The Ancient Olympics

The Ancient Olympics

Book - 2004
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The word 'athletics' is derived from the Greek verb 'to struggle/suffer for a prize'. After reading this book, no one will see the Olympics as a graceful display of Greek beauty again, but as war by other means.Nigel Spivey paints a portrait of the Greek Olympics as they really were - fierce contests between bitter rivals, in which victors won kudos and rewards, and losers faced scorn and even assault. Victory was almost worth dying for, and a number of athletes did just that. The author explores what theevents were, the rules for competitors, training and diet, the pervasiveness of cheating and bribery, the prizes on offer, the exclusion of 'barbarians', and protocols on pederasty. He also peels back the mythology surrounding the games today and investigates where our current conception of theOlympics has come from.Contested always bitterly and often bloodily, the ancient Olympics were not an idealistic celebration of unity, but a clash of military powers in an arena not far removed from the battlefield
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 2004.
ISBN: 9780192804334
0192804332
Branch Call Number: 796.48 S761
Characteristics: xxi, 273 p. : ill., maps.

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