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Statue of Oinomaos from Olympia

Statue of Oinomaos from Olympia Ancient Places and/or Civilizations Archeological Wonders Sports Tragedies and Triumphs Visual Arts Legends and Legendary People

This image depicts a plaster cast which copies a marble statue of Oinomaos, the father of Hippodameia.  

According to Greek mythology, it was Oinomaos, an ancient-Greek King, who challenged his daughter’s suitors to chariot races:  

  • Anyone able to defeat the King, in a race, was eligible to marry the King’s daughter. 
  • Anyone unable to defeat the King, in the race, would be killed.

When Pelops defeated Oinomaos, after someone tampered-with the King’s chariot, he married the King’s daughter.  Because the King died in the race, after his axle fell-away from the speeding chariot, Pelops held special games in his honor.

We could thus say that the tradition of Olympic games began as a tribute to the life of Oinomaos (and to honor the Greek-god Zeus).

The original marble statue of Oinomaos, on which this cast is based,  was located at the East Pediment of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia and was likely made circa 460 B.C.  It was found at Olympia and is now maintained at the Olympia Museum.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5186stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: May 20, 2019


Media Credits

Image online, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

 

 

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