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Headword: Γόργος
Adler number: gamma,397
Translated headword: Gorgos, Gorgus
Vetting Status: high
The Messenian, was second to none of the Messenians in wealth and birth,[1] and by his athletic achievements in his prime became the most celebrated of the competitors for the crown in gymnastic contests. Indeed, in his appearance and in the splendour of his general mode of life, besides the quantity of the crowns [he had won],[2] he was second to none of his contemporaries. What is more, when he had given up athletics and turned to politics and the service of his country, he acquired in this sphere too a reputation not inferior to his previous one, appearing to be very far removed from the characteristic struggling of athletes;[3] instead, he was thought to be very able and intelligent in his political doings.
Greek Original:
Γόργος, ὁ Μεσσήνιος, οὐδενὸς ἦν δεύτερος Μεσσηνίων πλούτῳ καὶ γένει, διὰ δὲ τὴν ἄθλησιν κατὰ τὴν ἀκμὴν πάντων ἐνδοξότατος ἐγεγόνει τῶν περὶ τοὺς γυμνικοὺς ἀγῶνας φιλοστεφανούντων. καὶ γὰρ κατὰ τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν καὶ κατὰ τὴν τοῦ λοιποῦ βίου προστασίαν, ἔτι δὲ κατὰ τὸ πλῆθος τῶν στεφάνων, οὐδενὸς ἐλείπετο τῶν καθ' αὑτόν. καὶ μὴν ὅτε καταλύσας τὴν ἄθλησιν ἐπὶ τὸ πολιτεύεσθαι καὶ τὸ πράττειν τὰ τῆς πατρίδος ὥρμησε, καὶ περὶ τοῦτο τὸ μέρος οὐκ ἐλάττω δόξαν ἐφέρετο τῆς πρότερον ὑπαρχούσης αὐτῷ, πλεῖστον μὲν ἀπέχειν δοκῶν τῆς τοῖς ἀθληταῖς παρεπομένης ἀγωνίας, πρακτικώτατος δὲ καὶ νουνεχέστατος εἶναι νομιζόμενος περὶ τὴν πολιτείαν.
From Polybius 7.10.2-5. Time: c.215 BCE. See also iota 626.
[1] Perhaps a descendant of Gorgos the son of the Messenian-War hero Aristomenes (for whom see Pausanias 4.19.4; Web address 1).
[2] For Gorgos as an Olympic pentathlon victor see Pausanias 6.14.11 (Web address 2).
[3] Editors of Polybius have replaced ἀγωνίας - physical struggle or mental anguish - here with ἀναγωγίας , "boorishness, vulgarity" (Toup); the note in Walbank collects evidence for this commonplace.
F.W.Walbank, A Historical Commentary on Polybius, ii (Oxford 1967) p.57.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: athletics; biography; economics; ethics; geography; historiography; history; politics
Translated by: David Whitehead on 5 August 2001@08:00:19.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead on 3 September 2002@06:09:32.
Elizabeth Vandiver (Added links; added italics) on 29 September 2003@16:38:36.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 16 November 2005@07:47:08.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 11 June 2012@03:43:10.
Catharine Roth (upgraded links) on 16 September 2012@02:00:56.
Catharine Roth (cross-reference) on 19 January 2013@19:31:48.


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