Euryleonis

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Representation of a chariot race on a clay hydria.

Euryleonis (Flourished c. 370 BC, Sparta, ancient Greece) was a celebrated woman Olympic charioteer.

Euryleonis was an athlete from Sparta who won the 2 horse chariot races of the Ancient Olympic Games in 368 BC. She is sometimes referred to a princess, wealthy woman, and horse breeder.[1][2]

Euryleonis was only the second female stephanite (crown-bearer) in the long Olympic history. Twenty-four years earlier, her predecessor, the Spartan princess Kyniska, had won the 4 horse race in 396 BCE and again in 392 BCE, the first ever woman to win at the Olympics.[3] It is likely that these women were all patrouchoi, or daughters of a man who had no male heirs, which would explain why they could own so much land.[4]

Bronze Statue[edit]

According to the Greek travel writer Pausanias (flourished 143–176 CE), a statue of Euryleonis was erected at Sparta c. 368 BCE[5] It is one of few bronze statues that survives anywhere in the Greek world, and in writing there are no personal statues of athletic or military victors in Sparta before the statue of Euryleonis.[5] According to the Lacedaemonians, the statue of Euryleonis was located near the Skenôma, or tent.[6] Another writer also described the statue as being near a tent, which has been suggested to be the small building mentioned by Thukydides as the place where King Pausanias took refuge.[7] It is also said that the statue stood in the temple of Aphrodite in Sparta.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harder, Annette (2010). Callimachus: Aetia. Oxford [u.a.]: Oxford Univ. Press. p. 389. ISBN 9780199581016. 
  2. ^ Smith, James Reuel (1922). Springs and wells in Greek and Roman literature, their legends and locations. New York: G.P. Putnam's sons. p. 78. 
  3. ^ Women's History Month: Filling In the Blanks - Warren
  4. ^ Hodkinson, Stephen (1986). "Land Tenure and Inheritance in Classical Sparta". The Classical Quarterly. 36 (2): 402. doi:10.1017/s0009838800012143. 
  5. ^ a b Hodkinson, Stephen (1998) [6–8 December 1995]. "Patterns of bronze dedications at Spartan sanctuaries, c. 650—350 BC: towards a quantified database of material and religious investment". British School at Athens Studies. London. 4 (SPARTA IN LACONIA: Proceedings of the 19th British Museum Classical Colloquium held with the British School at Athens and King's and University Colleges): 62. 
  6. ^ Crosby, Nicholas E. (Jul–Sep 1893). "The Topography of Sparta". The American Journal of Archaeology and of the History of the Fine Arts. 8 (3): 367–8. 
  7. ^ Hyde, Walter Woodburn (1921). Olympic victor monuments and Greek athletic art. Washington: Carnegie Institution of Washington. p. 367. 
  8. ^ Lightman, Marjorie; Lightman, Benjamin (2008). A to Z of ancient Greek and Roman women (Rev. ed.). New York: Facts On File. p. 129. ISBN 9780816067107. 

Bibliography[edit]