The Townley Discobolus

2nd century AD

British Museum

British Museum
London, United Kingdom

This Roman copy of the ancient Greek sculpture of a ‘discobolus’, or discus-thrower, is one of the most famous sculptures from the ancient world and the British Museum. It shows an idealised athlete – naked, refined and eternally youthful – seemingly captured in the moment before releasing the discus. Discobolus embodies the idea of balancing opposing forces. In the rhythm and harmony of his proportions, the ancient Greeks saw an underlying order behind the chaos of the world.


  • Title: The Townley Discobolus
  • Date Created: 2nd century AD
  • Physical Dimensions: 173 x 107 x 63 cm
  • Subject Keywords: India & the World, IatW
  • Medium: Marble
  • Province: Excavated/ Findspot Hadrian's Villa
  • Collection: The British Museum
  • Accession no. : 1805,0703.43

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