Polydamas of Skotoussa

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Polydamas of Skotoussa (Ancient Greek: Πολυδάμας, gen. Πολυδάμαντος, Polydámas, Polydámantos (ὁ Σκοτουσσαῖος)), son of Nicias, was a Macedonian pankratiast, and victor in the 93rd Olympiad (408 BC).

His size was said to be immense and the most marvellous stories are related of his strength (for example, how, without any weapons, he killed a huge lion on Mount Olympus, or how he stopped a chariot at full gallop). His reputation led Darius II of Persia to invite him to his court, where he performed similar feats.

In the end, Polydamas' strength could not prevent his demise. One summer, he and his friends were relaxing in a cave when the roof began to crumble down upon them. Believing his immense strength could prevent the cave-in, he held his hands up to the roof, trying to support it as the rocks crashed down around him. This gave enough time for his friends to flee the cave and reached safety, but Polydamas never got out and died.


  • Athletes' Stories-Perseus.Tufts.Edu
  • Ancient Library
  • Pausanias. Description of Greece, 6.5.5.
  • Diodorus, 9.14.2.
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Missing or empty |title= (help)