, all three groups created virtual halls of fame to ensure that their victories would be well-remembered.

Texte intégral

The final version of this article has been made possible by a generous stipend from the G. Henkel Stiftung.

  • 1 Van Bremen 2007, p. 348; cf. Barbantani 2001, p. 78.
  • 2 For the evidence of these victories, see e.g. Scharff forthcoming a and Remijsen 2009b; for Belisti (...)
  • 3 Callicrates: Posidippus, ep. 74 (Bingen 2002 and Bing 2002-2003), Sosibius: Callimachus, frg. 384 ( (...)
  • 4 The evidence is collected in Scharff forthcoming a; see also Shear J. L. 2007.
  • 5 IG II² 2317, ll. 36-37, 47-48. The inscription bearing the name of the victor is not well preserved (...)
  • 6 Diotimus: Ebert 1972, no. 64; Mastanabal: IG II² 2316, col. II, ll. 42-44 (cf. Zoumbaki 2014, p. 20 (...)

1The Hellenistic period saw the rise of “a new society of victors”1 consisting of kings and queens, princes and courtiers, women and non-Greeks. Members of the Ptolemaic dynasty in particular, from Ptolemy I to Ptolemy VI, frequently engaged in agonistic activities. However, it were not only the kings themselves who won victory, but also the female members of that dynasty including a “mistress” like Belistiche.2 The same is true for Ptolemaic courtiers such as Callicrates of Samos, Sosibius, and Polycrates of Argus –Polycrates even financed the agonistic victories of his wife Zeuxo and his three daughters.3 Outside the Ptolemaic kingdom the Attalids in particular spent a lot of money to make sure that they were successful at Olympia and in the Great Panathenaia at Athens.4 We also have knowledge of the agonistic engagement of one member of the Seleucid dynasty, probably Alexander Balas.5 Non-Greeks like the Phoenician sofet Diotimus of Sidon won victory at Nemea and even barbarian kings and princes such as Mastanabal son of Masinissa and Mithridates VI Eupator were successful in agonistic contests.6

2All these victories shared one feature: they were all won in the equestrian disciplines. This observation is not surprising, given the fact that it was the amount of money spent rather than certain physical abilities that mattered most in these disciplines: neither the jockeys nor the charioteers were crowned, but the owners of the horses. This means you basically had to spend enough money to make sure the victory would be yours. Bearing this in mind it comes as no surprise that the “new elites” of the Hellenistic period made good use of such a possibility to demonstrate their excellence. This aspect, however, is quite well known.

  • 7 The project bore the title “The Self-Representation of Hellenistic Athletes – Social, Political and (...)
  • 8 Scharff forthcoming a.
  • 9 Scharff 2016.
  • 10 Mann 2001, pp. 236-291, and Mann 2013.

3What is less well known is the way Hellenistic horse owners wanted their victories to be understood. In what follows I will take a deeper look into this aspect. This article originated as part of a Mannheim project which analyzes the self-presentation of gymnic and equestrian victors of the Hellenistic period.7 In earlier case studies it was demonstrated that some groups of equestrian victors like the Ptolemies8 or horse owners from Thessaly9 shared common motifs in their self-representation. This, however, does not go without saying, since in Greek antiquity a victory was first of all understood as an individual achievement, a product of the personal arete of the winner. An example which shows this very clearly is the way the tyrants from 5th-century Sicily had their agonistic victories praised, as Chr. Mann has demonstrated.10 Some equestrian victors of the Hellenistic period tried to put themselves in a line with former victors, thereby creating a virtual hall of fame, and this practice needs to be explained.

  • 11 For the different ways Hellenistic dynasties dealt with athletics, see now the important article of (...)

4In what follows I will try to address these issues by briefly analyzing the self-presentation of three “groups” of equestrian victors. I understand “groups” as clusters of victorious horse owners who did not only share a common origin, but also common motifs in their self-representation. Starting out with two royal examples, Ptolemaic and Attalid victors,11 I will then look at equestrian victors from the region of Thessaly. By doing so, I will try to combine the results of two earlier case studies, parts of which will need to be elaborated on again here for the sake of the argument.

The agonistic self-representation of the Ptolemies: a victorious Macedonian dynasty

  • 12 Although there have been sporadic attempts to question his authorship (e.g. Schröder 2004), the poe (...)

5The best documented case is certainly that of the Ptolemies. Since the spectacular discovery of the New Posidippus12 and its publication in 2002, our evidence for the agonistic activities of this dynasty in the 3rd century has increased remarkably. In the section Hippika the “royal poems” for the Ptolemies constitute the largest group. Although members of that dynasty won equestrian victories as long as the dynasty existed and although some of their members always spent a lot of money on good horses and charioteers, it is thanks to the New Posidippus that we are now able to see how the Ptolemies wanted their victories to be understood.

  • 13 Posidippus, ep. 82.6: ἀθ̣λ̣[οφ]ό̣ρον δῶµα.
  • 14 Posidippus, ep. 78.11: [ἐξ ἑ]νὸϲ οἴκ̣ο̣υ̣.
  • 15 Posidippus, ep. 88.1-4 (transl. E. Kosmetatou, B. Acosta-Hughes).

