Pottery: Greek Pentathlete With Javelin

Kylix Painting of a Greek Pentathlete

Kylix Painting of a Greek Pentathlete

license: public domain
source: Wikimedia Commons
author: Jastrow

A kylix (Greek drinking cup) bears a painting of a nude pentathlete posing within a circle. He holds a javelin in his left hand and stands near several items used in the pentathlon, including a pair of halteres and a discus bag. A mattock, used to soften the skamma pit for the long jump and palé (wrestling), sits near his feet.


Artifact: c. 490 BC

Photo: 2006


This painting depicts an ancient Greek pentathlete, as indicated by several symbols of the pentathlon in the same illustration. A javelin, discus bag, and a pair of halteres can be seen here, used for the javelin throw, discus toss, and long jump, respectively. A mattock used to soften the skamma pit (used for the long jump and wrestling) is pictured as well. The stadion sprint is not represented here. The pentathlon itself was featured in the ancient Olympic Games and other Panhellenic festivals.

At the time of photograph, this artifact was housed in the Petit Palais, an art Museum in Paris, France.

Related Articles

Greek Pentathlon | Greek Discus | Greek Javelin | Greek Halteres | Greek Stadion | Greek Palé (Wreslting) | Ancient Olympic Games | Panhellenic Games


Zarnowski, F. (2013). The pentathlon of the ancient world. McFarland.

Miller, S. G. (2006). Ancient Greek athletics. New Haven: Yale University Press.