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Headword: Νίκων
Adler number: nu,410
Translated headword: Nikon
Vetting Status: high
This man, it is said, won 1400 victory-crowns at Olympia and Nemea and the Isthmus and other festivals, in boxing and wrestling and pankration and running, etc. After he had departed this mortal life, one of those who had been his enemies while he was alive used to approach his statue and flog it; but the statue put an end to the outrager by falling on him. The sons of the deceased then pursued the statue with a homicide suit, and the Thasians threw it into the sea - adopting the law of Drakon the Athenian, in making rules even for inanimate murderers.[1] But the Pythia decreed that the statue had been badly treated and should be retrieved.[2] The fishermen could not [at first] see how to bring it up, but they loosened their nets for fish and brought up the statue. The Thasians then erected it where it had originally been.
Greek Original:
Νίκων: οὗτος πὺξ καὶ πάλην καὶ παγκράτιον καὶ δρόμον καὶ τἄλλα ἐν Ὀλυμπίᾳ καὶ Νεμέᾳ καὶ Ἰσθμοῖ καὶ ἄλλοις ἀγῶσι νικήσας ἔλαβε στεφάνους, ὥς φασι, χιλίους καὶ υ#. ἀπελθόντος δὲ αὐτοῦ ἐξ ἀνθρώπων, τῶν ἀπεχθανομένων τις ὡς ζῶντι αὐτῷ παρεγένετο ἐπὶ τὴν εἰκόνα αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐμαστίγου αὐτήν: ἐς ὃ πεσοῦσα ἐκείνη ἠμύνατο τὸν ὑβριστήν. τοῦ δὲ οἱ παῖδες ἐπεξῄεσαν φόνου ἐπὶ τῇ εἰκόνι, καὶ οἱ Θάσιοι καταποντοῦσιν αὐτὴν κατὰ νόμον Δράκοντος Ἀθηναίου, ὑπερορίζοντος φονεύοντα καὶ τὰ ἄψυχα. ταύτην δὲ ἡ Πυθία ἔχρησε κακῶς Θασίοις πράττουσιν ἀνενεγκεῖν. ἀπορούντων δὲ τῶν ἁλιέων περὶ τῆς ἀναγωγῆς, τὰ δίκτυα χαλάσαντες ἐπὶ ἰχθῦς ἀνήνεγκον τὴν εἰκόνα. καὶ ἔστησαν αὐτὴν οἱ Θάσιοι ὅθι καὶ πρῶτον ἦν.
Summarized from Pausanias 6.11.4-8 (web address 1). Despite the headword here, the athlete in question is Theagenes of Thasos, for whom cf. theta 133 (and Paus. 6.6.5-6).
[1] Such cases in Athens (including those against animals and against unknown human killers) were tried in the so-called Prytaneion court. See e.g. Demosthenes 23.76, and generally D.M. MacDowell, Athenian Homicide Law (Manchester 1963) chap.9. On Drakon, see delta 1495.
[2] See J. Fontenrose, The Delphic Oracle (Berkeley & Los Angeles 1978) 324 (nos.170-1 of the 'Quasi-Historical Responses').
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: aetiology; art history; athletics; biography; ethics; geography; law; religion
Translated by: David Whitehead on 3 October 2001@05:33:36.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (cosmetics, link, status) on 16 December 2003@22:37:12.
Catharine Roth (added cross-reference) on 16 December 2003@22:39:23.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 17 December 2003@03:41:03.
David Whitehead on 10 June 2013@03:39:08.


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