Bronze athlete

Period: Classical

Date: ca. 450 B.C.

Culture: Greek

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: H. 8 3/8 in. (21.3 cm)

Classification: Bronzes

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1908

Accession Number: 08.258.11


This bronze statuette represents an athlete participating in the long jump, one of the five events constituting the pentathlon. The athlete's stance, with his legs bent at the knees, his body leaning forward, and his arms stretched out obliquely in front of him, indicates that he is just about to make his run-up or that he has just finished his jump. Although jumpers usually competed with jumping weights, it was not uncommon for them to compete and practice in the gymnasium without them.
The long jump took place in a rectangular pit, an area of soft soil about fifty feet long that was raked smooth so that footprints could be easily distinguished. A jump did not count unless both footprints showed.