6The new epigrams demonstrate one aspect very clearly: the agonistic self-representation of the Ptolemies had a strong dynastic element. It is, for example, in the last verse of ep. 82 that the “victorious house”13 of Berenice is referred to. The same aspect is true for ep. 78, where the “glories […] from one house”14 are highlighted. The idea that the glory of the victory is connected not with the arete of an individual person, but with the success of the entire dynasty, is also stressed in ep. 88. The epigram proudly presents the equestrian victor Ptolemy II as part of a community of victorious kings from the same lineage. Obviously, the emphasis here lies on keeping victory in the family. In the words of the poem:15

πρῶτο[ι] τρεῖϲ βαϲι̣λῆ̣εϲ Ὀλύµπια καὶ µόνοι ἁµὲϲ
     ἅρµαϲι νικῶµεϲ̣ κ̣α̣ὶ γονέεϲ καὶ ἐγώ·
ε̣ἷϲ µ̣ὲν ἐγὼ̣ [Π]τολεµαίου ὁµώνυµοϲ, ἐ‹κ› Βερενίκαϲ
     υ̣ἱ̣[όϲ], Ἐορδαία γέννα, δύω δὲ γονεῖϲ.

We alone were the first three kings to win at Olympia
     in chariot-racing, my parents
(i.e. Ptolemy I and Berenice I) and I (i.e. Ptolemy II).
I am one, of the same name as Ptolemy, and son of Berenice
     of Eordean descent – my parents (the other) two
.

  • 16 See Remijsen, Scharff 2015.
  • 17 Kainz 2016.

7It is evident that words for family (γένος, γονεῖς, πάτηρ, µάτηρ, etc.) are omnipresent here.16 This focus on kinship can be linked to kingship, since family was an important motive in Ptolemy’s II claim on legitimacy, as L. Kainz has recently demonstrated.17

  • 18 Posidippus, ep. 78:
  • 19 For the question of which Berenice is meant in ep. 78 see Criscuolo 2003, pp. 311-315, 327-331; Ben (...)
  • 20 Posidippus, ep. 78.6-7.

8The dynastic aspect is referred to in even more detail in ep. 78.18 On the occasion of an Olympic victory of Berenice Syra or Berenice II19, all previous Olympic victories of the dynasty are listed. Thus, the glory of Berenice is embedded in a metaphorical “hall of fame”. The Olympic victor in the four-horse race, the most prestigious agonistic competition in the whole Greek world, becomes an emblem of the entire dynasty. The charisma of the victory is perpetuated: “and again my father won, a king who took his name from a king.”20 As I have mentioned above, it is shown –by means of comparison with the way in which the Sicilian tyrants of the early 5th century had presented their victories– that this dynastic element did not constitute a natural choice: the epinician odes of their court poet Pindar focused on the personal arete of the victor(s), never on the dynasty as a whole.

  • 21 Posidippus, ep. 88.4: Ἐορδαία γέννα.
  • 22 See Daubner 2016.
  • 23 Posidippus, ep. 82.3-4: Μακέτην […] παῖδα.
  • 24 Posidippus, ep. 87.1-2: Βερενίκαϲ […] Μακέταϲ; cf. Hose 2015, p. 315.
  • 25 Pausanias, 10.7.8: παγκράτιον δ᾽ ἐν παισὶ καὶ συνωρίδα τε πώλων καὶ πῶλον κέλητα πολλοῖς ἔτεσιν ὕστ (...)
  • 26 Kyrieleis 1973 who even identifies the king as Ptolemy V; see also Lehmann 2012, pp. 198-199 (with (...)
  • 27 Lehmann 1988, pp. 290-293; Lehmann 2012, pp. 199-200 (with figures), who identifies the pentathlete (...)

9The epigrams for Ptolemaic victors, however, are not all about the dynastic aspect. Another element is striking: whenever the ethnic identity of a member of the dynasty is evoked, they are presented as Macedonian without any exception. One example for this insisting on Macedonian identity was cited above: the “Eordean descent”21 Ptolemy II claimed for himself refers to no less than the Macedonian origin of the dynasty in the words of a poeta doctus; a poeta doctus who may also have known that Eordaia was exactly that part of ancient Macedonia where most of the non-royal Macedonian victors came from,22 which is a region especially connected to agonistic fame. In ep. 82 Berenice the Syrian becomes a “Macedonian […] daughter”23; and Berenice I is called “Macedonian Berenice” in ep. 87.24 This ethnic representation of the Ptolemies was still known to Pausanias in the 2nd century AD, as his description of the history of the Pythian Games demonstrates.25 It also became part of the visual representation of the dynasty: archaeological research in the area of Greek sculpture has been able to identify a victorious athlete in a group of two pancratiasts as a Ptolemaic king who is stronger than his barbarian opponent.26 Other Ptolemaic kings seem to be depicted as victorious pentathletes or naked athletes in an unknown discipline running a lap of honor.27 Clearly, the Ptolemies did not present themselves as kings of Egypt in the agonistic context, but as the legitimate successors of Alexander, who just happened to be residing in Egypt.

