Bronze Statuette of a Greek girl running

Bronze Statuette of a Greek girl running

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license: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Public Domain Dedication
source: Wikimedia Commons
author: Judith Swaddling
Description

A small bronze statue is fashioned in the image of a running girl. She is wearing a tunic covering only the left shoulder and left breast, extending down to just above the knees. Her upper body is turned, looking behind her to the right, with her left leg and arm forward. Her left arm is holding the front of her dress.


Date

Artifact: c. 520 BC

Photo: October 2010


Information

This figure depicts a female runner, likely participating in the Heraean Games, as her clothing matches the description of competitors in this festival as given by the Greek geographer Pausanias in the 2nd century AD. As opposed to competing in the nude as men did in the ancient Olympic Games and other Panhellenic festivals, competitors in the Heraean Games (all women) donned the type of tunic men wore for physical labor.

Some sources suggest this figurine depicts a dancing girl. While not impossible, this is highly unlikely, as there are no known accounts of women wearing this men’s tunic for any activity except competing the ancient Heraean Games.

The statuette may have been produced in ancient Laconia, a region primarily dominated by the Spartan state at the time. At the time of photograph, this artifact was on display at the British Museum.


Related Articles

Ancient Heraean Games | History of Running | History of Fitness | Ancient Olympic Games | Panhellenic Games

Bibliography

Sansone, D. (2009). Ancient Greek civilization. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

P., & Frazer, J. G. (1913). Pausanias’s Description of Greece. London: Macmillan and, Limited.