Leonidas from RhodesApril 19, 2023
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Kallipateira (Καλλιπάτειρα) of Ialysos in Rhodes came from a renowned family of athletes in Ancient Greece, “The Diagorides”. She was caught attending the ancient Olympic Games disguised as a male trainer. Her capture led to a law being introduced that trainers should strip before entering the stadium.
Kallipateira was a grandaughter of Damagetos, king of Ialysos. Her father, Diagoras of Rhodes, was a celebrated boxer and one of the most famous Olympic winners. Diagoras won the boxing at several Olympic and Panhellenic games and was honoured by Pindar. Her brothers were also Olympic and Panhellenic champions: Damagetos won pankration events and Akousilaos won in boxing. Her younger brother Dorieus was the most successful, winning the pankration at 21 different Panhellenic games.
Kallipateira was a widow at the time of her arrest at Olympia, which she was attending in support of her own son Peisirodos.
Even if the law didn’t change, Kallipateira became a symbol of all women – mother in Greece and she is a panhellenic legend.