Arete: Greek Sports from Ancient Sources, Third Edition, With a New Foreword by Paul Christesen / Edition 3

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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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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
``Arete'' was a word used by ancient Greeks to convey the sense of skill, excellence, and honor in their sports. This collection explores arete in 192 readings drawn from ancient texts translated, edited, and annotated by Miller (classical archaeology, Univ. of California). Thematically arranged, it spans eight centuries, beginning c.750 B.C., and describes athletes, individual sports, equipment, festivals, amateurism, nationalism, and the involvement of politics, society, women, and the arts. This new edition has twice the selections of the first (Univ. of Chicago Pr., 1979), benefiting from recently discovered texts and from Miller's expanded scholarship. However, it does not have the breadth, in text as well as illustrations, of Waldo E. Sweet's Sport and Recreation in Ancient Greece (Oxford Univ. Pr., 1987). An index provides access to subjects, writers, and definitions of words. For large sports collections that do not have Sweet's treatment.-- Donald W. Max well, Stone Hills Lib. Network, Bloomington, Ind.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520274334
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2012
  • Edition description: Fourth Edition, With a New Foreword by Paul Christesen
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 596,783
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

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Table of Contents



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
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

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2013


    He r in and clawed at a tree

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