The End of Greek Athletics in Late Antiquity
Part of Greek Culture in the Roman World
- Author: Sofie Remijsen, Universität Mannheim, Germany
This book presents the first comprehensive study of how and why athletic contests, a characteristic aspect of Greek culture for over a millennium, disappeared in late antiquity. In contrast to previous discussions, which focus on the ancient Olympics, the end of the most famous games is analyzed here in the context of the collapse of the entire international agonistic circuit, which encompassed several hundred contests. The first part of the book describes this collapse by means of a detailed analysis of the fourth- and fifth-century history of the athletic games in each region of the Mediterranean: Greece, Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, Italy, Gaul and northern Africa. The second half continues by explaining these developments, challenging traditional theories (especially the ban by the Christian emperor Theodosius I) and discussing in detail both the late antique socio-economic context and the late antique perceptions of athletics.Read more
- The first comprehensive overview of the evidence for athletic contests in late antiquity
- Challenges the traditional idea of an imperial ban on games and of complete Christian intolerance
- Sets the decline of Greek athletics within the context of economic change and the rise of new ideals
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- Date Published: August 2015
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9781316309179
- contains: 9 b/w illus. 6 maps
- availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
Table of Contents
Part I. An Overview of Athletics in Late Antiquity:
2. Asia Minor
7. North Africa
Conclusions to Part I
Part II. Agones in a Changing World:
8. A religious ban?
9. An imperial ban?
10. The athletic professionals
11. Athletics as elite activity
12. The practical organization of agones
13. The agon as spectacle
Conclusions to Part II.
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