Milon of Croton (wrestler)

Milon, son of Diotimus, lived in the 6th century BC and won his first Olympic victory in boys' wrestling. He was five times winner in men's wrestling. He won seven times in the Pythian, nine in the Nemean and ten in the Isthmian games. He was one of the greatest athletes from the city of Croton and one of the most famous athletes of antiquity.

The ancient writers mention many stories regarding his extraordinary strength and his achievements. Phylarchus mentions that during a festival held in honor of Zeus, Milon carried a four-year-old cow on his shoulders and later ate it alone. During a symposium of the Pythagoreans, a member of which was himself, the hall was about to collapse and he supported the column with his bare hands enabling the others to escape.

He was also renowned for his voracious appetite. Athenaeus, who lived in Rome in the 2nd century A.D, mentions in his work The Deipnosophistai that Milon often consumed five kilos of meat and bread and three jags of wine (approximately 10 liters) in every meal. Theodorus of Hierapolis tells that when the neighboring town Sybaris declared war to Croton, Milon bearing a wreath on his head and a lion hide on the shoulders and swaying a club, stepped forward to stop the enemies with the town's inhabitants following him. They came on so strong that the citizens of Sybaris fled, leaving many dead on the battlefield.

Milon lived a glorious life, but his death was tragic. One day while taking a walk in the woods he saw a tree trunk that had just been cut, with wedges driven into it to open it. He decided to use his hands to open it, but when he tried, the wedges flew out and his hands became trapped in the tree trunk. He was unable to get free and during the night he was killed by wild animals.


Short description of the monuments at ancient Olympia

3D reconstructions:
Some of the most important buildings in ancient Olympia rendered in three-dimensions.

3D reconstruction of the Temple of Zeus in ancient Olympia.

Other games:
Short reference on other famous contests in ancient Greece

In the first person:
Young Ariston shares his experience in the Olympic Games

Olympic victors:
Database of the ancient Olympic victors based on each athletic event and each Olympiad

Specimen sources