Acanthus of Sparta

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Acanthus the Lacedaemonian (Ancient Greek: Ἄκανθος[1]), was the victor in two footrace events, the diaulos (δίαυλος) and dolichos (δόλιχος), in the Olympic Games of 720 BC.[2] He was also, according to some accounts, the first who ran naked in these games.[3][4][5] Other accounts ascribe this to Orsippus the Megarian. Thucydides says that the Lacedaemonians were indeed the first who contended naked in gymnastic games, although he does not mention Acanthus by name.[6]


  1. Christesen, Paul (2007). Olympic Victor Lists and Ancient Greek History. Cambridge University Press. p. 528.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Smith, William (1867), "Acanthus", in Smith, William, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, 1, Boston, p. 5<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Pausanias, v. 8. § 3.
  4. Dionys. vii. 72.
  5. Sextus Julius Africanus. apud Eusebius, p. 143.
  6. Thucydides, i. 6.