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Les hippodromes et les concours hippiques dans la grèce antique

 | 
Jean-Charles Moretti
, 
Panos Valavanis

Vainqueurs, dédicaces et politique

Agones hippikoi and votive offerings

Heide Frielinghaus

Résumé

This paper offers a survey of votive offerings related to equestrian contests. After discussing several biases that the research must take into account, four categories of dedications and implied “messages” are differentiated: material dedications (used and reproduced objects); event-based pictorial votive offerings; prizes; and non-specific valuables. Next, we ask the question, how far did a sanctuary’s connection with equestrian contests produce an effect on the stock of dedications. The Athenian Acropolis is used as a case study. Although equestrian contests enjoyed a high reputation within the Panathenaic games in honor of Athena Polias –cf. the range of different hippic competitions and the number of prize amphorae earned through victory in the respective contests– dedications in connection with equestrian competitions played a rather marginal role in the 6th/5th century BC: in the 6th century a remarkable quantity and a rather broad spectrum of hippic dedications can be observed on the Acropolis, but apparently only few of them have been related to equestrian contests, whereas in the 5th century not only is the number of votive offerings connected with hippic competitions sparse, but even the hippic theme in general seems to play a diminished role within the dedications.

Texte intégral

  • 1 See for example Bentz 1998, p. 76 (chariot race); Schäfer 2002, p. 40.
  • 2 See for example Hansen 1996, pp. 257-276.

1The topic of this paper interlinks two subjects, the complex characteristics, problems and potentialities of which have been under detailed discussion for quite some time now: agones hippikoi as belonging to the most esteemed of the performed contests in many festivals;1 and the giving of votive offerings as a ritual linked with every possible happening, activity or stage of life.2 What can be gained by looking especially at offerings that were dedicated with reference to equestrian contests? Or, more precisely, what can be gained by looking not so much at a single dedication but at the custom as a whole?

2In the last decades research into the practice of votive offering has made it increasingly clear that the “system” of dedication in the Greek world was neither a homogeneous nor an arbitrary one. Even if it seems –at least from our modern point of view–as if every object imaginable could be dedicated with reference to a wide range of causes, and vice versa every cause could generate a wide range of votive offerings, by sifting the available evidence it becomes obvious that the choice of objects to be dedicated were subject to variation. So, to name but a few examples, the choice could differ with regard to the kind of god or the kind of cult place it was dedicated to, not to mention the region in which the cult place was situated. Or it could differ with regard to the cause it was dedicated to.

3From this point several questions arise, for example: which “types” of offerings are connected with equestrian contests? Does the range of dedications show in principle or in detail any difference in comparison with the range of dedications that was given to the gods for other causes? How were the offerings in question treated when given to a sanctuary, for example in their display, the amount of exhibition-time, recycling, deliberate damage or discarding? Are there any differences from the treatment given to dedications for other causes? What is the relative importance of votive offerings related to equestrian contests within the whole spectrum of dedications found in one specific sanctuary? Are there differences in this respect between those cult places to which agones hippikoi were attached, and those without any such attachment? Or, are there differences between the cult places of different gods? And, last but not least, are there diachronic changes discernible in any of this?

4Any research into this subject encounters the usual, well known and problem- generating restrictions. To name just three of them:

  • 3 See Kyrieleis 2006, p. 91.
  • 4 See Frielinghaus 2010, pp. 93-94, for the conspicuous conditions of preservation in Olympia (large (...)
  • 5 See Snodgrass 1989-1990, p. 288; Kilian-Dirlmeier 2002, pp. 192-200, esp. 199.

5– Generally, only a very small proportion of votive offerings has been preserved. Furthermore, because of their perishable material some groups of offerings are rarer than others.3 And finally the different conditions of preservation means that in some places offerings survive in smaller numbers than in others.4 There is also a profound change in the archaeological and historical record: from Geometric to Archaic times it is mainly the object itself which has been preserved, whereas for the Classic and Hellenistic periods a great deal of our information is derived from literary and epigraphic sources. Therefore, quantities can be compared only very tentatively, and the different levels of information need to be kept in mind.5

  • 6 See Baitinger, Völling 2007, pp. 5-8.

6– Quite often it is difficult to discern a votive offering as such. Implements like tablewares or tools, for example, could have been brought into a sanctuary as votive offerings as well as for use, they could have been lost there or stored there.6

7– A connection between a dedication and a specific cause can be taken for granted only when there is explicit written evidence. When a respective connection is based only on the “type” of votive offering –either because of (supposed) associations or because of comparable pieces with written evidence– the interpretation might be feasible or even plausible, but the polyvalence of the semantic field every object possesses always has to be considered.

  • 7 In a way this paper is complementary to an article dealing with the special features of ship-relate (...)
  • 8 See n. 48.

