The Naked Olympics: The True Story of the Olympic Games

The Naked Olympics: The True Story of the Olympic Games

Paperback

By (author) Tony Perrottet

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  • Publisher: Random House Adult Trade Group
  • Format: Paperback | 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 125mm x 198mm x 18mm | 181g
  • Publication date: 1 August 2004
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 081296991X
  • ISBN 13: 9780812969917
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: 35 B&W PHOTOGRAPHS
  • Sales rank: 334,901

Product description

A history of the original Olympic games depicts the events of the first competitions more than 1,200 years ago, during which tens of thousands of sweltering-hot spectators watched nude athletes participate in such events as hoplitodromia, a full-armor sprint, and the pankration, a no-holds-barred lethal brawl. Original. 28,000 first printing.

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"A vivid evocation of the blood and guts, not to mention sheer guts, that marked the original Olympic Games more than two thousand years ago. Tony Perrottet tells the gripping story of a festival of physical attainment during which athletes risked and sometimes lost their lives. Today's champions have it easy." --Anthony Everitt, author of Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician "This is the book to read if you want to know what it felt like to be a spectator or a contestant at the ancient Olympic Games. Perrottet brings the scene to life in all its pageantry and squalor, with its beautiful bodies, rotting meat, flies, and broiling heat. Then, as now, the Games brought out the best and the worst of human potential, and blood, sweat, tears, sex, and money were all part of the Olympic experience, along with religion, bribery and politics. --Mary Lefkowitz, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Wellesley College and author of Greek Gods, Human Lives: What We Can Learn from Myths "This lively account of the classical Olympics portrays them as "the Woodstock of antiquity," and claims that the Games, while taken seriously, were also where Greeks gathered for a five-day debauch. A prostitute could earn a year's wages in the course of the tournament, Thessalonian peddlers sold love potions made from horse's sweat and minced lizard, and pentathletes competed to the accompaniment of flutes, perhaps the ancient equivalent of stadium rock. The festival offered beauty pageants and Homer-recitation contests, numerologists and fire-swallowers, and such culinary delicacies as roasted sow's womb. Athletic events also fuelled a thriving pickup scene: a message etched into the wall of a stadium at Nemea reads, "Look up Moschos in Philippi - he's cute." --"The New Yorker " "Erudite, colorful and frequently hilarious, Perrottet's The Naked Olympics is a marvelous resource for athletes, spectators, and scholars alike. I will never

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"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." --TheWashington Post