Halteres (ancient Greece)

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This article concerns an ancient sports object. For halteres as used in insect anatomy, see Halteres.
Halteres used in athletic games in ancient Greece, National Archaeological Museum, Athens.

Halteres[pronunciation?] (Greek: ἁλτῆρες,[1] from "ἅλλομαι" - allomai, "leap, spring";[2] cf. "ἅλμα" - alma, "leaping"[3]) were a type of dumbbells used in Ancient Greece. In ancient Greek sports, halteres were used as lifting weights,[4][5] and also as weights in their version of the long jump,[6] which was probably a set of three jumps. Halteres were held in both hands to allow an athlete to jump a greater distance; they may have been dropped after the first or second jump. According to archaeological evidence, the athlete would swing the weights backwards and forwards just before take-off, thrust them forwards during take-off, and swing them backwards just before releasing them and landing. Halteres were made of stone or metal, and weighed between 12 and 35 kg (26 and 77 lb).

Writing in Nature, biophysicist Alberto E. Minetti of Manchester Metropolitan University calculates that halteres added about 17 cm (7 in) to a 3 m (10 ft) long jump.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ἁλτῆρες, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  2. ^ ἅλλομαι, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  3. ^ ἅλμα, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  4. ^ Norman Gardiner, Athletics in the Ancient World, Dover, 2002, on Google books
  5. ^ Bill Pearl, Getting Stronger: Weight Training for Sports, Shelter, 2005, on Google books
  6. ^ Stephen G. Miller, Ancient Greek Athletics, Yale University Press, 2006, on Google books
  7. ^ Minetti, Alberto E (14 November 2002). Nature 420: 141–142. doi:10.1038/420141a.