8The issues discussed make it clear that many cult places need to be analyzed in detail, one by one, before some of the aforementioned questions can be (tentatively) answered. As this paper refers to work in progress7 it is only possible to propose a categorization of votive offerings, outlining (some of) the problems in the process, and offering some preliminary observations on the Acropolis of Athens as a cult place closely linked to equestrian contests, with regard to at least one festival actually in Athens, and more generally to the lively participation of Athenian citizens at other festivals.8

Votive offerings related to agones hippikoi: categorization,
classification and details

  • 9 Most of the examples used here to exemplify the categories are assembled in the following very usef (...)

9Looking at the material which is certainly related to equestrian contests I distinguish four categories of votive offerings.9

  • 10 The categorization chosen here varies in some aspects to the one proposed in a different context by (...)

101. A first category could be named material dedications. This contains equipment or those (parts of) implements that played a part in the short-term or long-term event which lead to the dedication (used objects). also included are votive offerings imitating the aforementioned equipment or implements with or without regard to their proper size and material (reproducted objects).10 Fundamentally, every newly bought (part of) equipment or implement dedicated into a sanctuary could have been a “reproduction” or a “surrogate” for a used one, but whether this actually had been the case or whether it had been chosen for other motives can only be discerned when there is written evidence.

  • 11 Pindar, Pythian Odes 5, esp. 34-42. For the contextualization of the Ode, see Sandys 1961, pp. 232- (...)
  • 12 Even if (some of) the epigrams should not have been part of an actual dedication they do illustrate (...)
  • 13 Anthologia Palatina 6.246.
  • 14 Anthologia Palatina 6.233 (transl. after W.R. Paton).
  • 15 Inventory: for the Acropolis of Athens, for example, see probably IG II² 1400, ll. 61-62 (for the h (...)
  • 16 Cf., for example, Pausanias, 10.18.1.
  • 17 Plutarch, Cimon 5.2 (transl. after B. Perrin).

11Evidence for the dedication of used objects in connection with agones hippikoi is well established. Pindar, for example, refers to a chariot dedicated by Arcesilaus of Cyrene after his victory at the Pythian Games in 462 BC.11 Other parts of equipment are mentioned in epigrams collected in the Anthologia Palatina.12 One of them names a certain Charmes who dedicated spurs, whip and comb, as well as parts of his horse’s equipment, after winning the race at Isthmia.13 According to another epigram even “bloody pricks of the spur” seem to have been dedicated by a certain Stratos at the same place.14 Beside literary testimonials as these, parts of horse or chariot equipment are recorded at several sanctuaries, either in inventory lists or within the archaeological remains.15 However, in most cases the actual cause for dedication is not recorded, so they cannot be taken summarily as references to equestrian contests. The dedication may as well have taken place in the context of military activities16 or in that of horse breeding, to name but two examples. A further, very specific cause for dedication is intimated by Plutarch who maintains that prior to the battle of Salamis, Cimon dedicated “the horse’s bridle which he carried in his hands” to Athena “signifying thus that what the city needed then was not knightly prowess but sea-figthers”.17

  • 18 Pausanias, 6.10.8. Cf. Moretti L. 1957, no. 110.
  • 19 Pausanias, 6.16.6. Cf. Moretti L. 1957, no. 196.
  • 20 Pausanias, 6.14.4. Cf. Moretti L. 1957, no. 177.
  • 21 For early pieces in Olympia, for example, see Heilmeyer 1972; Heilmeyer 1979; Heilmeyer 1994.

12Likewise documented in connection with agones hippikoi are “reproducted” dedications. The chariot of the Spartan Euagoras mentioned by Pausanias among the dedications in Olympia,18 was probably the imitation of a chariot and not the genuine article itself, but this cannot be stated with certainty. A certain example of “reproduction”, however, can be found in the case of the “not large” chariot dedicated by the Spartan Polypheites, which seems to have been put on the top of a stele-monument.19 But in this instance it is not absolutely certain that the dedication consisted just of the object (without a person). Fundamentally, not only inanimate material could be “reproduced”, but also living beings. Pausanias, for example, saw a bronze horse of moderate size in the Altis of Olympia that had been dedicated by a certain Crocon from Eretria after his victory in the horse race.20 Examples like these notwithstanding, single bronze or terracotta horses as well as (parts of) chariots found in not inconsiderable numbers in several sanctuaries21 cannot be linked to equestrian contests without evidence explicitly referring to them since, as indicated above, they possess a polyvalent semantic field.

  • 22 For the dedication of one’s tools, such as fishing equipment or weapons, see samples cited by Rouse(...)
  • 23 Such as captured armour (cf. Frielinghaus 2011, pp. 121, 124) or the old anchor of a safely returne (...)
  • 24 For the dedication of freed prisoners’ fetters or a cured patient’s bandage, for instance, see Rous (...)
  • 25 For the dedication of dolls, girdles, headdresses and such like, previous to marriage, see examples (...)

