Stadium Starting Block, Nemea, Greece

Remove ads - become a member

Illustration

by
published on 09 May 2012

The starting line or 'balbis' consisted of 12 lanes with posts held in vertical sockets between which a catapult mechanism or 'hysplex' of tensed rope would prevent any athlete from false starting. A judge would simultaneously release the rope blocking the athletes. The rope or twisted sinews were at two heights (knee and waist); when released they would lie flat on the ground between the first footfalls of the athletes. Therefore, if an athlete tripped, they would have started too early. The double lines in the stone blocks were for athletes to place their toes in to ensure all started equally. A statue would have stood at either end of the balbis. 330-320 BCE.


About the Author

Mark Cartwright
Mark holds an M.A. in Greek philosophy and his special interests include the Minoans, the ancient Americas, and world mythology. He loves visiting and reading about historic sites and transforming that experience into free articles accessible to all.

Help us write more

We're a small non-profit organisation run by a handful of volunteers. Each article costs us about $50 in history books as source material, plus editing and server costs. You can help us create even more free articles for as little as $5 per month, and we'll give you an ad-free experience to thank you! Become a Member

Share This


Image License

Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike: This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this content non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms.

Read the licensing terms for more information on how to use this image legally.

Commercial Use

The photographer is selling a commercial use license for this image:

55USD

If you are not sure whether your project is commercial then please contact the editors by email () for clarification.

Commercial Licensing Terms

By purchasing this image you agree to the following terms and conditions:

You may use this photograph in a commercial digital or print publication, including but not limited to:

  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Books
  • Websites
  • Presentations
There are no limitations on print runs or website impressions.

Upon purchasing this image, you may not re-sell this image, including but not limited to digital downloads or printed items where the image is the dominant content (such as postcards, for example).

Advertisement

Remove ads - become a member