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Boxer at Rest is part of Masterpiece, an Italian podcast by Archeostorie® that describes some of the most beautiful and famous artworks from antiquity.

Fig. 1. The Boxer, detail (photo by Agnese Lena).

Hey you, down there in the corner! Yes, I’m talking to you, the tired fighters.

You who fall, and get to your feet again. You who say “I can’t take it anymore,” and then clench your fists and your teeth and continue to fight.

You who study, you who work, you who are looking for work and you who have lost your jobs, you who have invented one because imagination is the only weapon of our species.

You who rise at four to warm the milk bottle and you who enjoy your solo journey.

You who look for love and you who build it together, day by day, with effort and trust. 

You who fight against a relentless illness, you who ask “but why me?” you who have lost so much, you who have lost everything. You who shout out your right to be different, you who are comfortable with who you are. 

You who have nostalgia, you who have regrets, you who have big dreams and you who are too tired to dream again.  

To all of you I say: on your feet! The fight is not finished; the ref/arbiter awaits.

Tomorrow the bruises will have faded, the blood dried. Only the immense applause of the crowd will remain. Who is a greater hero than the fallen who gets up again?

The “Boxer at Rest” is a bronze statue from the 4th century C.E. attributed to the famous sculptor Lisippus or one of his followers. Today one can find it in Rome, in the Roman National Museum.  The boxer, just over four feet tall, is resting after an encounter. His body is muscular, but a bit of fat and his facial features reveal his mature age: he is probably an athlete at the end of his career.  He is still wearing his leather gloves, which are ornamented with fur and metal studs. Copper blood drips from the wounds on his face, his arms, and his legs. His ears are swollen. The sculpture was found on the slopes of the Quirinale in 1885 and probably comes from the Baths of Constantine, where it was intentionally buried in ancient times. 

Volume 3 - 2019

Museum Archaeology

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

How to cite

Cappelletti, G. 2019. Boxes at Rest. Archeostorie. Journal of Public Archaeology. 3: pp. 103-104. DOI: https://doi.org/10.23821/2019_5b/