Bronze Sculpture: Boxer at Rest
source: Wikimedia Commons
author: Marie-Lan Nguyen
A bronze statue depicts a Greek boxer sitting on a stone seat. His hands are gently folded, with his forearms resting on his thighs. He wears oxys, a type of leather hand wrap used for pygmachia, Greek boxing.
Artifact: 4th–1st century BC (date debated)
This Greek bronze sculpture, titled “Boxer at Rest” or sometimes “Terme/Thermae Boxer,” depicts a boxer relaxing after of match of pygmachia (Greek boxing). Of the several types of ancient Greek boxing wraps used by fighters, this one wears the most violent – oxys. These were crafted with a thick leather strap with sharp edges wrapped around the knuckle. The fighter would use these sharp edges to cut and gash the face of his opponent.
The timeframe of this statue’s creation is debated, with suggested dates ranging from the mid 4th century to the mid 1st century BC.
At the time of photograph, this statue was housed in the National Museum of Rome. The gallery page for the closeup detail on the hand wraps is linked above.
Miller, S. G. (2006). Ancient Greek athletics. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Phillips, D. J., & Pritchard, D. (2011). Sport and festival in the ancient Greek world. Swansea: The Classical Press of Wales.