Sport in Ancient Times

Etukansi
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007 - 183 sivua

Crowther offers a fascinating look at the role of sport as practiced in several important civilizations in the ancient world. He not only probes the games themselves, but explores the ways in which athletics figured into cultural arenas that extended beyond physical prowess to military associations, rituals, status, and politics. Sport in Ancient Times has four distinct parts: the Prehistoric Age, historic Greece, ancient Italy, and the Byzantine Empire. Beginning with the earliest civilizations, Crowther examines the military and recreational aspects of sports in prehistoric Egypt, with brief references to other river-valley cultures in Sumeria, Mesopotamia, and Persia. He looks at the rituals of Cretan bull-leaping and boxing in the Bronze Age, the high status of sports in Mycenaean Greece, and the funeral games in the Trojan War as described by the epic poet Homer.

In what he terms the historic period, Crowther examines the significance of the ancient Olympic Games, the events of Greek athletics, and the attitude of other civilizations (notably Rome) towards them. He attempts to discover to what extent the Romans believed in the famous ideal of Juvenal, a sound mind in a sound body, and discusses the significance of the famous Baths not only for sport, but also for culture and society. He likewise explores the Roman emphasis on spectator sports and the use of gladiatorial contests and chariot racing for political purposes (the concept of bread and games). The section on the Byzantine Empire focuses, notably, on chariot racing and the riots at sporting contests--riots reminiscent of crowd violence in modern sports such as soccer.

Crowther closes with perspectives that bring to life some of the issues revealed in previous chapters. These include a comparison of the social status and significance of a famous Olympic athlete (Milo), a Roman gladiator (Hermes), and a Byzantine chariot racer (Porphyrius). He also addresses the changing role of women in sports in antiquity. Women were prominent in sport in Egypt, for example, but almost entirely absent from the ancient Olympic Games. The final chapter discusses team sports and ball games. Although these were comparatively rare in the ancient world, one may see in those that did exist the forerunners of modern football and hockey.

 

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Sisältö

China Japan and Korea
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Figure 11 Chinese swimming Wall painting from Xinjiang provinceabout 500 CE Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz
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Figure 12 Terracotta statuette of a polo player from the Tang dynastyMusée Cernuschi Paris
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Figure 13 Terracotta statuette of a female polo player from the eighthcentury CE Musée des Arts AsiatiquesGuimet Paris
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2 The Middle East Excluding Egypt
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Figure 21 Early terracotta fragment containing part of the text of the Epic of Gilgamesh Israel Museum IDAM Jerusalem Israel
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Figure 22 Wrestlers take hold of each others belts Copper statuettewith offering stand above Iraq Museum Baghdad
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3 Egypt at the Time of the Pharaohs
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Figure 91 Model of the Ushaped stadium of Domitian Museo della Civiltà Romana Rome
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10 Roman Recreations and Physical Fitness
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Figure 101 Ganymede playing with a hoop Attic redfigure bell craterlate fifth century BCE Louvre Paris
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The Baths andCampus Martius
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Figure 111 Aerial view of the Baths of Caracalla Rome Italy
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Figure 112 An ancient Roman bath in Bath England
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12 Roman Gladiators
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Figure 121 Roman mosaic of a retiarius Galleria Borghese Rome
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Figure 31 Tutankhamon hunting in the desert with chariot and bowDetail from the lid of a chest Egyptian Museum Cairo
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Figure 32 Part of a sequence of wrestling scenes from Beni Hasan2000 BCE Beni Hasan Egypt
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Figure 33 Gaming board of Senet with pieces from Saqqara Egyptian Museum Cairo
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4 Minoan Civilization
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Figure 41 Bull leaping Minoan fresco 1500 BCE Archaeological Museum Heraklion Crete
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Figure 42 The Boxer Vase from Hagia Triada Crete
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Figure 43 The Boy Boxer fresco from Thera National Archaeological Museum Athens
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5 Mycenae and Homer
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Figure 51 Portrait bust of Homer Musei Capitolini Rome
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6 The Ancient Olympic Games
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Figure 61 Later stadium at Olympia looking toward the Altis
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7 Ancient Greek Athletics
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Figure 71 Relief from the base of a kouros National Archaeological Museum Athens
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Figure 72 A vase painting by Epicterus fifth century BCE Louvre Paris
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Figure 73 Roman copy of Myrons Discobolus Museo Nazionale RomanoTerme di Diocleziano Rome
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Figure 74 Seated Boxer Museo Nazionale Romano Terme di Diocleziano Rome
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Figure 75 Fourhorse chariot race with horses abreast Blackfiguredamphora with white glaze sixth century BCE Louvre Paris
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8 The Etruscans in Ancient Italy
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Figure 81 Runners wearing shorts in the Tomb of the OlympiadsTarquinia Italy sixth century BCE
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Figure 82 Wrestlers in the Tomb of the Augurs Tarquinia Italy sixthcentury BCE
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9 Roman Games and Greek Athletics
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Figure 122 Aerial shot of the Colosseum in the center of Rome
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13 Roman Chariot Racing
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Figure 131 Model of the Circus Maximus in Rome Museo della Civiltà Romana Rome
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Figure 132 Terracotta relief first to third century CE of the quadrigaLouvre Paris
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14 The Byzantine Empire
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Figure 141 The obelisk in the hippodrome in Istanbul
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15 Three Sporting Heroes of the Ancient World
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Atalanta and the Gladiator Girl
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Figure 161 Atalanta and Peleus wrestling Attic blackfigure amphorafrom Nola Antikensammlung Staatliche Museen zu BerlinBerlin
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Figure 162 Part of the Bikini Mosaic depicting here a jumper discusthrower and runner Villa del Casale Piazza Armerina Sicily
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Figure 163 Marble relief of female gladiators from Halicarnassus TurkeyBritish Museum London
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17 GrecoRoman Ball Games and Team Sports
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Figure 171 The Hockey Relief National Archaeological MuseumAthens
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Figure 172 Game of episkyros? A late sixthcentury BCE relief National Archaeological Museum Athens
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18 Mesoamerican Ball Games
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Figure 181 Ishaped ball court at Chichén Itzá Mexico Chichén ItzáYucatán Mexico
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Figure 182 Vertical ring in the ball court at Uxmal Yucatán MexicoMaya period ninth to tenth century CE
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Figure 183 Hohokam ball court Wupatki northern Arizona twelfthcentury CE Cline Library
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Further Readings
169
Index
177
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Nigel B. Crowther is Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Western Ontario.

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