Acanthus of Sparta

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Acanthus of Sparta
Personal information
BornSparta, Laconia
Event(s)Diaulos and Dolichos

Acanthus the Lacedaemonian (Ancient Greek: Ἄκανθος[1]), was the victor in two footrace events, the diaulos (δίαυλος) and dolichos (δόλιχος), in the Olympic Games of 720 BC.[2] He was also, according to some accounts, the first who ran naked in these games.[3][4][5] Other accounts ascribe this to Orsippus the Megarian. Thucydides says that the Lacedaemonians were the first who contended naked in gymnastic games, although he does not mention Acanthus by name.[6]


  1. ^ Christesen, Paul (2007). Olympic Victor Lists and Ancient Greek History. Cambridge University Press. p. 528.
  2. ^ Smith, William (1867), "Acanthus", in Smith, William (ed.), Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, 1, Boston, p. 5
  3. ^ Pausanias, v. 8. § 3.
  4. ^ Dionys. vii. 72.
  5. ^ Sextus Julius Africanus. apud Eusebius, p. 143.
  6. ^ Thucydides, i. 6.