A companion to sport and spectacle in Greek and Roman by Paul Christesen, Donald G. Kyle

By Paul Christesen, Donald G. Kyle

A better half to activity and Spectacle in Greek and Roman Antiquity provides a sequence of essays that observe a socio-historical point of view to myriad elements of historic recreation and spectacle.
Covers the Bronze Age to the Byzantine Empire
Includes contributions from a number of foreign students with numerous Classical antiquity specialties
Goes past the standard concentrations on Olympia and Rome to ascertain game in towns and territories in the course of the Mediterranean basin
Features a number of illustrations, maps, end-of-chapter references, inner cross-referencing, and a close index to extend accessibility and support researchers

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J. Perry’s Chapter 3 examines the earliest literary sources for Greek sport, Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, as well as relevant visual and epigraphic evidence from the General Introduction 7 eighth century bce. The central part of his essay consists of a detailed analysis of the funeral games for Patroklos in Book 23 of the Iliad and of the games held in Phaiakia in Book 8 of the Odyssey. Perry explores the ways that the poet’s thematic concerns affect the presentation of sport in the Homeric poems and provides, among other things, a nuanced and stimulating reading of the famous remark by Laodamas that “there is no greater glory for a man .

Lee’s Chapter 36 on Greek sports at Rome shows that, contrary to traditional opinion, Romans did not long resist Greek sport. Triumphant generals introduced demonstrations of Greek athletics, and emperors followed Caesar’s and Augustus’s example in fostering Greek games. Nero and Domitian founded festivals and built facilities, Greek exercises were practiced in the baths, and Rome came to house the headquarters of the great athletic guilds. Part III of Section II, which begins with Hazel Dodge’s Chapter 37, moves to a thematic approach to Roman spectacle and sport.

The truce helped make it possible for athletes and spectators from Greek communities throughout the Mediterranean basin to converge on Olympia and, despite local differences of dialect and laws, take part in an experience grounded in a shared religious piety and enthusiasm for sport. The Olympics were thus “Panhellenic,” which should be understood as meaning that they were open to all free 24 Donald G. 1 Sites of the periodos games. Greek males and attracted visitors from a geographically diverse array of Greek communities.

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