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Looks at some of the sports and games of the ancient world from seven different geographic regions as they are currently understood, and includes suggestions on how to adapt many of the games to modern use.
The conventional history of sport, as conveyed by television and the sports press, has thrown up a great many apparent turning points, but knowledge of these apparently defining moments is often slight. This book offers readable, in-depth studies of a series of these watersheds in sport history and of the circumstances in which they came about.
The second edition of Sport and Spectacle in the AncientWorld updates Donald G. Kyle’s award-winning introductionto this topic, covering the Ancient Near East up to the late RomanEmpire. • Challenges traditional scholarship on sport andspectacle in the Ancient World and debunks claims that there wereno sports before the ancient Greeks • Explores the cultural exchange of Greek sport and Romanspectacle and how each culture responded to the other’sentertainment • Features a new chapter on sport and spectacle during theLate Roman Empire, including Christian opposition to pagan gamesand the Roman response • Covers topics including violence, professionalism insport, class, gender and eroticism, and the relationship ofspectacle to political structures
The pentathlon, comprising competition in the discus, javelin, long jump, sprint, and wrestling, was hailed as the ultimate test of athletic versatility and remained a staple of the ancient Greek Olympic Games, Crown Games and Pan-Hellenic festivals for 1,200 years. Still, there is little scholarly consensus over many major aspects of the event. This detailed exploration of the ancient pentathlon discusses the nature of the spectacle, the method of determining a victor, the five sub-events and the order in which they occurred. It also chronicles the history of the event and its champions, the recognition of ancient pentathletes, and the pentathlon’s 18-year modern Olympic history and its influence on its contemporary counterpart, the decathlon. A record book and glossary complete this fresh look at one of the ancient world’s most renowned sporting competitions.
Sport has been practised in the Greco-Roman world at least since the second millennium BC. It was socially integrated and was practised in the context of ceremonial performances, physical education and established local and international competitions including, most famously, the Olympic Games. In recent years, the continuous re-assessment of old and new evidence in conjunction with the development of new methodological perspectives have created the need for a fresh examination of central aspects of ancient sport in a single volume. This book fills that gap in ancient sport scholarship. When did the ancient Olympics begin? How is sport depicted in the work of the fifth-century historian Herodotus? What was the association between sport and war in fifth- and fourth-century BC Athens? What were the social and political implications of the practice of Greek-style sport in third-century BC Ptolemaic Egypt? How were Roman gladiatorial shows perceived and transformed in the Greek-speaking east? And what were the conditions of sport participation by boys and girls in ancient Rome? These are some of the questions that this book, written by an international cast of distinguished scholars on ancient sport, attempts to answer. Covering a wide chronological and geographical scope (ancient Mediterranean from the early first millennium BC to fourth century AD), individual articles re-examine old and new evidence, and offer stimulating, original interpretations of key aspects of ancient sport in its political, military, cultural, social, ceremonial and ideological setting. This book was previously published as a special issue of the International Journal of the History of Sport.
Crowther offers a fascinating look at the role of sport as practiced in the ancient world. From the Prehistoric Age in Egypt, Sumeria, Mesopotamia, and Persia to the "historic period" in ancient Greece, Rome, and the Byzantine Empire, he not only probes the games themselves, but explores the ways in which athletics figured into cultural arenas that extended beyond physical prowess to military associations, rituals, status, and politics. Among the subjects covered are Cretan bull-leaping and Bronze-Age boxing, the ancient Olympic Games, gladiatorial contests, chariot racing, and the role of women in ancient sports.

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