Ephedrismos: piggyback competition, dancing and modern parallels

Salvatore Costanza


In Ancient Greece, the child’s game ephedrismos (piggyback) is well known as a sort of blind man’s bluff. According to literary sources and dictionaries such as Julius Pollux’ Onomasticon, a young boy rides a friend who carries him piggyback. The bearer leans forward for balance. The one receiving the piggyback squeezes his knees together. This game is possibly linked with theatrical or dancing festivals. It was also very popular as iconographic subject in vases, terracotta statues, and gems. Furthermore, many piggy-back games in modern Greek Folklore are related to Ancient descriptions too. Finally, French
novelist Alain-Fournier gives a point of comparison by portraying teams of ephedrismos players in Le grand Meaulnes (1913).


Ephedrismós, en kotýlē, piggyback, mimesis, performance, folklore, Alain-Fournier.

Full Text:

PDF (Italiano)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.6092/2240-5380/10.2020.127


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.