Base of the statue of Polydamas
A relief base of the statue of the famous Olympic champion of pancration Polydamas of Skotoussa. It is the work of the great Sikyonian sculptor Lysippos. The statue does not survive. Pausanias, however, describes it, during his visit to the sanctuary of Olympia, emphasizing that the athlete was the largest man of his time (Pausanias 6.5.1). The base is broken horizontally into two large pieces. A relief decoration illustrating the visit of Polydamas to King Darius Ochus is preserved on the three sides of the pedestal. The King had invited the famous athlete to compete with three men from the league of the immortals. On one side Darius and four women watch Polydamas holding one of his opponents up in the air. On the second side Polydamas breaks a lion, and on the third he is sits on top of the defeated animal. The athlete did not have a glorified death. He overestimated his power and was buried alive when the roof of a cave collapsed.