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An Athletic ἅπαξ λεγόμενον

  • H. A. Harris (a1)


In modern books on Greek Athletics the Greek word τριαστής is often used of a triple victor at a meeting, but it is not to be found in LSJ. An enquiry into its authenticity proved interesting. The authors of this century who use it are strangely coy about giving any authority for it. Jüthner simply calk the three victories of Phanas of Pellene in one day at Olympia ‘Eine Leistung, die den Ehrentitel “τριαστής” eintrug’. Moretti, usually meticulous in giving references, writes, ‘E noto che chi conseguiva questo risultato era chiamato τριαστής’. In his later Olympionikai he applies the title to Phanas, to Astylus of Croton and Syracuse, to Leonidas of Rhodes and to Hecatomnus of Mitylene, but it is not made clear to which of the many authorities for these athletes whom he cites he owes the word. E. N. Gardiner seems to have been the first modern author to use the Greek word. In his Greek Athletic Sports and Festivals (1910) we read of ‘Phanas of Pellene, who, by winning three races at Olympia in one day, won the tide of triple victor (τριαστής)’. Later in the same book he states, ‘A still finer record is that of Leonidas of Rhodes, who won all four foot races in three successive Olympiads, 164–156 B.C., thus three times earning the title of τριαστής or triple victor, given to those who won the stade race, diaulos and dolichos'. [Gardiner has slipped up in his facts here. Leonidas did not win four events at three Olympiads but three events at four Olympiads.



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1 Die athletischen Leibesübungen der Griechen (1965) 128.

2 Iscrizioni Agonistiche Greche (1953) 117.

3 82.

4 161.

5 105.

6 The authority is Philostratus, , Gymnastic 33, not Paus. vi 13.4, as Gardiner states. Pausanias gives only the total of Leonidas' victories. The only runner known to have won stade, diaulos and dolichos at the same Olympiad is Polites of Ceramus in A.D. 69.

7 88. Also in IGR. iv. 1761, Moretti, , IAG 82.

An Athletic ἅπαξ λεγόμενον

  • H. A. Harris (a1)


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