Melankomas, or Melancomas, was an Ancient Greek boxer from Caria and victor in the 207th Olympiad (AD 49). Known to us mainly from the 28th and 29th Discourses of Dio Chrysostom, in which that writer uses his life as a canvas for a discussion of the ideal athlete and the ideal man, Dio praises his athleticism, good looks, and brave heart. With regard to his boxing, claims for him a unique style: he would totally avoid the punches of the other boxer without throwing any himself. Dio says he never lost a match, hit an opponent, or was struck by an opponent. Themistius reports that the emperor Titus was his lover (erastes).
Some scholars believe Melankomas to have been a real person, others that he was an invention of Dio's; there is nothing allowing a firm conclusion either way.
Melankomas was mentioned in a second-season episode of Sports Night as a contender for "Athlete of the Millennium."
- Dictionary Of History By Ramesh Chopra Page 192 ISBN 81-8205-223-8
- Melankomas is also mentioned in Themistius, Orationes 10 (=165 Dinsdorf) and alluded to by Eustathius. Michael B. Poliakoff, "Melankomas, ἐκ κλίμακο, and Greek Boxing", The American Journal of Philology, Vol. 108, No. 3 (Autumn, 1987), p. 511.
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