13Examining the incidents the material dedications were generally associated with, it is possible to identify several different types of occasion and within these a wide spectrum of individual causes. Used objects as well as reproducted objects were mainly dedicated in connection with one’s trade or profession,22 after successful undertakings,23 after rescue from a calamity24 or to mark the transition from one phase of life to another.25 Equestrian contests were one of many various occasions, therefore, which led to the consecrating of material dedications. Furthermore, within the broad spectrum of individual causes they are not something special without parallels, but fit in with the specific type celebrating one’s success.

14Essentially, offerings of this category focus on the material aspects of the cause underlying the dedication. The person of the dedicator, as well as the actual activity or the specific event involved, play no part in the visualization. The allusion to all three is restricted to the inscription only.

152. A second category of dedications might be named as event-based pictorial votive offerings. Dedications grouped under this heading can be of the three-dimensional as well as the two-dimensional variety, they can be realized in different materials –as metal, stone or terracotta– and in different sizes. The presence of human figures and in some cases the indication of some sort of “action”, gives a hint at the dedicator and/or at the actual activity which led to the dedication. The design of the votive offerings assembled here does show a variety of forms, each emphasizing different aspects and therefore conveying different values.

  • 26 Karoglou 2010, figs. 81-83.

16a. Looking at dedications in connection with equestrian contests we can identify one design that focuses on the activity itself, which can be done in different ways. The most obvious possibility is picturing the process of the race, as done on some pinakes from the Athenian Acropolis, for example.26 As far as we can gather from the fragments, in these cases it is just the activity which is shown, no person is singled out as possibly victorious.

  • 27 See above n. 6.
  • 28 See an example from the Athenian Acropolis showing a scene with several gods beneath the frieze wit (...)
  • 29 See an example from the Athenian Acropolis showing just a chariot-race: Graef, Langlotz 1925, cat.  (...)

17Scenes like those lead to the difficult question of which pictures can be included in this survey. Statues, statuettes, reliefs and pinakes found in the context of a sanctuary, with a few exceptions, were obviously made for dedication. As they couldn’t be put to any definite use, the message of their design was the reason why they had been dedicated. Less obvious are the function and purpose of the articles of daily use. As has been intimated above, it is quite often doubtful if the object in question was dedicated, if for instance it had been in (profane) use in the sanctuary or lost there.27 Even if the object in question has been dedicated for sure there remains the question as to whether or not it has been dedicated (mainly) because of its function or because of its decoration. This holds true for vases, particularly when the decoration shows different subjects,28 but the same issue remains when only one subject is depicted.29 Respective objects can therefore only be considered in a cautious and supplementary way.

18Dedications of this design allude to equestrian contests in a rather impersonal way, picturing the activity itself but giving no hint at the dedicator or the specific event. Any form of personalization is confined to the inscription.

  • 30 Pausanias, 6.2.8. Cf. Moretti L. 1957, no. 365.
  • 31 Pausanias, 6.10.6-7. Cf. Moretti L. 1957, no. 141.
  • 32 Pausanias, 6.1.6. Cf. Moretti L. 1957, nos. 373, 381.
  • 33 Pausanias, 6.18.1. Cf. Moretti L. 1957, no. 257.

19b. Fundamentally different is a second design showing –without action or with only slight forms of action– a combination of horse(s), a chariot if applicable, and the person who handles them. The composition can be enhanced by the horse owner or by a god. An example of the more restricted form is the statue of a certain Aisypos, winner of the boys’ horse race in Olympia, who was depicted sitting on a horse.30 Next to him Pausanias saw Aisypos’ father Timon, but apparently Timon is named as a winner in his own right in a chariot race; if there was any emphasis on ownership regarding the horse, it is not recorded. An example of the enlarged form is the offering of a certain Cleosthenes from Epidamnos, who, according to Pausanias, dedicated a group consisting of chariot, four horses, the charioteer and himself, after his victory at the 66th Olympiad in 516 BC.31 Even if parts of the information are considered as doubtful, because of the given date of dedication, the principle is confirmed by later examples. I just mention the case of the Spartan Kyniska who dedicated not only bronze horses in the pronaos of the temple of Zeus, but a statuary group consisting of chariot, charioteer and herself .32 The human charioteer could be replaced by a Nike as can be shown by the dedication of Cratisthenes from Cyrenaia who won a chariot race in Olympia: according to Pausanias the group consisted of Nike in a chariot and Cratisthenes himself .33

  • 34 In some cases the dedication is related not only to one but to several specific events, as for inst (...)

