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Pottery: Greek Runner
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Pottery: Greek Runner

Greek Skyphos with Depiction of Runner

Greek Skyphos With Depiction of Runner

license: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0
source: Wikimedia Commons
author: Carole Raddato

A painting on a Greek terracotta skyphos depicts a runner mid-stride. His front leg is outstretched and his arms are pumped near the end of their range of motion, suggesting he is sprinting. He is stylized as a silhouette with the eyes, ears, and a few other outlines left unpainted.


Artifact: 6th century BC

Photo: July 2012


This Greek skyphos depicts a sprinter, perhaps intended to reference an event in the ancient Olympic Games or one of the other three Panhellenic festivals. Were this the case, this illustration would likely depict the stadion or the diaulos, as these were the only two events that involved nude sprinting (hoplitodromos was a sprint as well, though competitors had to wear pieces of hoplite armor).

At the time of photograph, this piece was held in the British Museum in London.

Related Articles

Ancient Olympic Games | Panhellenic Games | Greek Stadion | Greek Diaulos | Greek Hoplitodromos


Miller, S. G. (2004). Ancient Greek athletics. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Sansone, D. (2009). Ancient Greek civilization. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.