  • 28 Posidippus, ep. 87.3-4.
  • 29 Posidippus, ep. 88.
  • 30 Posidippus, ep. 88.5-6 (transl. according to E. Kosmetatou, B. Acosta-Hughes); cf. Hose 2015, p. 31 (...)

10In addition to the dynastic and ethnic aspects, the third main element of the Ptolemaic agonistic representation concerns gender: the female members of the Ptolemaic dynasty were integrated into an image of power. These women successfully participated at Olympia and other Panhellenic contests while at the same time entering a competition beyond the limits of space and time: Berenice is thus said to have surpassed Cynisca of Sparta’s glory, the first female Olympic victor.28 Ptolemy II even seemed to be more proud of his mother’s than his father’s agonistic achievements29. Thus, the epigram for his victory in the four-horse race at Olympia ends with the words:30

†π̣ρ̣ο̣υ µέγα πατρὸϲ εµου† τίθεµαι κλέοϲ, ἀλλ’ ὅτι µάτηρ
εἷλε γυνὰ νίκαν ἅρµατ‹ι›, τοῦτο µέγα.

I have added to the great glory of my father, but my mother, a woman, won a victory in the chariot races –this is great.

The agonistic representation of the Attalids: brotherly love at a politically important place

  • 31 See for this aspect Scharff forthcoming a (with an overview of all agonistic victories won by membe (...)

11The Attalids of Pergamon used their agonistic successes to frame their public image in a somewhat different way. Unfortunately, there is no poem on an Attalid ruler in the collection of Posidippus, but at least one victor epigram has survived on stone. Although the surviving evidence is not as impressive as one might wish, it is nevertheless possible to detect some typical Attalid features.31

  • 32 Ebert 1972, p. 176.
  • 33 Allen 1983, p. 186; Kertész 2013, p. 821.

12In terms of simple success, the Attalids were not as victorious as their Ptolemaic competitors, but they also took part in horse races and won victories in Panhellenic games. The only surviving Attalid victor epigram is dedicated to a certain Attalus and refers to a victory won in the four-foal race at Olympia probably in the year 276. In verse 11 a certain Philetaerus is mentioned who was the first ruler of the dynasty. According to J. Ebert, the victor of the epigram must be regarded as an adopted son of Philetaerus.32 He was a nephew of the ruler and was designated to take over the reign from his uncle by means of adoption and marriage to the Seleucid princess Antiochis in 280.33 Although he was later replaced by his cousin Eumenes I, the Olympic victory of Attalus should be considered a part of a political program to smoothly secure the transition of power within the dynasty.

  • 34 Ebert 1972, no. 59, vv. 11-12: φήµα δ’ εἰς Φιλέταιρον ἀοίδιµος ἦλθε καὶ οἴκους / Περγάµου, Ἀλείωι τ (...)

13Equally important is the way the equestrian success is presented here. The last two verses of the poem are of special interest: the fame of the victory comes “to Philetairus and to the houses of Pergamon”34. The ruler and his subjects metaphorically build an agonistic community of glory. It is a common element of victor epigrams to refer to the hometown of the victor. What is remarkable here is that the glory of the victory won by a member of the dynasty is transferred onto the ruler.

  • 35 IG II² 2314, ll. 83-90.
  • 36 Kosmetatou 2001, p. 168; cf. Plutarch, Moralia 480c: Ἀπολλωνίδα γοῦν τὴν Κυζικηνήν, Εὐµένους δὲ τοῦ (...)
  • 37 Kosmetatou 2001, p. 168.
  • 38 Kosmetatou 2001, p. 169.

14This, however, is not the key element of the Attalid agonistic self-representation. The answer to the question why the Attalids engaged in agonistic activities certainly has to do with the fact that they were the only dynasty who could present four victorious brothers in the very same event. According to the Panathenaic victor lists of the year 178/7, king Eumenes II was as victorious in an equestrian competition as his three brothers Attalus, Philetaerus and Athenaeus.35 Unfortunately, there is no surviving epigram for this special occasion, but it is tempting to think about the question of how the four brothers would have wanted their victories to be perceived. They certainly would not have missed the chance to stress that they had all won on the same occasion because the mere fact of four victorious brothers fits very well into an essential part of the creation of the Attalid public image: the unity of the family. We should bear in mind that, according to Plutarch, the same Eumenes II is said to have appeared in public “surrounded by his brothers in the guise of bodyguards”36. The image painted here is that of brotherly love. The unity of the family was meant to distinguish the Attalids from their contemporary rulers, such as the Seleucids and Ptolemies, who were endlessly involved in dynastic struggles. The Attalid family, on the contrary, “was always united, no feud ever took place and every member of the family wholeheartedly supported the reigning monarch.”37 This intended public image may also be the reason why we do not find any Attalid queen in the victor lists. As E. Kosmetatou has pointed out “Attalid queens were primarily wives and mothers”38. Thus, for an Attalid queen or princess it was in accordance with the family values not to engage in agonistic competition.

