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The End of Greek Athletics in Late Antiquity

£75.99

Part of Greek Culture in the Roman World

  • Date Published: May 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107050785

£ 75.99
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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • 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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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107050785
    • length: 408 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.71kg
    • contains: 9 b/w illus. 6 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    Part I. An Overview of Athletics in Late Antiquity:
    1. Greece
    2. Asia Minor
    3. Syria
    4. Egypt
    5. Italy
    6. Gaul
    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.

  • Author

    Sofie Remijsen, Universität Mannheim, Germany
    Sofie Remijsen is a Junior Professor in the Department of History at Universität Mannheim, Germany.

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