The Son of Pharnabazos and Parapita, a Persian Competing in the Olympic Games: Xenophon Hellenica 4.1.39-40

  • James Roy


This article seeks to develop, with some significant change, the arguments put forward by Bresson to show that a Persian boy, the son of Pharnabazos, was allowed to compete in the Olympic Games. It is argued that at Olympia his admission was supported by his older Spartan lover, himself an Olympic athlete, and by the Spartan king Agesilaos who acted as the boy’s guardian. These arguments support the view recently advanced by Nielsen and, at greater length, by Remijsen that non-Greeks were not excluded from competing in the Olympic Games