a1 LARA O'SULLIVAN is a lecturer in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Western Australia. email@example.com
Among the plethora of minor players whose names intrude briefly into the historical record of the age of Alexander the Great is Aristonicus of Carystus. A member of Alexander's entourage, he clearly attained some standing in his own right, and at least some of that renown derived, it seems, from his prowess as a ball-player. Thus one of the interlocutors in Athenaeus' Deipnosophistai reports of his honouring at Athens (1.19a) that
Ἀριστόνικον τὸν Καρύστιον, τὸν Ἀλεξάνδρου σϕαιριστήν, Ἀθηναῖοι πολίτην ἐποιήσαντο διὰ τὴν τέχνην καὶ ἀνδριάντα ἀνέστησαν.
The Athenians made Aristonicus the Carystian, Alexander's ball-player, a citizen of their city on account of his skill, and they erected a statue to him.