Stadium Starting Block, Nemea, Greece

Server Costs Fundraiser 2024

Help our mission to provide free history education to the world! Please donate and contribute to covering our server costs in 2024. With your support, millions of people learn about history entirely for free every month.
$2500 / $18000


Mark Cartwright
published on 09 May 2012
Stadium Starting Block, Nemea, Greece Download Full Size Image

The starting line or 'balbis' consisted of 12 lanes with posts held in vertical sockets between which a catapult mechanism or 'hysplex' of tensed rope would prevent any athlete from false starting. A judge would simultaneously release the rope blocking the athletes. The rope or twisted sinews were at two heights (knee and waist); when released they would lie flat on the ground between the first footfalls of the athletes. Therefore, if an athlete tripped, they would have started too early. The double lines in the stone blocks were for athletes to place their toes in to ensure all started equally. A statue would have stood at either end of the balbis. 330-320 BCE.

Remove Ads
Subscribe to this author

About the Author

Mark Cartwright
Mark is a full-time writer, researcher, historian, and editor. Special interests include art, architecture, and discovering the ideas that all civilizations share. He holds an MA in Political Philosophy and is the WHE Publishing Director.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Cartwright, M. (2012, May 09). Stadium Starting Block, Nemea, Greece. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Cartwright, Mark. "Stadium Starting Block, Nemea, Greece." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified May 09, 2012.

MLA Style

Cartwright, Mark. "Stadium Starting Block, Nemea, Greece." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 09 May 2012. Web. 16 Jul 2024.