Diagoras of Rhodes & family

In the fifth century BC, several members of an aristocratic family from Rhodes were champions in boxing and pankration. The whole family was honoured at Olympia 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. Moreover, he won at the Pythian games and four times at the Isthmian and the Nemean games. He also won many local games. For his Olympic victory he was honoured with an ode of Pindar, that was later written on the wall of a Rhodian temple in gold letters.

The eldest son Damagetos was Olympic champion in the pankration in 452 en 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. Diagoras' youngest son, Dorieus, was even more successful than his brothers.

Diagoras had two daughters as well, Pherenike and Kallipateira. Their sons, Peisirodes and Eukles, both won the boxing at Olympia. One of the daughters once watched the Olympic games dressed as a trainer, as female spectators were not allowed.

© KU Leuven, 2012