Stadium Starting Block, Nemea, Greece

Illustration

Mark Cartwright
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published on 09 May 2012
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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.

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About the Author

Mark Cartwright
Mark is a history writer based in Italy. His special interests include pottery, architecture, world mythology and discovering the ideas that all civilizations share in common. He holds an MA in Political Philosophy and is the Publishing Director at AHE.

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APA Style

Cartwright, M. (2012, May 09). Stadium Starting Block, Nemea, Greece. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/image/615/

Chicago Style

Cartwright, Mark. "Stadium Starting Block, Nemea, Greece." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Last modified May 09, 2012. https://www.ancient.eu/image/615/.

MLA Style

Cartwright, Mark. "Stadium Starting Block, Nemea, Greece." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 09 May 2012. Web. 31 Oct 2020.

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