The Ancient Olympics by Nigel Spivey

The Ancient Olympics

byNigel Spivey

Paperback | June 14, 2012

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The word 'athletics' is derived from the Greek verb 'to struggle for a prize'. After reading this book, no one will see the Olympics as a graceful display of Greek beauty again, but as war by other means.Nigel Spivey paints a portrait of the Greek Olympics as they really were - fierce contests between bitter rivals, in which victors won kudos and rewards, and losers faced scorn and even assault. Victory was almost worth dying for, and a number of athletes did just that. Many more resorted tocheating and bribery. Contested always bitterly and often bloodily, the ancient Olympics were not an idealistic celebration of unity, but a clash of military powers in an arena not far removed from the battlefield.

About The Author

Nigel Spivey is Senior Lecturer in Classical Art and Archaeology at the University of Cambridge, where he also is a Fellow of Emmanuel College. As an undergraduate he won honours at the Oxford-Cambridge athletics match, and set the university record for throwing the hammer. He went on to study at the British School at Rome and the Univ...
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Details & Specs

Title:The Ancient OlympicsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.03 inPublished:June 14, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199602697

ISBN - 13:9780199602698

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Foreword to the New EditionOverture1. `War Minus the Shooting'2. In Training for Beautiful Goodness3. The Programme of Agony4. Sweet Victory5. The Politics of Contest6. Olympia: The Origins7. Olympia: The AfterlifeEpilogueSources and Further ReadingIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Spivey is an ideal companion for this fine journey through Greece - past and present. We find out what Olympia represented in Antiquity and how the Olympics have become a part of the Western psyche." --Bettany Hughes, historian and presenter of The Spartan and Seven Ages of Britain