20Dedications of this design visualize an indication of the actual activity and, by singling out one horse or dyad instead of depicting several homogeneous ones, the victory –both in fairly equal measure. Provided that the owner is depicted as well there is personalization and an allusion to the specific event to boot, ordinarily made concrete by an inscription.34

  • 35 Pausanias, 6.1.7. Cf. Moretti L. 1957, no. 315.
  • 36 Pausanias, 6.1.7. Cf. Moretti L. 1957, no. 27.

21c. A third design focuses firmly on the victorious winner. This can be done by reducing the equipment necessary for the activity to a mere indication. An example is the group of the Spartan Polycles who won the chariot race with four horses, not only in Olympia, but also in Delphi, Isthmia and Nemea. Beside the statue of the victor holding a tainia, Pausanias saw two youths, one of them with a wheel in his hand.35 Another variation gives no indication of equipment at all. This seems indicated by the description of Pausanias when he deals with the statue of the Spartan Anaxandros, who won the chariot race in Olympia and whose statue is characterized as praying. There seems to be no allusion at all to a chariot or horses, other than in the inscription.36

22Dedications of this design visualize the individual winner himself, while hints on the actual activity, if there are any, serve only as an embellishment. The activity recedes in favour of the person who was (in) the centre of the event.

  • 37 Respective depictions are connected mainly with the workaday world: for pictures of craftsmen in th (...)
  • 38 See for example Parker 2004, p. 280; Vikela et al. 2004, pp. 284-288.

23The event-based pictorial votive offerings, as defined in this paper, have many parallels among dedications related to other causes, but the range and quantity of offerings vary according to the chosen focus. While the stock of activity-focused dedications is comparatively small in range and quantity,37 provided the compendium is restricted to objects which are definitely dedications, votive offerings visualizing the individual donor –with or without allusion to a specific activity or a specific event– can be found in connection with a fairly wide range of different occasions for dedication.38

  • 39 Homer, Iliad 23.263-264; 499-513.
  • 40 Athenaeus, 6.232 d.
  • 41 Homolle 1886, esp. p. 462 ll. 30-31.

243. A third category of votive offerings can be composed from the various prizes, dedicated either in the sanctuary the contest in question was attached to, or in any other cult place. As a prize very often was rather unspecific it can only be recognized as such through written information. Tripods, for example, are mentioned as prizes for equestrian contests in the Iliad.39 This tradition is mirrored by one of the many objects claimed in later times to be of “heroic” origin: a passage in Athenaeus mentions a tripod in Delphi, apparently with an inscription which declares it as the prize Diomedes won at the chariot race at Patroclos’ funeral and dedicated later to the sanctuary.40 A treasure record in Delos, dated to 364 BC, is another example, which mentions several silver phialae that seem to have been won in a race in the hippodrome.41

  • 42 Bentz 1998, p. 105.
  • 43 Bentz 1998, p. 106.

25Panathenaic prize amphorae are identifiable in the archaeological record, though ambiguous in their categorization. Although their prime use was probably as a prize, the oil they contained was of use and value, too, for example in the context of sacrificial meals, as M. Bentz has ascertained.42 It might be possible, therefore, that at least some of the Amphorae were not dedicated by the victor, who wanted to give a part of his prize to a god, but by someone who had bought the vase and dedicated the oil for use in the sanctuary. In the latter case it was not the allusion to a definite sporting activity nor even the more general allusion to victory which counted, but the use of the material. Having made this observation, however, we should point out with M. Bentz that several cases are known in which the votive inscription on a prize amphora matches the depicted discipline.43 So there is a good case for believing that at least a part of the prize amphorae in sanctuaries were dedicated by the victors themselves, representing therefore a direct connection to the specific sporting event and –different from most other prizes– even to the sporting discipline.

26The spectrum of causes leading to the dedication of something in the line of prizes is considerably smaller than the spectrum connected with the other categories of votive offerings described in this paper. Apart from prizes won in athletic, musical or other forms of contest the closest resemblance to this type of votive offering do show the non-military spoils won in battle. Thus, even if the dedication of prizes is not specific to equestrian contests it is a speciality found in connection with comparably few causes for dedications.

27Generally the dedication of a prize emphasized more than any other form of offering the victory itself, since it was the “proof” of having been victorious. On the other hand most prizes did not visualize the event they were received at, as some types of prizes could be won at very different forms of contest. And certainly the prize did not visualize the person who was the winner. The “message” of the design was in most cases of a rather general nature, alluding to victory for the sake of victory. Any specifications had to be given through an inscription.

  • 44 Schäfer 2002, p. 300 cat. V 6 with references.
  • 45 See Kefalidou 1996, pp. 104-109; Sakowski 1997, esp. pp. 105-106, 218; Rouse 1902, pp. 149-150, 152
  • 46 For contrast compare dedications such as the one of Polypheites and Kalliteles (see above with n. 1 (...)

