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.
In the northwestern corner of the great peninsula of the Peloponnese, close to the meeting point of the Cladeus and Alpheus rivers, lies a peaceful river valley overlooked by the steep-sided Hill of Cronus. Here, between the eighth century BCE and the fourth century CE, rival athletes competed for glory in the ancient Olympic Games. Every four years, and from every corner of the Mediterranean world – from Samos to Syracuse and from Sparta to Smyrna – they descended on this quiet corner of southern Greece sacred to Zeus, seeking to excel in disciplines as diverse as sprinting, boxing, wrestling, trumpet blowing and chariot and mulecart racing. The victors of these ancient games may have been awarded crowns of olive leaves in recognition of their achievements, but these original Olympics were no idealistic celebration of the classical aesthetic of grace and beauty shared by all of the participating Greek city-states, but often a bitterly contested struggle between political rivals. Robin Waterfield paints a vivid picture of the reality of the ancient Olympic Games; describes the events in which competitors took part; explores their purpose, rituals and politics; and charts the vicissitudes of their remarkable thousand-year history.
Travel back in time to Ancient Greece to discover the origins of the Olympic Games. Bright, bold and dynamic artwork bring to life the origins of the Olympic Games. Find out about the legend behind the games, the original events and the excitement that filled Olympia during the Olympic Festival. See how the competitors used to train and learn about each of the original events that took place, including chariot racing, wrestling, the discuss, javelin and boxing. Get the Olympic buzz from all the excitement of the hippodrome, Olympic ceremonies and celebrations, and learn about the importance of the Heraia - the competition for women organised by women. This book provides a brilliant and striking introduction to the Ancient Olympics for children aged 7+.
Between 776 BC and AD 395, the ancient Olympic Games were held every four years. Tracing the mythological and religious origins of the games, this history shows a detailed model of the sports complex and covers the sponsorship and training of the athletes.
What was it like to attend the ancient Olympic Games? With the summer Olympics’ return to Athens, Tony Perrottet delves into the ancient world and lets the Greek Games begin again. The acclaimed author of Pagan Holiday brings attitude, erudition, and humor to the fascinating story of the original Olympic festival, tracking the event day by day to re-create the experience in all its compelling spectacle. Using firsthand reports and little-known sources—including an actual Handbook for a Sports Coach used by the Greeks—The Naked Olympics creates a vivid picture of an extravaganza performed before as many as forty thousand people, featuring contests as timeless as the javelin throw and as exotic as the chariot race. Peeling away the layers of myth, Perrottet lays bare the ancient sporting experience—including the round-the-clock bacchanal inside the tents of the Olympic Village, the all-male nude workouts under the statue of Eros, and history’s first corruption scandals involving athletes. Featuring sometimes scandalous cameos by sports enthusiasts Plato, Socrates, and Herodotus, The Naked Olympics offers essential insight into today’s Games and an unforgettable guide to the world’s first and most influential athletic festival. "Just in time for the modern Olympic games to return to Greece this summer for the first time in more than a century, Tony Perrottet offers up a diverting primer on the Olympics of the ancient kind….Well researched; his sources are as solid as sources come. It's also well writen….Perhaps no book of the season will show us so briefly and entertainingly just how complete is our inheritance from the Greeks, vulgarity and all." --The Washington Post From the Trade Paperback edition.