From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Melankomas, or Melancomas, was an Ancient Greek[1] boxer from Caria and victor in the 207th Olympiad (AD 49). Known to us mainly from the 28th and 29th Discourses of Dio Chrysostom,[2] 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."


  1. ^ Dictionary Of History By Ramesh Chopra Page 192 ISBN 81-8205-223-8
  2. ^ 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.

External links[edit]