Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Challenging Gender Roles: the Olympic Gold Medalist Cynisca, Pausanias, Desc. Graec. III.xv.1

 Ad platanetum est etiam Cyniscae Archidami regis filiae monumentum heroicum. Ea prima feminarum omnium equos alere instituit, & prima ludis Olympicis de quadrigis palmam meruit.

πρὸς δὲ τῷ Πλατανιστᾷ καὶ Κυνίσκας ἐστὶν ἡρῷον, θυγατρὸς Ἀρχιδάμου βασιλεύοντος Σπαρτιατῶν: πρώτη δὲ ἱπποτρόφησε γυναικῶν καὶ Ὀλυμπίασι πρώτη νίκην ἀνείλετο ἅρματι.  

–Pausanias, Descriptio Graeciae III.xv.1; Translated into Latin by Romulus Amaseus (1696)

By the grove of plane trees [in Sparta] is a monument to the hero Cynisca, the daughter of king Archidamus.  She was the first of all women to train horses, and was the first woman to win the chariot-race in the Olympic games.



Name:  Pausanias

Date:  110 – 180 CE

Works:  Description of Greece



Region 1: Peninsular Italy; Region 2: Western Europe; Region 3: Western Coast of Africa; Region 4: Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean; Region 5: Greece and the Balkans



 Pausanias was a Greek writer who lived during the era of the “Five Good Emperors.” His work, the Description of Greece, is an important source for geographical, historical, archaeological, and cultural information about ancient Greece.


ARCHAIC: (through 6th c. BCE); GOLDEN AGE: (5th - 4th c. BCE); HELLENISTIC: (4th c. BCE - 1st c. BCE); ROMAN: (1st c. BCE - 4th c. CE); POST CONSTANTINOPLE: (4th c. CE - 8th c. CE); BYZANTINE: (post 8th c CE)

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