The review of the unpublished material from the excavations conducted in the 1950-60s, of the Sanctuary of Contrada Mango at Segesta, led to the find of a statuette of an athlete. The piece, which, to our knowledge, is unique in its kind, is rendered in a gray stone of uncertain provenance. The first part of the article presents the context of the statuette, found in close proximity to the north wall of the temenos. The second part describes and gives a detailed analysis of the statuette as regards its style and iconography. The male figure with the head and torso intact suggests, from the rendering of the pectoral and back muscles and right shoulder stance with the conveyed weight distribution, a representation of a discus thrower and a date of 470-460 BC. The sculpture in its execution shows affinity with Cycladic craftmanship. As demonstrated in the third part of the article, Segesta had links (direct or mediated) with this artistic world in the second quarter of the 5th century BCE, a time when a monumental peripteral temple in Greek style was erected in the Mango Sanctuary. The miniaturistic piece would have lent itself plausibly as a sculptor’s model but the most immediate hypothesis - given also the presence of traces of color - is that it has been modeled as a votive dedication. The find evoking the passage in Herodotus (Historiae V, 47, 2) of the hero cult offered by the Segestans to Philippus of Croton (the winner of an Olympic race and, subsequently, the follower of Dorieus in the Expedition to Sicily), forcefully highlights the male element in a Segestan sacred context. This seems connected to a social aristocratic component open to the Greek elite able to conserve but also remodel the political identity and renew the view of the prosperous Elymian centre and its civic community.
|Numero di pagine||12|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2019|