The Discobolos

Michael Lahanas

Der Diskuswerfer von Myron

'Do you mean the discus-thrower,' said I, "the one bent over in the position of the throw, with his head turned back toward the hand that holds the discus, with one leg slightly bent, looking as if he would spring up all at once with the cast?' 'Not that one,' said he, 'for that is one of Myron's works, the discus-thrower you speak of.' Lucian, Philopseudes (The Lover of Lies) According to the original Greek text of Lucian of Samosata the athlete looks towards the "discophoros" which is interpreted as his hand , whereas surprisingly one student in his PhD thesis about the ancient discus game considered the discophoros a woman who handed him the discus.


Discobolos (or discobolus, Discus Thrower), c. 450 BC. Marble Roman copy original bronze sculpture by
Myron of Eleutherai. Terme Museum, Rome. Specialists consider this statue as a solution of the Zeno Paradox in providing a single pose of a movement without freezing the motion. For the Discobolos Pliny the Elder in contrast to the Doryphoros is more critical.

Discobolos (3D View German webpage)

Myron is the first sculptor who appears to have enlarged the scope of realism, having more rhythms [rhythmos] in his art than Polycleitus and being more careful in his proportions [symmetria]. Yet he himself so far as surface configuration goes attained great finish, but he does not seem to have given expression to the feelings of the mind, and moreover he has not treated the hair and the pubes with any more accuracy than had been achieved by the rude work of olden days. Pliny the Elder

An example of another copy of the Discobolos but in contrast to the original the athlete does not look at the Discus.

Work of Myron, a statues of the athlete Timanthes, victorious at Olympia in 456 BC, and of Lycinus, victorious in 448 and 444. Pliny mentions a cow, Ladas the runner, who fell dead at the moment of victory, and the Discobolos and according to Pausanias Marsyas picking up the flutes which Athena had thrown away.

Image with Information about the Discobolos from the British Museum, London

An Archaic Discobolos

Discus Thrower, (Roman copy of Greek original) marble, Musee du Louvre, Paris

A morally conform Discobolos

Image by the German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl famous for her progaganda films, inspired by the Discobolos : Olympia6, Olympia7

Adolf Hitler “the painter” in front of the Discobolos "Kunst ist eine erhabene und zum fanatismus verpflichtende Mission"

The Discobolos and the European Space Agency. Image taken with the ISGRI gamma-ray camera


Discobolos Stamp from Paraguay (from Latein Education Highway, Austria),

See : More Stamps of the Discobolos


1000 Drachmae with the Discobolos, before the replacement by the Euro

A 2 € (Euro) commemorative coin
for the
2004 Olympic Games held
in Athens.

Doryphoros, Political Journal "Der Spiegel ", 1996, Germany (his body covered with commercials)

Sikyon and Sculpture from Sikyon

A modern Mathematical Parametrization: Corpus Mathematica

The Doryphoros or the idealized sculpture (Canon)

Hommage to Myron, Scott Bodenheimer 1996

Deborah Tarn Steiner , Images in Mind: Statues in Archaic and Classical Greek Literature and Thought Princeton University Press 2001

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