Kleomedes of Astypalia

winner in ancient Olympics

Kleomedes of Astypalia was an Ancient Greek boxer, who had a successful boxing career all throughout the 5th century BC. However, in either the 71st or 72nd Olympic Games (496 or 492 BCE), using an illegal strike, he killed his opponent Ikos. Because of this offense, and not due to the murder of his opponent, which was not considered a punishable act, he was disqualified and heavily fined by the judges.

Ancient Greek boxers

Kleomedes mourned his loss greatly, because it put a stain on his record, consequently, while returning to his home town Astypalia, in a flash of Mania, he pulled out the pillar supporting a school roof, purportedly killing at least 27 children.[1] The people attempted to stoned him to death, but he fled into a temple and climbed into a holy chest. When the people opened it, he was gone. His confused persuers consulted the oracle of delphi, which told the people that Kleomedes had become a hero. From that moment onwards he was commemorated with annual sacrifices in his honour.

His mythos is interpreted to comment on the nature of Rules.


  1. Mitropoulos1 Morrison2, Athina1 Tim2 (2017). Greek Religion and Democracy and the Athenians, A Level OCR. Bloomsbury. pp. 40–42. ISBN 978-1-350-02099-3.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  • Poliakoff, Michael B (1997), Combat Sports in the Ancient World, New Haven: Yale University Press