  • 39 See e.g. SEG XLI 115, col. I, ll. 37-38.
  • 40 Shear J. L. 2007, p. 135.

15One final aspect of the agonistic activities of the Attalids is worth mentioning: it is about Athens. Out of the eight victories of members of the family we know of, a total of seven were won at the Panathenaia. The Attalids tried to strengthen their relationship with the city of Pericles through their equestrian victories. They even adopted an Athenian identity in the Panathenaic victory lists, since the organizers –connecting their name with an Athenian phyle named after them– listed the Attalid victors as Athenian citizens and not as foreigners.39 Admittedly, the same is true for some Ptolemaic victors. However, being a “Royal Athenian”40, as J. Shear put it, seems to have been a more important aspect of the Attalid agonistic self-representation than of the Ptolemies’ intended public image.

The agonistic self-representation of Thessalian victors: the fame of the horses

  • 41 Posidippus, ep. 118.28. In contrast to the epigrams cited above, this poem is not part of the Milan (...)
  • 42 For victories of Thessalian athletes in the Hellenistic period, see now in detail Scharff 2016.

16Apart from all these royal victors, the old elites in Hellenistic athletics were still in place. Some of them may even have tried to challenge the new victors by having the same poet work for them as the Ptolemaic court: a poet who said at the end of his life that he had a fortune to hand down.41 Therefore, we may assume that some money had to be spent to get a poem written by him. By making such an investment the old elites took part in a competition which began when the actual contest had just ended. This competition was a virtual one and was centered on the question of whose victory would be imprinted in the memory of generations to come. We have already seen that some (not all) Hellenistic dynasties used their agonistic success to sharpen their public image. In order to be taken seriously, Hellenistic victors from Thessaly developed a unique strategy to make sure that their victories would not be forgotten.42

  • 43 Posidippus, ep. 71; 83-85. Dickie 2008, pp. 35-36, and Hose 2015, p. 288, even think of a fifth The (...)
  • 44 For Thessalian victories in the Archaic and Classical periods see Stamatopoulou 2007.
  • 45 P. Oxy. XVII 2082.
  • 46 In addition to the three victories recorded in P. Oxy. XVII 2082 (Pandion with the single horse in (...)
  • 47 Ebert 1972, no. 59.2; Posidippus, ep. 74.2.
  • 48 IG IX 2, 69, with Scarborough 2015; ἱππιατρός is mentioned in l. 5.

17If we look for successful horse owners other than the Ptolemies and Attalids in the third century, we will definitely end up with aristocrats from Thessaly. After the much debated “royal poems” for Ptolemaic victors, epigrams celebrating Thessalian horse owners constitute the second largest group in the Hippika of Posidippus.43 Thessalian horses were successful from the Archaic period,44 but their victories seem to have reached a certain peak in the first half of the 3rd century, when three Thessalian horse owners celebrated an Olympian victory in the year 268.45 All in all, we know of no less than nine equestrian victories at Olympia in the first half of the 3rd century.46 Accordingly, horses from Thessaly constituted an important point of reference in some non-Thessalian victor epigrams.47 The reasons for this outstanding success can be seen in the excellent conditions for horse-breeding provided by the Thessalian plains as well as in the pride the local aristocrats took in this activity. Thessalian aristocrats cared about their horses a lot. It is not by coincidence that the first attestation for the term ἱππιατρός (“horse doctor”) stems from Thessaly. We find it in a Lamian proxeny decree for the veterinary Metrodoros from Pelinna.48 The honors given to this certain Metrodoros demonstrate his high social rank and therefore also the great importance the people from Lamia attached to his profession.

  • 49 For this aspect see Scharff 2016.
  • 50 Posidippus, ep. 71.4.
  • 51 Posidippus, ep. 85.4: πατρίδα Θεϲϲαλίαν.
  • 52 Posidippus, ep. 83.1-2: Θεϲϲαλὸϲ ὀξ̣[ύτα‹θ›]{α̣} ἵπποϲ Ὀλύµπια µουνοκέληϲ τρὶϲ / νικῶν…
  • 53 Posidippus, ep. 84 (transl. E. Kosmetatou).

18Let us now turn to the question of how the attested victors from Hellenistic Thessaly wanted their victories to be perceived. The first remarkable aspect is that it is always the entire region of Thessaly Posidippus that poems refer to.49 The hometown of the victors is never mentioned. The first of the four Thessalian epigrams ends with the emphatic invocation of the personified πότνια Θεϲϲαλία,50 whereas the last one explicitly calls Thessaly patris (πατρίδα Θεσσαλίαν).51 Both phrases come at the very end of the epigram, a stressed position in every poem. The same is true for the initial word(s) of an epigram. Therefore, it is not surprising that epigram 83 begins with the word Θεϲϲαλόϲ referring to the victorious horse of the victor.52 The reading of epigram 84 is more complicated.53

…… Ὀλυ]µπιονῖκα, ϲὺ τὸν ταχὺν ἵππον ἔλουϲαϲ
…… ἐν Ἀλ]φειῶι, θεϲ̣ϲαλοτυλοϲιδα,
…….. µ]έγα δῶµα µεθύϲτερον ἐϲτεφανώθη
…….]. ι πρῶται θειότεραι χάριτεϲ.

