How is sport in contemporary society related to sport in earlier civilizations? Why is the expenditure of energy involved in sport considered exhilarating, while the equivalent expenditure of energy in other contexts can be dispiriting? David Sansone offers answers to these questions and advances a revolutionary thesis to account for the widespread phenomenon of sport. Drawing upon ethnological findings to demonstrate the ritual character of sport, he explores the relationship between ancient Greek sport and sacrificial ritual and traces elements common to both back to primitive origins.
This book examines the relationship between athletics and philosophy in ancient Greece and Rome focused on the connection between athleticism and virtue. It begins by observing that the link between athleticism and virtue is older than sport, reaching back to the athletic feats of kings and pharaohs in early Egypt and Mesopotamia. It then traces the role of athletics and the Olympic Games in transforming the idea of aristocracy as something acquired by birth to something that can be trained. This idea of training virtue through the techniques and practice of athletics is examined in relation to Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Then Roman spectacles such as chariot racing and gladiator games are studied in light of the philosophy of Lucretius, Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius. The concluding chapter connects the book’s ancient observations with contemporary issues such as the use of athletes as role models, the relationship between money and corruption, the relative worth of participation and spectatorship, and the role of females in sport. The author argues that there is a strong link between sport and philosophy in the ancient world, calling them offspring of common parents: concern about virtue and the spirit of free enquiry. This book was previously published as a special issue of the Ethics and Sport.
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 field of sports history is no longer a fledgling area of study. There is a great vitality in the field and it has matured dramatically over the past decade. Reflecting changes to traditional approaches, sport historians need now to engage with contemporary debates about history, to be encouraged to position themselves and their methodologies in relation to current epistemological issues, and to promote the importance of reflecting on the literary or poetic dimensions of producing history. These contemporary developments, along with a wealth of international research from a range of theoretical perspectives, provide the backdrop to the new Routledge Companion to Sports History. This book provides a comprehensive guide to the international field of sports history as it has developed as an academic area of study. Readers are guided through the development of the field across a range of thematic and geographical contexts and are introduced to the latest cutting edge approaches within the field. Including contributions from many of the world’s leading sports historians, the Routledge Companion to Sports History is the most important single volume for researchers and students in, and entering, the sports history field. It is an essential guide to contemporary research themes, to new ways of doing sports history, and to the theoretical and methodological foundations of this most fascinating of subjects.
In the ancient Greco-Roman world, it was common practice to curse or bind an enemy or rival by writing an incantation on a tablet and dedicating it to a god or spirit. These curses or binding spells, commonly called defixiones were intended to bring other people under the power and control of those who commissioned them. More than a thousand such texts, written between the 5th Century B.C.E. and the 5th Century C.E., have been discovered from North Africa to England, and from Syria to Spain. Extending into every aspect of ancient life--athletic and theatrical competitions, judicial proceedings, love affairs, business rivalries, and the recovery of stolen property--they shed light on a new dimension of classical study previously inaccessible. Here, for the first time, these texts have been translated into English with a substantial translator's introduction revealing the cultural, social, and historical context for the texts. This book will interest historians, classicists, scholars of religion, and those concerned with ancient magic.
The Olympic Games have had two lives—the first lasted for a millennium with celebrations every four years at Olympia to honour the god Zeus. The second has blossomed over the past century, from a simple start in Athens in 1896 to a dazzling return to Greece in 2004. Onward to the Olympics provides both an overview and an array of insights into aspects of the Games’ history. Leading North American archaeologists and historians of sport explore the origins of the Games, compare the ancient and the modern, discuss the organization and financing of such massive athletic festivals, and examine the participation ,or the troubling lack of it, by women. Onward to the Olympics bridges the historical divide between the ancient and the modern and concludes with a thought-provoking final essay that attempts to predict the future of the Olympics over the twenty-first century.
What was once a lifestyle for a small number of gay men in big cities has become a way of life for many, and the gay gym is now a culture on its own. Muscle Boys: Gay Gym Culture explores the evolution and current structure of this gay subculture that surfaced in San Francisco, West Hollywood, and New York during the 1970s. Covering ancient Greek gymnasium culture, modern bodybuilding practices, and homoerotic muscle-bound media, Muscles Boys examines the origins of the male athletic ideal. A sociological investigation on masculinity, fitness, HIV, steroids, and sex in the locker room, Muscle Boys dissects the gay gym experience, and celebrates gay body culture and its role in modern gay life. Author Erick Alvarez offers a candid study of the gay gym from his perspective as a physical trainer in the San Francisco Bay area, and from his interviews and online surveys of nearly 6,000 gay men. Muscle Boys: Gay Gym Culture is an enlightening read for anyone interested in gay body culture, and a valuable resource for academics working in GLBT studies, human sexuality, psychology, or athletics.
For over one thousand years between 776 B.C. and A.D. 395, princes, statesmen, and famous athletes gathered every four years at Olympia in western Greece to compete for the olive crowns of the ancient Olympic Games. Judith Swaddling traces the mythological and religious origins of the games and describes the events, religious ceremony, and celebrations that were an essential part of the Olympic festival. The book also features a large, detailed model of the site of ancient Olympia, where, alongside religious and civic buildings, there grew an elaborate sports complex with a stadium for 40,000 spectators, indoor and outdoor training facilities, hot and cold baths, a swimming pool, and a race course. For this revised edition, three new chapters have been added, covering the diet and medical treatment of athletes; sponsorship, patronage, and propaganda; and revivals of the games. Superbly illustrated with vases, sculpture, and other works of ancient art, and with new views of the site, the new edition of this indispensable account of Ancient Olympia and the games now includes color reproduction for over half the illustrations, as well as many additional pictures.
With every positive drugs test the credibility and veracity of modern elite sport is diminished. In this radical and provocative critique of current anti-doping policy and practice, Verner Møller argues that the fight against doping – promoted as an initiative to cleanse sport of cheats – is at heart nothing less than a battle to save sport from itself, located on the fault-line between the will to purity and the will to win. Drawing on extensive and detailed case studies of doping in sport, and using a highly original blend of conceptual ideas from philosophy and sociology, Møller strongly criticises current anti-doping regimes and challenges our commonly held ideas about the nature of sport and the risks posed by drugs to health and fair play. He argues forcefully that we must understand the precarious position of the athlete and that only by containing coaches, doctors and drug companies within the anti-doping regime can we hope to ever make progress on this most important issue. Written in a lively and engaging style, and skilfully blending empirical case studies with cutting edge theory, this book represents an important statement on the nature of sport, morality and modernity. It is important reading for all serious students and scholars of the ethics, sociology and politics of sport.
This book provides a concise and comprehensive review of major developments in sport and physical activity during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as viewed from an international perspective. Some of the world's leading experts in sports history identify and analyze the major global issues and concerns confronting sport and physical education today. Unlike books that try to cover the entire history of sport from early societies to the present, this book focuses on the specific events, developments and programs that have shaped sport as we know it today. For anyone interested in the history of sport.