284. The votive offerings assembled in the fourth category may be characterized as nonspecific valuables. Unlike the aforementioned categories, the objects in question are neither prizes nor do they visually refer to the respective activity, performer or event in a distinct way. The latter can only be alluded to by inscription. The capital of a Doric column formerly supporting a bronze bowl or a tripod bowl that was dedicated around the middle of the 6th century BC on the Athenian Acropolis serves as an example.44 The fragmentary inscription implies the offering was dedicated by two persons, one of them having been victorious in an athletic contest, the other in a chariot race. Even if a bronze bowl (or tripod) might allude to equestrian and athletic victories in a general way,45 in view of the fact that two victors in different types of competition are dedicating a single vessel,46 it is obvious that the object in question cannot have been a prize. Furthermore, since tripods as well as bronze bowls could generally be used as votive offerings on very different occasions, the actual allusion of the vessels to equestrian contests is very uncertain at best.

  • 47 See Rouse 1902, p. 182 with n. 17.

29The dedication of nonspecific, more or less valuable objects is traceable not only in connection with different forms of athletic contests47 but is a broadly observed custom connected with every occasion for dedication and every individual cause for dedication imaginable. In this instance dedicatory customs in connection with equestrian contests do not show any notable particularities, but fall into line with general procedures.

30The dedication of nonspecific valuables primarily accentuates the economic position of the donor, while the activity and specific event which led to the dedication, as well as the winner himself, do not play any part in the visualization and thus have to be extracted from the inscription.

Votive offerings related to agones hippikoi: the Acropolis of Athens

  • 48 Schäfer 2002, esp. pp. 39-42.

31As M. Schäfer has comprehensively pointed out, equestrian contests enjoyed a high reputation in Athens, especially in the 6th-5th century BC. The range of different hippic competitions and the number of prize amphorae earned through victory in one of the respective contests at the Panathenaic Games was remarkable. Furthermore, Athenians were particularly active in (successfully) competing in equestrian contests outside of Athens.48 Did this produce any effects on the stock of dedications consecrated in the sanctuary that the Panathenaic Games were attached to?

  • 49 See n. 15.
  • 50 See Schäfer 2002, cat. P 1-33, KP 1-5, IB 1-3, 5-15.
  • 51 See Schulze 2004, pp. 25-28. See Schäfer 2002, pp. 176-177, for Athena Hippia.
  • 52 See Karoglou 2010, p. 56 fig. 4. For the difficulties connected with the classification of vase-pai (...)

32Sifting the available evidence for the 6th century produces a picture which shows a remarkable number of “hippic dedications” in the widest sense of the word –as equipment,49 statues of horses and riders,50 pinakes with Athena or other gods in a chariot,51 or (possibly) vases with respective depictions–52 but only a rather small number of votive offerings that can be connected with equestrian contests.

  • 53 See Schäfer 2002, pp. 142-143 with cat. IB 3, 8, 11 (dekate), 14 (aparche).
  • 54 See Schäfer 2002, cat. IB 3, 9, 12.
  • 55 See Schäfer 2002, cat. W 3.
  • 56 Schäfer 2002, pp. 125-126 and 149, considers cat. P 10, 17, IB 13 and 15 as possible candidates.
  • 57 Schäfer 2002, pp. 166-169 with cat. WR 1, 3.
  • 58 Karoglou 2010, cat. 37 with fig. 82 (chariot-race), cat. 70 with fig. 81 (chariot-race), cat. 84 wi (...)
  • 59 See Karoglou 2010, p. 57 table 6.
  • 60 See above with nn. 44-46. There are several dedications of similar type recorded as, for instance, (...)

33Of the material dedications consecrated to the Athenian Acropolis none can be connected to agones hippikoi as yet. Event-based pictorial votive offerings with a personal focus can be identified only tentatively, and sparsely. The preserved marble and bronze figures of horses and their riders that form a considerable part of the dedicated statuary in the second half of the 6th and the beginning of the 5th century do not feature any proof positive that they had been dedicated by victors in an equestrian contest, while there are indications that several of the figures definitely had not been dedicated to a hippic victory, as they were labelled as aparche or dekate,53 had been dedicated because of a vow,54 or were firmly connected with a military context.55 There is good reason to assume, therefore, that at the very best just a few of these dedications resulted from participation in an equestrian contest.56 Furthermore, there exists only a small number of votive reliefs that show a hippic topic; of those only two items could be considered as potentially connected with equestrian contests.57 little better is the situation with regard to the event-based votive offerings focusing on activity. According to the compendia assembled by K. Karoglou and B. Schulze there are five pinakes which are probable candidates.58 Considering the 133 pinakes preserved from this area, the number again seems to be rather small, but note that the pieces mentioned are the only examples of sporting events among this material.59 While no prize can be verified among the material of the 6th century as yet (cf. graph 1) there is at least one dedication discernible in the form of nonspecific valuables.60

Graph 1 — Prizamphorae from the Akropolis (on basis of: Bentz 1998).

