A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

(Διαγύρας). the son of Damagetus, of the family of the Eratidae at lalysus in Rhodes,

was very celebrated for his own victories, and those of his sons and grandsons, in the Grecian games. He was descended from Damagetus, king of Ialysus, and, on the mother's side, from the Messenian hero, Aristomenes. [DAMAGETUS.] The family of the Eratidae ceased to reign in Rhodes after B. C. 660, but they still retained great influence. Diagoras was victor in boxing twice in the Olympian games, four times in the Isthmian, twice in the Nemean, and once at least in the Pythian. He had therefore the high honour of being a περιοδονίκης, that is, one who had gained crowns at all the four great festivals. He also obtained many victories in games of less importance, as at Athens, Aegina, Megara, Pellene, and Rhodes. There is a story told of Diagoras which displays most strikingly the spirit with which the games were regarded. When an old man, he accompanied his sons, Acusilaüs and Damagetus, to Olympia. The young men, having both been victorious, carried their father through the assembly, while the spectators showered garlands upon him, and congratulated him as having reached the summit of human happiness. The fame of Diagoras and his descendants was celebrated by Pindar in an ode (Ol. vii.) which was inscribed in golden letters on the wall of the temple of Athena at Cnidus in Rhodes. Their statues were set up at Olympia in a place by themselves. That of Diagoras was made by the Megarian statuary, CALLICLES. The time at which Diagoras lived is determined by his Olympic victory, in the 79th Olympiad. (B. C. 464.) Pindar's ode concludes with forebodings of misfortune to the family of the Eratidae, which were. realized after the death of Diagoras through the growing influence of Athens. [DORIEUS.] (Pind. Ol. vii. and Schol.; Paus. 6.7.1; Cic. Tusc. 1.46; Müller, Dorians, 3.9.3; Clinton, F. H. pp. 254, 255; Krause, Olymp. p. 269, Gymn. u. Agon. i. p. 259, ii. p. 743.)