With the Olympic games in progress and Bible History Daily featuring a 2004 article entitled “Ancient Combat Sports” my mind drifted back to a trip to Rome in which seventy(!) world-class statues from all over Italy had been gathered in the hallways of the Colosseum in Rome. The display was called “Nike. Il gioco e la vittoria” (Nike, joy and victory)—it had nothing to do with the shoe company! The following are three of the 23 images that I have posted on my web site.
This is a first century A.D. life-size (61 in. [1.54 m.]) marble statue copied from a bronze statue originally done by the sculptor Myron of Greece ca. 450 B.C. This piece is normally displayed in the Museo Nazionale Romano, Rome.
This bronze statue of a boxer, a pugilist, is signed by Apollonius. He is seated, weary, and battered. The realism of this statute is characteristic of the Hellenistic period. It was found in Rome. It is a first century A.D. copy of a third or second century B.C. original. If you enlarge the image the leather gloves that the boxers wore—sometimes with metal bands, as in this case—are clearly visible.
1 Cor. 9:26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
Two bronze runners from the villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum. These are first century A.D. copies of third century B.C. statues.