Graph 1 — Prizamphorae from the Akropolis (on basis of: Bentz 1998).

34In the classical period the sparsity of (identifiable) dedications in connection with agones hippikoi does not change but the range of identifiable categories as well as the dedication’s background are subject to some modifications.

  • 61 See Krumeich 1997, pp. 113-114 with cat. A 43. In addition Keesling 1995, p. 300; 422 lists one fur (...)
  • 62 See Schäfer 2002, p. 196.
  • 63 Athenaeus, 12.534 d-e. Krumeich 1997, cat. A 1-2.
  • 64 A. E. Raubitschek lists another dedication which –if it would indeed show a victor in an equestrian (...)
  • 65 See above with nn. 42-43.
  • 66 Cf. Eleusis: Bentz 1998, cat. 5.096 (horse-race), 4.402, 4.403 (chariot-race). Samos, Heraion: Bent (...)

35Event-based votive offerings focusing on activity cannot be identified yet, but there are several personalized event-based dedications of varying form. While the votive offering of Pronapes (consisting of Pronapes himself, chariot, chariot-driver and one further person)61 and that of Isocrates (consisting of a riding boy)62 give some hints at the underlying activity, the two paintings dedicated by Alcibiades in the Pinacothece of the Athenian Acropolis focus firmly on the victorious winner: one depicts Alcibiades being crowned by the personifications of Olympia and Delphi, the other pictured him seated on the knee of Nemea.63 In the light of his famous victory in Olympia in 416 BC, where his horses won the first, second and fourth place in the chariot race, the painting must have alluded to hippic contests. But the depiction of chariot or horses at least is not mentioned; if they existed their part cannot have been conspicuous.64 While nonspecific valuables cannot be verified yet, the existence of at least one prize amphora depicting a chariot race makes the dedication of prizes probable. Generally, a look at all archaic and classical prize amphorae from the Acropolis confirms the impression that dedications in connection with equestrian contests are rather scarce on the Athenian Acropolis. Even if the function of prize amphorae in a sanctuary context is ambiguous65 and even if the bulk of fragments from the Acropolis depict (parts of) Athena, of a column or the like –so we cannot be sure of the theme on the other side of the vase– it is quite telling that there are other disciplines which can be identified a little more often (graph 1) and that in other Greek sanctuaries there are more prize amphorae connected with equestrian events.66

  • 67 For “hippic” statuary in Classical times see Schäfer 2002, pp. 195-196, 199 with nn. 1145-1146. In (...)
  • 68 For dedications and monuments in the area of the Agora see Schäfer 2002, pp. 199-202.

36Attempting to fit these very sketchy observations into a more general picture produces two noteworthy points. First, in Classical times the hippic theme as a whole seems to play a somewhat diminished role in the Acropolis’ stock of dedications.67 Compared to the 6th century, therefore, the contrast between a large number of “hippic dedications” in the broadest sense of the word and the scarcity of votive offerings generated by equestrian contests is less obvious. On the other hand, there is a contrast between the very small numbers of contest-related dedications on the Acropolis and the comparatively greater stock of “hippic” dedications as well as honorary statues in the area of the nearby Agora.68 So, in Classical times, too, votive offerings connected to equestrian contests seem to have been dedicated to the Athenian Acropolis only in a rather hesitant way.

37With all due caution –necessary because of the loss of material and the sparsity of written information– a sketchy picture of a sanctuary emerges in which dedications in connection with equestrian contests play a rather marginal role in Archaic and Classical times, both in number and range, despite the following facts: the Panathenaic Games had an impressive range of hippic contests; the Athenians were busy competing in equestrian sports in Athens and elsewhere; the dedication of “hippic” votive offerings in the broadest sense were quite popular and Athena herself, among others, was venerated as Hippia. It remains to be analyzed if there are parallels to this picture among other sanctuaries or if the Acropolis is a special case.

Notes

1 See for example Bentz 1998, p. 76 (chariot race); Schäfer 2002, p. 40.

2 See for example Hansen 1996, pp. 257-276.

3 See Kyrieleis 2006, p. 91.

4 See Frielinghaus 2010, pp. 93-94, for the conspicuous conditions of preservation in Olympia (large number of wells, large-scale dumping) in contrast to the limited possibilities of disposal in the sanctuary of Apollo in Delphi.

5 See Snodgrass 1989-1990, p. 288; Kilian-Dirlmeier 2002, pp. 192-200, esp. 199.

6 See Baitinger, Völling 2007, pp. 5-8.

7 In a way this paper is complementary to an article dealing with the special features of ship-related votive offerings –Frielinghaus 2017– but it is written from another point of view as it is not focusing on a specific kind of votive-offering dedicated on occasion of a variety of causes but it is dealing with different kinds of votive offering dedicated to a specific cause. Both papers are part of a broader project on Greek votive offerings.

