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Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 93


OLYMPIC VICTORY OF ATTALOS OF PERGAMON

Greek text:   IvP_1.10
Provenance:     Pergamon , Mysia
Date:   c. 276 B.C
Format:   see key to translations

Not much is known about Attalos, the father of king Attalos I. But another inscription ( Austin_227 ) implies that he was at one time the designated heir of Philetairos, and the grand monument in honour of his Olympic victory, with this inscription in elegiac couplets, was certainly designed to boost his public image in Pergamon. It shows that, many years before the Attalids adopted the title of king, Philetairos was already glorifying his family in a similar way to other royal families. For a discussion of this and other attempts by Hellenistic rulers to gain prestige from victories in the traditional Greek games, see R. van Bremen, "The entire house is full of crowns: Hellenistic agones and the commemoration of victory" ( PDF ).

The translation is taken from T.J.Nelson, "Attalid Aesthetics: The Pergamene 'Baroque' Reconsidered", pp.3-4 ( academia.edu ).


Many chariots came from Libya, many from Argos and many came from rich Thessaly, among which was also numbered that of Attalos. The starting line tensed, holding everything together with its twisted rope. With a loudly echoing clap, it then drove out the quick foals, who bore a swift stride through the racecourse, some running behind some chariots, others behind others. But Attalos' chariot-team, like a whirlwind, constantly kicked up the foremost dust with their feet. The other teams still competed on, snorting deeply, but among them his team made its mark on the tens of thousands of Greeks who were then present. Much-lauded Fame came to Philetairos and the houses of Pergamon, honouring them with the crown of Elis.

inscription 94


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