You were the first Olympic victor who washed this, your swift horse
in the Alpheios river, Thessalian Phylopidas,
[…] a large hall was later decorated with wreaths
[…] first more divine Graces.

19This poem includes a certain reference to Thessaly in the second verse. Some editions give the desperate θεϲ̣ϲαλοτυλοϲιδα, but I prefer the version of the Θεϲ̣ϲαλ‹ὲ› ‹Φ›υλο‹π›ίδα which has the advantage of actually making sense. As none of the other gaps in the text on the left side of the papyrus are large enough to contain the name of the victor, the last part has to be a misreading of the name and the first part is thus obviously an ethnikon. As a consequence, there is no doubt that Thessaly is mentioned here in one form or another.

  • 54 See e.g. Ebert 1972, p. 21; Köhnken 2007, pp. 295-296, and Hose 2015, p. 283. However, the connecti (...)
  • 55 Posidippus, ep. 85.3-4: καὶ οὐ κατέλυϲα παλαιᾶϲ / δόξ̣α̣ϲ̣ [...] ἵπποι̣ϲ̣ πατρίδα Θεϲϲαλίαν. (“and (...)

20In none of these four epigrams do we hear anything explicit about the polis the victors belonged to. Therefore, it is astonishing that all these victors chose to emphasize their regional instead of their local identity. This practice needs to be explained because it is against the conventions of victor epigrams where there is always a strong emphasis on the hometown of the victor.54 In my opinion, the reason why these victors emphasized their regional identity is to be seen at least in part in the fact that they wanted to take part in a long established tradition of the fame of the well-known Thessalian horses. In ep. 85 Thessaly’s παλαιὰ δόξα for (successful) horses is praised.55 The victor, a certain Amyntas, modestly tells us that he did not put an end to this “ancient fame”. By saying so, he stresses that he himself has continued a line of Thessalian successes. Thus, he creates a virtual hall of fame of Thessalian horse owners; or, to be more precise: of Thessalian horses. One could even say that the dynastic aspect of the self-representation of Thessalian victors lies in their horses. It is tempting to interpret these verses as an attempt to learn from royal representation because Thessalian victors also built upon the fame of their agonistic predecessors. This, however, cannot be proven because we have no understanding of the inner chronology of the poems of the New Posidippus. What we can say is that if such an idea had been instilled by the poet, it would have pleased his Thessalian commissioners.

  • 56 Graninger 2011, p. 81, who means a combination of the three disciplines ταυροθηρία, ἀφιππολαµπάς an (...)
  • 57 The tristadion is attested for the first time in SEG LIV 566 which is dated to 190-170. The editio (...)
  • 58 Scharff forthcoming b with a catalogue of all agonistic inscriptions from Rhodes.
  • 59 There is only one very late exception from Olympia which is dated to the 2nd half of the 1st centur (...)

21Third-century victors from Thessaly tried to play the big game: not only did they engage in the most prestigious contests, but they also commissioned one of the most famous and expensive poets of their time to make sure that their victories would be remembered in the most important parts of the expanding Hellenistic world. This attitude changed completely in the 2nd and 1st centuries when a Thessalian agonistic culture arose with new disciplines like the so-called “Thessalian triad”56 or the three-stadion run (tristadion),57 and a focus on local or regional contests emerged. This paper is not the place for a discussion of the motives for that change. What is important for our purpose is that the 3rd-century attitude of equestrian victors from Thessaly is not a natural fact, since their Rhodian peers, to draw a well-documented comparison, behaved differently: In the 2nd century, the period of their biggest Olympic success, these victors did not try to build a community of victors, but rather sought to engage in an inner-Rhodian aristocratic competition.58 This is indicated by the fact that all Hellenistic inscriptions for Rhodian victors are from Rhodes itself.59 For Rhodian victors the place where they could make good political use of their victory was their hometown.

Concluding remarks

22To put it in a nutshell, the Ptolemies presented themselves as a victorious, Macedonian dynasty that integrated the female members of the family into an image of power, whereas the Attalids portrayed themselves as a united family of loving brothers. The Thessalian victors, however, wanted to be perceived as caring specialists for the well-being of horses. This article aimed at showing that all these groups shared common motifs in their agonistic self-representation; motifs which exceeded the technical standard motifs inherent in other victor epigrams. In my opinion, some victors of the Hellenistic period developed a new sense of belonging together. This is not equally true for all Hellenistic victors in the equestrian disciplines, but there were certainly victors who tried to build a virtual hall of fame in order to enhance their own glory. Besides this, traditional forms of agonistic self-representation prevailed, too: some equestrian victors still emphasized their personal arete in a very conventional way. What is new in the Hellenistic period, however, is that some victors actually tried to build upon the fame of their predecessors. So we may conclude that the Hellenistic period saw not only the rise of “a new society of victors”, but also the rise of a new way of agonistic self-representation.

Notes

1 Van Bremen 2007, p. 348; cf. Barbantani 2001, p. 78.

2 For the evidence of these victories, see e.g. Scharff forthcoming a and Remijsen 2009b; for Belistiche, see additionally Kosmetatou 2004.

3 Callicrates: Posidippus, ep. 74 (Bingen 2002 and Bing 2002-2003), Sosibius: Callimachus, frg. 384 (Pfeiffer), Polycrates: IG II² 2313, col. II, ll. 61-62 (cf. PP 2172 + 15065); Zeuxo: IG II² 2313, col. II, ll. 59-60 (cf. PP 17211), Polycrates’ daughters: IG II² 2313, col. II, ll. 8-9; 2314, col. I, ll. 49-50 (Zeuxo, cf. PP 17212); IG II² 2313, col. II, ll. 14-15; 2314, col. II, ll. 94-95 (Hermione, cf. PP 17209); IG II² 2313, col. II, ll. 12-13 (Eucrateia, cf. PP 17210).

4 The evidence is collected in Scharff forthcoming a; see also Shear J. L. 2007.

5 IG II² 2317, ll. 36-37, 47-48. The inscription bearing the name of the victor is not well preserved. We only know for sure that the victor was a son of Antiochus IV. Therefore, it is not certain whether it was Antiochus V or Alexander Balas who is mentioned in the victor list. The second possibility is suggested with good reason by Tracy, Habicht 1991, pp. 218, 233.

6 Diotimus: Ebert 1972, no. 64; Mastanabal: IG II² 2316, col. II, ll. 42-44 (cf. Zoumbaki 2014, p. 203); Mithridates VI: Evangelidis 1927-1928, no. 12, ll. 8-15. The latter won in four equestrian disciplines in an unknown festival in Chios in about the year 86. Dates here and in what follows are to be understood as BC.

7 The project bore the title “The Self-Representation of Hellenistic Athletes – Social, Political and Ethnic Identities” and is funded by the German Research Council (DFG). One aim of this project was to create a database consisting of all Hellenistic athletes who competed in gymnic and equestrian disciplines. The database is now available on http://mafas.geschichte.uni-mannheim.de/athletes/, viewed on November 29, 2018. It constitutes the basis for a monograph I am currently preparing on the subject. The study bears the working title Ἀστῶν πράτιστος. Studies in the Self-representation of Hellenistic Athletes.

8 Scharff forthcoming a.

9 Scharff 2016.

10 Mann 2001, pp. 236-291, and Mann 2013.

11 For the different ways Hellenistic dynasties dealt with athletics, see now the important article of Mann 2018.

12 Although there have been sporadic attempts to question his authorship (e.g. Schröder 2004), the poems are generally attributed to Posidippus of Pella, court poet of the Ptolemies (Seidensticker, Stähli, Wessels 2015, pp. 9, 15).

13 Posidippus, ep. 82.6: ἀθ̣λ̣[οφ]ό̣ρον δῶµα.

14 Posidippus, ep. 78.11: [ἐξ ἑ]νὸϲ οἴκ̣ο̣υ̣.

15 Posidippus, ep. 88.1-4 (transl. E. Kosmetatou, B. Acosta-Hughes).

16 See Remijsen, Scharff 2015.

17 Kainz 2016.

18 Posidippus, ep. 78:

ε]ἴπατε, πάντεϲ ἀοι̣δ̣ο̣ί, ἐ̣µὸν̣ [κ]λέο̣ϲ̣, ε[.].[
     γ̣νωϲτὰ λέγειν, ὅτ̣ι µοι δ̣ό̣ξ̣[α
ἅρµατι µὲ‹ν› γάρ µοι προπάτω̣[ρ Πτολεµ]α̣ῖοϲ ἐν̣[ίκα
     Πιϲαίων ἐλάϲαϲ ἵππον ἐπὶ ϲτα[δίων,
καὶ µήτηρ Βερενίκη ἐµοῦ πατ[ρόϲ· ἅ]ρ̣[µ]ατι δ’ αὖτ̣[ιϲ
     νίκην εἷλε πατὴ̣ρ̣ ἐ̣‹κ› βαϲι̣λέω̣[ϲ] βαϲ̣[ι]λεὺϲ
πατρὸϲ ἔχων ὄνοµα· ζευκτ̣[ὰϲ δ’] ἐξ̣ή̣ρατο̣ πάϲαϲ
     Ἀρ̣ϲινόη νίκαϲ τρεῖϲ ἑνὸϲ ἐξ ἀέ̣[θλου·
π. [ ±13 ] γένοϲ ἱερὸν [... γυ]ν̣αικῶν
     κε[ ±12 ] παρθένιοϲ [......]ϲ.
τα̣[ῦ]τ̣[α] µ̣ὲ̣[ν.... ἐ]π̣εῖδεν Ὀλυ̣[µπ]ί̣α̣ [ἐξ ἑ]νὸϲ οἴκ̣ο̣υ̣
     ἅρ̣µαϲι καὶ παίδων παῖδαϲ ἀεθ̣λ̣ο̣φόρο̣[υ]ϲ̣·
τεθρίππου δὲ τελείο‹υ› ἀείδετε τὸν Βερ[ε]ν̣ί̣κ̣η̣[ϲ
     τ̣ῆϲ βαϲιλευούϲηϲ, ὦ Μακέτα[ι], ϲτέφανο̣ν.
Tell of my glory, all you poets, [...] to speak of what is well known, because my fame has an ancient lineage. My ancestor Ptolemy [I] won [an Olympian victory] with his chariot when driving his horse at the stadium at Pisa, and so did my father’s [Ptolemy II Euergetes] mother Berenice [I], and again my father won, a king who took his name from a king. Arsinoe won all three chariot races in one contest [...] the holy family of women [...] a maidenly [...] saw these [glories] in chariot racing from one house and the prize-winning children of children. Sing, Macedonians, of the crown Berenice won with her successful chariot. (Transl. M. Lefkowitz). Cf. Hose 2015, pp. 299-303.

