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Games and Sanctuaries in Ancient Greece (English language edition)

Distributed by University of Exeter Press. Modelled on the physical exercises and competitions that existed in earlier Near Eastern cultures, hundreds of athletic games took place in Greek antiq-uity, extending across every area of the Mediterranean in which Greek culture flourished. Of these games, four attained the status of panhellen-ic games: the Olympic games, held at Olympia in honour of Zeus; the Pythian games at Delphi, at the festival of Apollo; the Isthmian games, at the sanctuary of Poseidon at Isthmia; and the Nemean games, celebrated in the sanctuary of Zeus at Nemea. The Panathenaic games, which took place at the festival of the Panathenaia in Athens in honour of Athena, were - at their peak - equal in brilliance to those held at the panhellenic festivals. In these five games the magnificent culture and ideology of Greek antiquity flourished, and the spectacle of the games gave rise to a sporting tradition that engages the world to this day. This book celebrates the athletes, the games, the sanctuaries, the cities and, above all, the inspiring spirit of the ancient Greeks over a span of a millennium and a half - from the earliest mentions of athletics in Homer's Iliad and other literary sources, through the Classical age, and into the Hellenistic, Roman and late antique periods.
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Table of Contents

Foreword Sir John Boardman Acknowledgments Publisher's Note Preface Introduction Athletics and Religion The Prehistory of Athletics Great Festivals and Games Î lympia The Site Olympia And the Olympic Games Zeus Î lympia Over the Centuries 3rd And 2nd Millennia BC Prehistoric Elis And Olympia 11th-8th C. BC The Establishment of the Sanctuary and the Early Period 8th C. BC The Foundation of The Olympic Games 7th-6th C. BC The Period of Great Development 5th C. BC The Glory of the Classical Period 4th C. BC The Late Classical Period 3rd-2nd C. BC The Hellenistic Period 1st C. BC-2nd C. AD The Roman Intervention 3rd-4th C. AD Olympia in Late Antiquity Delphi The Site Foundation Myths and Legends Apollo Delphi Over The Centuries 16th-11th C. BC The Prehistoric Settlement 10th-8th C. BC The Arrival of Apollo 7th-6th C. BC The Great Development of the Sanctuary and the Amphictyony 6th C. BC The Archaic Period 5th-4th C. BC Classical Period 3rd-2nd C. BC The Hellenistic Period 1st C. BC-4th C. AD Roman Times Î sthmia The Site Foundation Myths and Legends Poseidon Isthmia Over The Centuries 11th-6th C. BC Early History of The Sanctuary 5th-4th C. BC The Classical Period 3rd-2nd C. BC The Hellenistic Period 1st C. BC-3rd C. Ad Roman Times Î emea The Site Foundation Myths and Legends Nemea Over The Centuries 6th C. BC The Early History of the Sanctuary 5h C. BC The Classical Period 340/30-270/60 BC The Return of the Games to their Cradle Panathenaia Foundation Myths and Traditions Athena The Organisation and Conduct of the Festival The Panathenaic Procession Other Greek and Roman Games Local Games in Greece Games in the Hellenistic East The Games and the Roman Emperors Games in the East in Roman Times The Olympic Games of Antioch The End of the Ancient Games The Events, Rules and Great Champions Bibliography Illustration Credits Index

About the Author

Panos Valavanis is Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Athens, teaching and researching in the fields of classical vase painting, topography of ancient Athens, classical architecture, Greek athletics and ancient Greek technology.

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