dis'-kus (diskos, "the summons of the discus," 2 Macc 4:14 margin, "to the game of the discus," the King James Version "the game of discus"): The discus was a round stone slab or metal plate of considerable weight (a kind of quoit), the contest of throwing which to the greatest distance was one of the exercises in the Greek gymnasia, being included in the pentathlon. It was introduced into Jerusalem by Jason the high priest in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, 175-164 BC, in the Palaestra he had formed there in imitation of the Greek games. His conduct led to his being described in 2 Macc 4:13,14 as that "ungodly man" through whom even the priests forsook their duties to play at the discus. A statue of a discobolos (discus-thrower) is in the British Museum. From discus we have the words "disc," "dish," "desk."

See also the McClintock and Strong Biblical Cyclopedia.


W. L. Walker

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