19 For the question of which Berenice is meant in ep. 78 see Criscuolo 2003, pp. 311-315, 327-331; Bennett 2005; Thompson D. J. 2005, pp. 272-279, and Remijsen 2009b, p. 252, who all favor Berenice Syra, the daughter of Ptolemy II, whereas Huss 2008 argues for Berenice, the daughter-in-law of the same king and wife of Ptolemy III. Since Kampakoglou 2013, 2016 and Cazzadori 2016, pp. 327-329, have recently made a strong case on Berenice II being the Berenice praised by Callimachus’ Victoria Berenices, it is tempting to see Berenice II as the addressee of Posidippus’ poem as well (cf. Kainz 2016, p. 347, n. 39). It is not necessary, however, to give a definitive answer to this question here, since the Ptolemaic style of self-presentation, as it is to be found in Posidippus, does not change either way.

20 Posidippus, ep. 78.6-7.

21 Posidippus, ep. 88.4: Ἐορδαία γέννα.

22 See Daubner 2016.

23 Posidippus, ep. 82.3-4: Μακέτην […] παῖδα.

24 Posidippus, ep. 87.1-2: Βερενίκαϲ […] Μακέταϲ; cf. Hose 2015, p. 315.

25 Pausanias, 10.7.8: παγκράτιον δ᾽ ἐν παισὶ καὶ συνωρίδα τε πώλων καὶ πῶλον κέλητα πολλοῖς ἔτεσιν ὕστερον κατεδέξαντο Ἠλείων, τὸ µὲν πρώτῃ πυθιάδι ἐπὶ ταῖς ἑξήκοντα, καὶ Ἰολαΐδας ἐνίκα Θηβαῖος: διαλιπόντες δὲ ἀπὸ ταύτης µίαν κέλητι ἔθεσαν δρόµον πώλῳ, ἐνάτῃ δὲ ἐπὶ ταῖς ἑξήκοντα συνωρίδι πωλικῇ, καὶ ἐπὶ µὲν τῷ πώλῳ τῷ κέλητι Λυκόρµας ἀνηγορεύθη Λαρισαῖος, Πτολεµαῖος δὲ ἐπὶ τῇ συνωρίδι Μακεδών: ἔχαιρον γὰρ δὴ Μακεδόνες οἱ ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ καλούµενοι βασιλεῖς, καθάπερ γε ἦσαν. (“ The pancratium for boys, a race for a chariot drawn by two foals, and a race for ridden foals, were many years afterwards introduced from Elis. The first was brought in at the sixty-first Pythian Festival, and Iolaidas of Thebes was victorious. At the next Festival but one they held a race for a ridden foal, and at the sixty-ninth Festival a race for a chariot drawn by two foals; the victor proclaimed for the former was Lycormas of Larisa, for the latter Ptolemy the Macedonian. For the kings of Egypt liked to be called Macedonians, as in fact they were.”) (Transl. W.H.S. Jones, H.A. Ormerod).

26 Kyrieleis 1973 who even identifies the king as Ptolemy V; see also Lehmann 2012, pp. 198-199 (with further reading).

27 Lehmann 1988, pp. 290-293; Lehmann 2012, pp. 199-200 (with figures), who identifies the pentathlete as Ptolemy III, the athlete on his lap of honor as Ptolemy XII. As in the case mentioned in the previous footnote, one does not necessarily have to follow these very precise identifications. What seems undisputable, though, is that the Ptolemies’ agonistic self-presentation was not restricted to poetry, but used visual representation as well.

28 Posidippus, ep. 87.3-4.

29 Posidippus, ep. 88.

30 Posidippus, ep. 88.5-6 (transl. according to E. Kosmetatou, B. Acosta-Hughes); cf. Hose 2015, p. 317.

31 See for this aspect Scharff forthcoming a (with an overview of all agonistic victories won by members of the Attalid family).

32 Ebert 1972, p. 176.

33 Allen 1983, p. 186; Kertész 2013, p. 821.

34 Ebert 1972, no. 59, vv. 11-12: φήµα δ’ εἰς Φιλέταιρον ἀοίδιµος ἦλθε καὶ οἴκους / Περγάµου, Ἀλείωι τ[ε]ισαµένα στεφάνωι.

