chariot racing

Gallery: Athletes in action

To tie in with this month’s Book Club readings which include the Epinician Odes of Bacchylides, this Gallery features some ancient Greek artworks featuring the kinds of athletic contests celebrated in the poems. These contests seem to have been a favorite subject in the visual as well as the verbal arts from the earliest periods. Chariot race According to Britannica “From four to six chariots competed in a single race, normally… Read more

Apobatics in Karachi

A guest post by Safdar Mandviwala I submit that the moment when a fully-armed warrior or contestant in an apobatic[1] chariot race releases his firm right-hand grip on the left handle bar of a speeding chariot and leaps into mid-air, he is daimoni īsos[2], equal to a super-human force. Just as when the hero warrior is confronted with death in battle he is equal to an unspecified super-human force, usually… Read more

Gallery: Chariots and Transportation

Terracotta funerary plaque (520–510BCE) This gallery displays different means of transportation used by the Ancient Greeks: chariots, horses, ships. Some pictures also show other ways of traveling in myths: dolphins and rams. The photographs were taken in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In this passage from the Odyssey, Homer compares ships to horses drawing a chariot.  When they [= the Phaeacian seafarers] began rowing out to sea,… Read more

In Focus: Iliad 23, lines 326–343

|326 I [= Nestor] will tell you [= Antilokhos] a sign [sēma], a very clear one, which will not get lost in your thinking. |327 Standing over there is a stump of deadwood, a good reach above ground level. |328 It had been either an oak or a pine. And it hasn’t rotted away from the rains. |329 There are two white rocks propped against either side of it. |330… Read more