8 See n. 48.

9 Most of the examples used here to exemplify the categories are assembled in the following very useful monographs: Rouse 1902; Petermandl 2013. In referring to the exemplifying examples just the ancient sources are given, both monographs are only cited if additional information is drawn from them.

10 The categorization chosen here varies in some aspects to the one proposed in a different context by Snodgrass 1989-1990, pp. 291-292. His distinction between “raw” and “converted” offerings refers to the difference between articles of daily use and specially formed, non-usable objects –at the same time allowing for hybrids or offerings of an “intermediate status” like animal-figurines or bronze tripods– and is very helpful for analyzing the (possible) change in votive practice in general. The starting point for my analysis, however, is a differentiation of “messages” connected with different categories of votive offerings, hence the choosing of compartmentalized and in some points differing divisions. The article on dedications in ThesCRA while giving a very useful overview of the principal kinds of occasion which generate dedications (Parker 2004, pp. 279-280) organizes its catalogue mostly by differentiating the main types of dedicated objects; the connection between occasion for dedication and dedicated object is given only a cursory importance, as categories of dedications in relation to athletic contests such as “prizes”, “instruments” and “commemorative dedications” are distinguished (Boardman et al. 2004, pp. 313-314).

11 Pindar, Pythian Odes 5, esp. 34-42. For the contextualization of the Ode, see Sandys 1961, pp. 232-233.

12 Even if (some of) the epigrams should not have been part of an actual dedication they do illustrate what sort of dedication was usual; it seems appropriate, therefore, to use them in this context. See Philipp 2004, n. 122.

13 Anthologia Palatina 6.246.

14 Anthologia Palatina 6.233 (transl. after W.R. Paton).

15 Inventory: for the Acropolis of Athens, for example, see probably IG II² 1400, ll. 61-62 (for the hint I thank O. Vizyinou). For further examples see Schäfer 2002, p. 205. Keesling 1995, p. 334. Archaeological remains: for Olympia, for example, see Baitinger, Völling 2007, pp. 154-183.

16 Cf., for example, Pausanias, 10.18.1.

17 Plutarch, Cimon 5.2 (transl. after B. Perrin).

18 Pausanias, 6.10.8. Cf. Moretti L. 1957, no. 110.

19 Pausanias, 6.16.6. Cf. Moretti L. 1957, no. 196.

20 Pausanias, 6.14.4. Cf. Moretti L. 1957, no. 177.

21 For early pieces in Olympia, for example, see Heilmeyer 1972; Heilmeyer 1979; Heilmeyer 1994.

22 For the dedication of one’s tools, such as fishing equipment or weapons, see samples cited by Rouse 1902, pp. 71-73. For the dedication of one’s own products see for example the overlarge strigilis of strigil-maker Dikon: Kotera-Feyer 1993, p. 151 with n. 11. E. Kunze, AD 19,3 (1964), pp. 169-170.

23 Such as captured armour (cf. Frielinghaus 2011, pp. 121, 124) or the old anchor of a safely returned ship (cf. Callimachus, Aetia 4 frg. 108: mythical example).

24 For the dedication of freed prisoners’ fetters or a cured patient’s bandage, for instance, see Rouse 1902, pp. 224, 233.

25 For the dedication of dolls, girdles, headdresses and such like, previous to marriage, see examples given by Rouse 1902, p. 249. For the dedication of one’s own tools when retiring (which should be distinguished from dedicating tools in the course of one’s professional life) see Rouse 1902, p. 71.

26 Karoglou 2010, figs. 81-83.

27 See above n. 6.

28 See an example from the Athenian Acropolis showing a scene with several gods beneath the frieze with a horse race: Graef, Langlotz 1925, cat. 732, pl. 47.

29 See an example from the Athenian Acropolis showing just a chariot-race: Graef, Langlotz 1925, cat. 1675a, pl. 85.

30 Pausanias, 6.2.8. Cf. Moretti L. 1957, no. 365.

31 Pausanias, 6.10.6-7. Cf. Moretti L. 1957, no. 141.

32 Pausanias, 6.1.6. Cf. Moretti L. 1957, nos. 373, 381.

33 Pausanias, 6.18.1. Cf. Moretti L. 1957, no. 257.

34 In some cases the dedication is related not only to one but to several specific events, as for instance in the case of the dedication of Pronapes on the Athenian Acropolis (Krumeich 1997, p. 113).

