International Institute for Sport History
Library & Museum


The Discus Thrower
also known as:
Discobolos, Diskobolos, or Discobolus
by Myron, circa 450 B.C.E.
National Museum of Rome, Excavated in 1781.

SPORTS PHILANTHROPY to us means support from Professional athletes, Olympic athletes, college athletes, professional sports teams and owners, sports leagues, athlete foundations, sports-related corporations, non-profits using sports for social good, Fortune 500 corporations, International corporations, Olympic Committees, Sports federations and the general public.

The IISOH is seeking this support from the world of Sport in order to develop and build a large sports complex around a research library and museum devoted to all sports subjects. Think of it as a modern version of ancient Olympia, stadium and monuments, combined with the ancient Library of Alexandria - thus "mind and body."

The Ancient Library of Alexandria was developed by the ancient Greeks to gather all the knowledge in the world. They translated every book (actually papyrus scrolls) that they could acquire - even steal - into their language...Greek. For this reason, if you were not aware, the BIBLE exists. Originally written in ancient Hebrew it was the Greeks who collected and translated the scrolls into ancient Greek. These are the texts that survive today in libraries and museums around the world. But that ancient library had everything else, too. Scrolls existed on astronomy, mathematics, philosophy, literature, as well as every other subject. They were rolled up and saved in cubicles. The library became a center of learning for the brightest minds in Greece, Rome and Egypt for centuries. BUT...warfare, battles and destruction were also part of ancient civilization. Details are rare and sketchy, but it is believed that the Library of Alexandria burned when the Romans fought the Egyptians in 48 BC...this is the story of Caesar and Cleopatra, Mark Antony and the burning of Caesar's ships in the harbor resulting in the port catching on fire and then destroying the Library, too. Sadly for us most of the history of the ancient civilizations has been lost forever.

The IISOH wants to build a sports version of the Library of Alexandria. We seek to collect all books on every sport, in every language. In addition to the books we seek posters, artwork, sculpture and memorabilia on all sports subjects. The goal is to have a comprehensive collection for research and education. The Museum is designed to study sport, expand the appreciation for the arts and humanities through sport - and to actually practice sport. This is a museum where you can go bowling in the basement where the alleys recreate the origins of the game and show the evolution to modern bowling alleys. Play baseball on the fields with the old rules from 1876 or the modern rules. There will be an old-style gym with peach baskets to play basketball -- the way it started in 1891. The gym next door will be state-of-the-art modern -- the way basketball is played today - shatterproof backboards and all. Visitors can study the history of their favorite sport and play at the same time. So...we are looking at a rather big place. We need your help.

We have already started the collections and have a lot in storage. We have been offered large collections by the truckload already. We planned to open our first office and mini-museum in 2016 but our landlord backed out when we scheduled a date to sign the lease. Failure to communicate - the main cause of conflict - and we even speak more than one language! So we try again in 2018! JOIN US. Be philanthropic! Make a single donation - that is all we ask. THEN invite friends and colleagues to make a donation. Spread the word. Become a PR person for the IISOH - tell everyone. Then visit us when we open. We look forward to meeting you!

Now a few words about that statue illustrated above...

The Greek artist Myron made this magnificent statue in bronze. Known as the Diskobolos the original bronze statue, and almost every other bronze statue from ancient Greek times - disappeared in antiquity. Bronze statues were too valuable as metals. First, copies of the bronze statues were made in marble or other stone. Then the original bronze statues were melted down and made into other useful objects, such as swords.

The ancient Romans knew this particular Greek statue very well -- it was famous throughout the ancient world. Roman artists made copies of the Discus Thrower in marble and at least five copies have survived for us to admire today. All of them have been damaged in some way, some with broken arms, some with missing heads, and some with most pieces missing - leaving only the torso. These statues were buried over the centuries and were found all over Greece and Italy beginning in the 1700's. Wealthy Italians started collecting them and today some are in the great Museums in Rome, including the Vatican. Some statuary was sold off to wealthy foreigners, such as the British and today a Roman marble copy can be seen in the British Museum in London.

The image illustrated above is the only marble copy that has survived with the original head intact. It is currently in the statuary collection of the National Museum of Rome. Four other ancient Roman marble copies of the Discus Thrower are known to exist. Two are in the collection of the Vatican Museum in Rome, one is in the British Museum in London and one is in the Louvre in Paris. The statue in the British Museum was incorrectly repaired and the head is turned back towards the discus. Even though it has been determined that this is wrong - this copy is probably the most photographed version of the discobolos.

The goal of the IISOH is to acquire copies of all five of these ancient statues for our Museum collection.

The International Institute for Sport History
-- IISOH --
has been created in order to develop a comprehensive
devoted to scholarly research and education in the
arts and humanities where it relates to the subjects of:

History of Sport
Physical Education
Sport in Art
Olympic Games

Read our complete MISSION STATEMENT here

Endowment Program, Donations & Membership

The IISOH is unique in North America in its comprehensive mission
and seeks public, private and corporate financial support to achieve these goals.
The Board of Directors will express its gratitude to generous benefactors
by granting perpetual naming rights to fully funded endowments.

Donations to the IISOH are tax deductible.

to other IISOH pages

Articles of Incorporation
Meet the Board of Directors
Become a Charter Member or send a donation
Building Plans

Contact the IISOH:
Mr. Harvey Abrams, President
International Institute for Sport History

PO Box 175
State College, PA, USA 16804

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This page was created February 22, 2002
This page was was updated on January 8, 2010
This page was updated December 2, 2011
This page was Updated October 6, 14, 2017
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