Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Mieography

Going WAAAAY back for this one.

This is Cynisca. She was a Greek princess of Sparta, and the first woman in history to win at the ancient Olympic games.

She was born in Sparta, in 440 BC, daughter of Archidamus II and Eupoleia. It is said she was a tomboy, an expert equestrian, and very wealthy. She was also known to breed horses. Her name, in Greek, means "female puppy".
Most women in the era of ancient Greece were forbidden to learn any kind of sports, and kept pretty secluded. Spartan women, however, were encouraged to excel at sports, riding, hunting, and to eschew things like house hold chores.
The Olympic games were male only, women could not even get into the main stadium. Cynisca had no choice but to employ men to drive her team at the olympics, where they won in the four horse chariot racing. She was not even there to see her horses run.

She was honored, though, later, by a bronze statue of a chariot and horses, and a charioteer, and also, a statue of herself, placed in the Temple of Zeus, in Olympia, with an inscription reporting her to be the only female to win the wreath in the chariot events of the Olympic Games. She also was the first Spartan woman to have a "hero-shrine" erected of her in Sparta.
The inscription reads
"Kings of Sparta are my father and brothers
Kyniscka, victorious with a chariot of swift-footed horses
have erected this statue. I declare myself the only woman in all Hellas to have won this crown."


Daryl said...

This is one woman I didnt know about before your Mieography ... cool to learn this and now work it into a conversation ...

I am tickled you noticed I put my name on Grand Central Station! I wondered if anyone would see/notice ..took that with my iPhone from inside the crosstown bus last Friday ... but put my name on it using ... and that ends out commercial endorsement portion of this comment


sybil law said...

I like how her name is close to cynic... Just can't take the old Latin geek out of me. Now I am going to look into that more! :)
Good one.

CamiKaos said...

this one was new to me, thanks for sharing!

holly said...

honey, they're almost *all* new to me. :) :) :)

nicely done, as per usual. :)

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