35 Pausanias, 6.1.7. Cf. Moretti L. 1957, no. 315.

36 Pausanias, 6.1.7. Cf. Moretti L. 1957, no. 27.

37 Respective depictions are connected mainly with the workaday world: for pictures of craftsmen in the act of doing their job and generally for different persons in the act of working see for example the pinakes from Penteskouphia (Zimmer 1982, pp. 26-32 with figs. 18-22) and Athens (Schulze 2004, pp. 37-40). Considerably rarer are depictions of other activities such as fighting (Karoglou 2010, cat. 49, 146, 147, 149; Edelmann 1999, p. 173) or hunting (Antike Denkmäler I [1891], Taf. 8,16a-b), for example. Cf. Karoglou 2010, p. 65.

38 See for example Parker 2004, p. 280; Vikela et al. 2004, pp. 284-288.

39 Homer, Iliad 23.263-264; 499-513.

40 Athenaeus, 6.232 d.

41 Homolle 1886, esp. p. 462 ll. 30-31.

42 Bentz 1998, p. 105.

43 Bentz 1998, p. 106.

44 Schäfer 2002, p. 300 cat. V 6 with references.

45 See Kefalidou 1996, pp. 104-109; Sakowski 1997, esp. pp. 105-106, 218; Rouse 1902, pp. 149-150, 152.

46 For contrast compare dedications such as the one of Polypheites and Kalliteles (see above with n. 19) which consisted of two figures related to two different victories put together on one stele monument.

47 See Rouse 1902, p. 182 with n. 17.

48 Schäfer 2002, esp. pp. 39-42.

49 See n. 15.

50 See Schäfer 2002, cat. P 1-33, KP 1-5, IB 1-3, 5-15.

51 See Schulze 2004, pp. 25-28. See Schäfer 2002, pp. 176-177, for Athena Hippia.

52 See Karoglou 2010, p. 56 fig. 4. For the difficulties connected with the classification of vase-paintings see above with nn. 27-29.

53 See Schäfer 2002, pp. 142-143 with cat. IB 3, 8, 11 (dekate), 14 (aparche).

54 See Schäfer 2002, cat. IB 3, 9, 12.

55 See Schäfer 2002, cat. W 3.

56 Schäfer 2002, pp. 125-126 and 149, considers cat. P 10, 17, IB 13 and 15 as possible candidates.

57 Schäfer 2002, pp. 166-169 with cat. WR 1, 3.

58 Karoglou 2010, cat. 37 with fig. 82 (chariot-race), cat. 70 with fig. 81 (chariot-race), cat. 84 with fig. 84 (chariot-race). cat. 89 with fig. 83 (chariot-race). No indication for the connection with a contest gives the depiction of horses on cat. 19 (fig. 80). Schulze 2004, p. 58 cat. 100-104.

59 See Karoglou 2010, p. 57 table 6.

60 See above with nn. 44-46. There are several dedications of similar type recorded as, for instance, the five examples named by Keesling 1995, p. 303. But in none of these cases the cause for the dedication is known.

61 See Krumeich 1997, pp. 113-114 with cat. A 43. In addition Keesling 1995, p. 300; 422 lists one further example of a bronze chariot group possibly dedicated in connection with an agonistic victory, but there is no hint of this in the fragmentary inscription (IG I³ 752).

62 See Schäfer 2002, p. 196.

63 Athenaeus, 12.534 d-e. Krumeich 1997, cat. A 1-2.

64 A. E. Raubitschek lists another dedication which –if it would indeed show a victor in an equestrian contest– could be a further example of this category only that it takes the form of a statue (A.E. Raubitschek, Hesperia 8 [1939], p. 156 no. 2). But, as Krumeich 1997, p. 200 with n. 12, convincingly pointed out, there exists no evidence of the dedication’s connection with an equestrian contest. Cf. Keesling 1995, p. 333.

65 See above with nn. 42-43.

66 Cf. Eleusis: Bentz 1998, cat. 5.096 (horse-race), 4.402, 4.403 (chariot-race). Samos, Heraion: Bentz 1998, cat. 6.168, 6.169, 6.170 (chariot-race), 6.171 (horse-race). Sparta, sanctuary of Athena Chalkioikos: Bentz 1998, cat. 6.097, 6.101, 6.103 (chariot-race).

67 For “hippic” statuary in Classical times see Schäfer 2002, pp. 195-196, 199 with nn. 1145-1146. In addition, there exists a larger number of reliefs of a rider-hero: see Schäfer 2002, p. 205. Pinakes with “hippic subjects” cannot be identified in Classical times (see Schulze 2004, p. 25), the number of vases with respective depictions is negligible (see Karoglou 2010, p. 56 fig. 4).

68 For dedications and monuments in the area of the Agora see Schäfer 2002, pp. 199-202.

Table des illustrations

Titre Graph 1 — Prizamphorae from the Akropolis (on basis of: Bentz 1998).
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Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

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