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THE OLYMPIC VICTOR LIST OF EUSEBIUS: BACKGROUND, TEXT, AND TRANSLATION By PAUL CHRISTESEN and ZARA MARTIROSOVA-TORLONE Sometime around 400 BC Hippias of Elis assembled the first cumulative list of victors in the Olympic Games. In the centuries that followed the victor list was regularly updated and widely circulated. The enduring popularity of Olympic victor lists, which the Greeks called Olympionikai, was due to the fact that, by the fourth century BC, numbered Olympiads and the names of Olympic stadion victors became a standard means of identifying individual years. (The stadion, a footrace over a distance of roughly 200 meters, was the signature event of the ancient Olympics.) The Olympic victor list thus became a basic chronological referent that was used by Greeks across much of the Mediterranean basin.1 Olympic victor lists remain documents of some importance. This is primarily because their Chronographie significance means that they are critical to our understanding of the chronological underpinnings of Greek history. In 1 Greek names have been transliterated in such a way as to be as faithful as possible to original spellings while taking into account established usages for well-known individuals and places. When cited in the main text, both Armenian and Greek personal names drawn from the Armenian translation of the Chronika are transliterated in accordance with the system used by the Library of Congress for Eastern Armenian. In the English translation of the Eusebian Olympic victor list presented in Appendix 2, however, all Greek names, regardless of source, are presented in accordance with their original Greek form. This approach is intended to reproduce the Armenian text as closely as possible while providing a consistent English translation of the Eusebian Olympic victor list as a whole. All translations of ancient sources, both Greek and Armenian, are our own. The English translations of the Armenian version of the Chronika are based directly on the Armenian text. We have, nonetheless, chosen to cite the Armenian version of the Chronika through reference to Karst's German translation rather than to Aucher's printed Armenian text, because the German translation is much more accessible, both in terms of readability and of availability, to most scholars. Citations of line numbers in the Greek version of the Eusebian Olympic victor list refer to the text printed in Appendix 1. We would like to thank Cecilia Gaposchkin for undertaking a physical examination of CPG 2600 on our behalf and Nadezhda Kavrus-Hoffman for her comments on the provenience of CPG 2600. Thanks are also due to Sen Arevshatyan, Mark Golden, Alden Mosshammer , Michael Stone, and others too numerous to name, all of whom lent invaluable assistance. Responsibility for the views expressed here and for any errors or omissions is solely our own. This article was made possible in large part by the generosity of the Department of Classics at the University of Cincinnati, at which Paul Christesen worked in the summer of 2005 as a Margo Tytus Visiting Scholar. 32TRADITIO addition, Olympionikai contain invaluable information about the historical development of the Olympic Games and about Olympic victors and, as a result, are regularly consulted by ancient historians. Well over a hundred fragments from roughly twenty different Olympionikai have come down to us, but there is only one extant, complete Olympic victor list. This is the list of winners in the stadion at Olympiads 1-249 found in Eusebius's Chronika.2 Eusebius's version of the Olympic victor list survives both in the original Greek and in an Armenian translation that was executed ca. AD 450. Despite its obvious significance, the last critical edition of the Eusebian list is more than a century old, and an English translation of the entire text has never appeared in print.3 Alfred Schoene published a comprehensive collection of the textual evidence for the Chronika between 1866 and 1875.4 This collection included a laudably careful transcription of the sole extant manuscript copy (Codex Parisinus Graecus 2600) of the Greek text of the Eusebian Olympic victor list along with numerous convincing emendations. Schoene did not reproduce the Armenian text but did include a Latin translation by Heinrich Petermann. Schoene's continues to be the standard edition of the Eusebian Olympic...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2166-5508
Print ISSN
0362-1529
Pages
pp. 31-93
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
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