Saturday, October 5, 2013

Diagoras of Rhodes

Upon entering the city of Rhodes, on the Greek Island of Rhodes, one comes across the statue of Diagoras, carried by his two sons, erected in 2004 – the year the Olympic Games where held in Athens. In the 5th century BC, several members of an aristocratic family from Rhodes were champions in boxing and pankration. The whole family was honoured at Olympia (Southern Greece) with a group of statues. Some of the inscriptions are preserved. The patriarch of this family was Diagoras of Rhodes. In 464 BC, he won the boxing at the Olympic Games. He also won at the Pythian Games, four times at the Isthmian and the Nemean Games. Additionally, he won many local games. Due to his Olympic victory, he was honoured with an ode of Pindar, which was later written on the wall of a Rhodian temple in gold letters.


The eldest son Damagetos was Olympic champion in the Pankration (452 and 448 BC). Akousilaos, the second son, won the boxing in 448 BC. The two sons celebrated their victory by carrying their father around the stadion on their shoulders, while the spectators were cheering loudly. Diagora’s youngest son, Dorieus, was even more successful than his brothers.
The Island of Rhodes, in order to celebrate this distinguished citizen of Rhodes has offered a statue to his memory. Also the airport in Rhodes is named after this great athlete, known as “the International Airport Diagoras – Rhodes Airport”.


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