'Greek Becks' lacked looks

August 13, 2004

A St Andrews University expert in ancient athletics has uncovered evidence of an Olympic hero from the second century AD, the David Beckham of his day in terms of his sporting success and celebrity.

Jason König, who is researching the history of sport in ancient Greece, has shed new light on a neglected Olympic winner, Marcus Aurelius Asklepiades, whose sporting triumphs were recorded in a series of inscribed stones in Rome.

Dr König has carried out the first in-depth analysis of Asklepiades, who was victorious at the Olympics in AD 181. He was honoured throughout the Roman Empire, and the stones record a career that saw him win every contest he entered before retiring aged 25.

"This athlete would have been a Mediterranean-wide celebrity, very much the David Beckham of his day," Dr König said.

But Dr König said that he was unlikely to have been much of a looker as Asklepiades competed in the pankration, a particularly brutal mixture of wrestling and boxing.

"Some of these characters looked pretty ugly," he said.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns