Arete: Greek Sports from Ancient Sources

Arete: Greek Sports from Ancient Sources


By (author) Stephen G. Miller, Foreword by Paul Christesen

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  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Format: Paperback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 226mm x 15mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 1 September 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Berkerley
  • ISBN 10: 0520274334
  • ISBN 13: 9780520274334
  • Edition: 4, Revised
  • Edition statement: 4th Revised edition
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 1,177,589

Product description

From the informal games of Homer's time to the highly organized contests of the Roman world, Miller has compiled a trove of ancient sources: Plutarch on boxing, Aristotle on the pentathlon, Philostratos on the buying and selling of victories, Vitruvius on literary competitions, and Xenophon on female body building. Arete offers readers an absorbing lesson in the culture of Greek athletics from the greatest of teachers, the ancients themselves, and demonstrates that the concepts of virtue, skill, pride, valor, and nobility embedded in the word arete are only part of the story from antiquity. This bestselling volume on the culture of Greek athletics is updated with a new preface by leading scholar Paul Christesen that discusses the book's continued importance for students of ancient athletics.

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Author information

Stephen G. Miller is Professor of Classical Archaeology Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. Paul Christesen is Associate Professor of Classics at Dartmouth College.

Review quote

"Unquestionably the best available sourcebook on the nature of athletics and its role in Greek society from Homeric through Roman Imperial times."¿Jeremy Rutter, Classical World

Table of contents

Abbreviations Foreword Introduction I. The Earliest Days of Greek Athletics II. Nudity and Equipment III. The Events at a Competition a. Running b. Wrestling c. Boxing d. Pankration e. Pentathlon f. Equestrian g. Herald and Trumpeter h. Music i. Poetry and Prose Composition j. Acting k. Painting IV. Organization of a Panhellenic Festival a. Preparations at the Site b. Preparations of the Athletes c. The Truce d. Preliminaries: Registration and Certification e. Schedule, Heats, and Pairings f. Prohibitions and Penalties g. Officials h. Rewards for Victory V. Local Festivals a. The Panathenaic Games of Athens b. The Eleutheria of Larissa in Thessaly c. The Bomonikai of Sparta VI. The Role of the Games in Society VII. Women in Athletics VIII. Athletes and Heroes IX. Ball playing X. Gymnasion, Athletics, and Education XI. The Spread of Greek Athletics in the Hellenistic Period XII. Greek Athletics in the Roman Period XIII. Amateurism and Professionalism XIV. Nationalism and Internationalism a. Relations between the Panhellenic Sanctuaries b. Relations between City-States and the Panhellenic Sanctuaries c. Relations between City-States at the Panhellenic Sanctuaries XV. Beauty and Reality Appendix: The Olympian and Pythian Programs Select Bibliography Index and Glossary Sources for the Chapter-Opening Sketches