A Companion to Sport and Spectacle in Greek and Roman by Paul Christesen, Donald G. Kyle

By Paul Christesen, Donald G. Kyle

A spouse to activity and Spectacle in Greek and Roman Antiquity provides a chain of essays that practice a socio-historical point of view to myriad points of historic activity and spectacle.

  • Covers the Bronze Age to the Byzantine Empire
  • Includes contributions from quite a number foreign students with quite a few Classical antiquity specialties
  • Goes past the standard concentrations on Olympia and Rome to ascertain game in towns and territories through the Mediterranean basin
  • Features quite a few illustrations, maps, end-of-chapter references, inner cross-referencing, and a close index to extend accessibility and support researchers

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Additional resources for A Companion to Sport and Spectacle in Greek and Roman Antiquity

Sample text

Readers looking for introductions to Greek sport and Roman spectacle are encouraged to begin with essays in this volume by Donald G. Kyle (Chapter 1) and Roger Dunkle (Chapter 25) and the references cited therein. Greek names have been transliterated in such a way as to be as faithful as possible to original spellings while taking into account established usages for well-known people and places. It is, unfortunately, impossible to achieve complete consistency in transliterating the names of people, places, authors, and works without detaching oneself completely from earlier conventions or ruthlessly Latinizing all Greek names and words.

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 . . 147–8). Nigel Nicholson’s Chapter 4 concentrates on uses of sport in Greek literature.

The next essay, Paul Christesen’s exploration of sport in Sparta, begins Part II of Section I, which focuses on the practice of sport in particular places in the Greek world. Christesen reviews basic information about the practice of sport in Sparta during the Classical period (480–323 bce) and uses concepts and terminology taken from sociology to explore the relationship between sport and society in Sparta. He argues that sport fostered cohesive social relations among Sparta’s male citizens and in that way contributed meaningfully to maintaining the remarkable political stability that characterized Sparta for more than 400 years.

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