Erich Lessing

His eyes fixed in an intense, burning glare, a wrestler controls his opponent in this 6-inch-tall bronze statue found in Alexandria, Egypt, dating to the second century B.C.E. One of the three ancient Greek combat sports, wrestling was celebrated for its complexity, as it required not only strength but precise skills and cunning. Wrestlers like those depicted on this statuette probably knew of the legendary exploits of Homer’s Odysseus, who uses his wits to wrestle the massive Ajax to a draw in Book 23 of the Iliad.