35 IG II² 2314, ll. 83-90.

36 Kosmetatou 2001, p. 168; cf. Plutarch, Moralia 480c: Ἀπολλωνίδα γοῦν τὴν Κυζικηνήν, Εὐµένους δὲ τοῦ βασιλέως µητέρα καὶ τριῶν ἄλλων, Ἀττάλου καὶ Φιλεταίρου καὶ Ἀθηναίου, λέγουσι µακαρίζειν ἑαυτὴν ἀεὶ καὶ τοῖς θεοῖς χάριν ἔχειν οὐ διὰ τὸν πλοῦτον οὐδὲ διὰ τὴν ἡγεµονίαν, ἀλλ’ ὅτι τοὺς τρεῖς υἱοὺς ἑώρα τὸν πρεσβύτατον δορυφοροῦντας κἀκεῖνον ἐν µέσοις αὐτοῖς δόρατα καὶ ξίφη φοροῦσιν ἀδεῶς διαιτώµενον. (“So they report of Apollonis of Cyzicus, mother of Eumenes and three other sons, Attalus and Philetaerus and Athenaeus, that she always congratulated herself and gave thanks to the gods, not because of wealth or empire, but because she saw her three sons members of the body-guard of the eldest, who passed his days without fear surrounded by brothers with swords and spears in their hands.”) (Transl. W.C. Helmbold).

37 Kosmetatou 2001, p. 168.

38 Kosmetatou 2001, p. 169.

39 See e.g. SEG XLI 115, col. I, ll. 37-38.

40 Shear J. L. 2007, p. 135.

41 Posidippus, ep. 118.28. In contrast to the epigrams cited above, this poem is not part of the Milan papyrus, but was already known before.

42 For victories of Thessalian athletes in the Hellenistic period, see now in detail Scharff 2016.

43 Posidippus, ep. 71; 83-85. Dickie 2008, pp. 35-36, and Hose 2015, p. 288, even think of a fifth Thessalian epigram (ep. 72 on a certain Molykos). However, this must remain uncertain, since the ethnikon of the winner is not mentioned in the poem.

44 For Thessalian victories in the Archaic and Classical periods see Stamatopoulou 2007.

45 P. Oxy. XVII 2082.

46 In addition to the three victories recorded in P. Oxy. XVII 2082 (Pandion with the single horse in 296, Carterus with the four-horse chariot in 268 and a certain M[…] from Crannon with the single horse in 268), these are Posidippus, ep. 83 (three victories of an unknown horse-owner in the single horse race), ep. 84 (Phylopidas in the single-horse race), ep. 85 (Amyntas in the single-horse race) and Eusebius’ Olympic victor list 131. Christesen, Martirosova-Torlone 2006 (Hippocrates in the foal race in 256).

47 Ebert 1972, no. 59.2; Posidippus, ep. 74.2.

48 IG IX 2, 69, with Scarborough 2015; ἱππιατρός is mentioned in l. 5.

49 For this aspect see Scharff 2016.

50 Posidippus, ep. 71.4.

51 Posidippus, ep. 85.4: πατρίδα Θεϲϲαλίαν.

52 Posidippus, ep. 83.1-2: Θεϲϲαλὸϲ ὀξ̣[ύτα‹θ›]{α̣} ἵπποϲ Ὀλύµπια µουνοκέληϲ τρὶϲ / νικῶν…

53 Posidippus, ep. 84 (transl. E. Kosmetatou).

54 See e.g. Ebert 1972, p. 21; Köhnken 2007, pp. 295-296, and Hose 2015, p. 283. However, the connection between a victor and his hometown was so strong in the entire agonistic discourse that the words of the herald’s announcement were used by Nielsen 2004 as evidence to identify a settlement as a polis.

55 Posidippus, ep. 85.3-4: καὶ οὐ κατέλυϲα παλαιᾶϲ / δόξ̣α̣ϲ̣ [...] ἵπποι̣ϲ̣ πατρίδα Θεϲϲαλίαν. (“and I did not make an end of my Thessalian fatherland’s ancient fame for horses.”) (Transl. E. Kosmetatou).

56 Graninger 2011, p. 81, who means a combination of the three disciplines ταυροθηρία, ἀφιππολαµπάς and ἀφιπποδροµά which are usually mentioned directly after each other in Thessalian victory lists of the 2nd and 1st centuries (e.g. IG IX 2, 534, ll. 9-15); see for these disciplines Mavridis et al. 2004, pp. 141-146.

57 The tristadion is attested for the first time in SEG LIV 566 which is dated to 190-170. The editio princeps of this inscription is Darmezin, Tziafalias 2005.

58 Scharff forthcoming b with a catalogue of all agonistic inscriptions from Rhodes.

59 There is only one very late exception from Olympia which is dated to the 2nd half of the 1st century (NIvO 30; cf. Scharff forthcoming b, no. 3.j).

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University of Mannheim

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