C – Diogenes the Cynic at the Isthmian Games, Dio Chrysostom 8.11-12

[11] διὰ δὴ τοῦτο ἔφη ὁ Διογένης προσεοικέναι τοῖς κυσὶ τοῖς Λάκωσι: καὶ γὰρ τούτους, ὅταν στῶσιν εἰς τὰς πανηγύρεις, πολλοὺς μὲν εἶναι τοὺς καταψήχοντας καὶ προσπαίζοντας, μηδένα δὲ ὠνεῖσθαι ῥᾳδίως, διὰ τὸ μὴ ἐπίστασθαι χρῆσθαι. πυθομένου δέ τινος εἰ καὶ αὐτὸς ἥκοι τὸν ἀγῶνα θεασόμενος, οὐκ, ἔφη, ἀλλ᾽ ἀγωνιούμενος. καὶ ὃς ἐγέλασέ τε καὶ ἤρετο αὐτὸν τίνας ἔχοι τοὺς ἀνταγωνιστάς. [12] ὁ δὲ ὥσπερ εἰώθει ὑποβλέψας, Τοὺς χαλεπωτάτους, εἶπε, καὶ ἀμαχωτάτους, οἷς οὐδεὶς δύναται ἀντιβλέψαι τῶν Ἑλλήνων, οὐ μέντοι διατρέχονταςπαλαίονταςδιαπηδῶντας οὐδὲ πυκτεύοντας καὶ ἀκοντίζοντας καὶ δισκεύοντας ἀλλὰ τοὺς σωφρονίζοντας.

  • Map
  • Pre Reading
  • Post Reading
  • Culture Essay

Pre-reading: Comparing stems

Find the meaning of each action word and then match the verbs with competitors and events. Then draw a picture of each event, label it in Greek, and write a sentence in Greek describing the picture.

Action Person Event
ἀκοντίζω ἀκοντίσω

ἅλλομαι ἁλοῦμαι ἡλάμην

δισκεύω δισκεύσω

παλαίω παλαίσω ἐπάλαισα  to wrestle

πηδάω πηδήσομαι ἐπήδησα

πυκτεύω πυκτεύσω

τρέχω δραμοῦμαι ἔδραμον δεδράμηκα


ἀκοντιστήρ -ῆρος, ὁ

ἀνταγωνιστής -οῦ, ὁ

δισκόβολος -ου, ὁ

δρομεύς -έως, ὁ

παλαιστής -οῦ, ὁ

πυκτής -οῦ, ὁ

χορευτής -οῦ, ὁ

ἄκων -οντος, ὁ

ἅλμα -ατος, τό

δίσκος -ου, ὁ

πάλη -ης, ἡ

πυγμή -ῆς, ἡ

στάδιον, τό

χόρος -ου, ὁ


For more on dogs in ancient Greece, see Aelius Stilo, “Dogs in Ancient Greece and Rome.” Encyclopaedia Romana.

The pentathlon consisted of five events: discus, javelin, long jump, running, and wrestling. To learn more about the pentathlon, visit “Pentathlon” (Perseus Digital Library).

For a quick intro to the ancient Olympics, check out Shelby Brown, “The Getty Villa Guide to the Ancient Olympics” Getty Iris Blog. 13 Aug 2016.

head of a Laconian dog
Laconian dog. May have been set up in the precinct of Artemis Brauronia on the Acropolis. Marble. c. 520 BCE. Acropolis Museum. Photo by Aelius Stilo.


Four pentathletes demonstrate the long jump, javelin, and discus
Four athletes engaged in the pentathlon: on the left is one holding halteres painted white, about to leap (ἅλμα); the next is about to hurl a javelin (ἄκων) which he holds by a strap, the amentum; next, a diskobolos, with diskos (δίσκος) painted white in right hand; lastly, another figure holding by the amentum in right hand a javelin pointed downwards. Panatheniac amphora. 530-520 BCE. Findspot: Vulci. British Museum.
Two pairs of wrestlers are supervised by a trainer. Each of the pairs has one bearded and one beardless figure, and the youthful “trainer” is smelling a flower.
Pentathlon event: wrestling (πάλη). Two pairs of wrestlers are supervised by a trainer. Red-figure amphora signed by the potter Andocides. 530-525 BCE. Findspot: Vulci. Altes Museum, Berlin. Photo: Salvatore Di Gregorio (Flickr).