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p585 Halteres

Unsigned article on p585 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.


[image ALT: An engraving of a naked man leaping in a pike position, and holding a pipe-shaped weight in each hand. It is a contemporaneous depiction of a Greek or Roman athlete training with 'halteres', an ancient form of dumbbells.]

HALTERES (ἁλτῆρες) were certain masses of stone or metal, which were used in the gymnastic exercises of the Greeks and Romans. Persons who practised leaping often performed their exercises with halteres in both hands; but they were also frequently used merely to exercise the body in somewhat the same manner as our dumb-bells (Martial, XIV.49, VII.67.6; Pollux, III.155, X.64; graves massae, Juv. VI.421;º Senec. Ep. 15, 56). Pausanias (V.26 § 3, V.27 § 8, VI.3 § 4) speaks of certain statues of athletes who were represented with halteres. They appear to have been made of various forms and sizes. The preceding woodcut is taken from Tassie, Catalogue, &c. pl. 46, No. 7978. (Mercurialis, De Arte Gymnastica, II.12; Becker, Gallus, vol. I p277; Krause, Die Gymnastik une Agonistik der Hellenen, vol. I p395.)


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Page updated: 30 Jun 13