Eros and Greek Athletics

Eros and Greek Athletics

5.0 1
by Thomas F. Scanlon
     
 

ISBN-10: 0195149858

ISBN-13: 9780195149852

Pub. Date: 02/28/2002

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA


Ancient Greek athletics offer us a clear window on many important aspects of ancient culture, some of which have distinct parallels with modern sports and their place in our society. Ancient athletics were closely connected with religion, the formation of young men and women in their gender roles, and the construction of sexuality. Eros was, from one perspective,…  See more details below

Overview


Ancient Greek athletics offer us a clear window on many important aspects of ancient culture, some of which have distinct parallels with modern sports and their place in our society. Ancient athletics were closely connected with religion, the formation of young men and women in their gender roles, and the construction of sexuality. Eros was, from one perspective, a major god of the gymnasium where homoerotic liaisons reinforced the traditional hierarchies of Greek culture. But Eros in the athletic sphere was also a symbol of life-affirming friendship and even of political freedom in the face of tyranny. Greek athletic culture was not so much a field of dreams as a field of desire, where fervent competition for honor was balanced by cooperation for common social goals.

Eros and Greek Athletics is the first in-depth study of Greek body culture as manifest in its athletics, sexuality, and gender formation. In this comprehensive overview, Thomas F. Scanlon explores when and how athletics was linked with religion, upbringing, gender, sexuality, and social values in an evolution from Homer until the Roman period. Scanlon shows that males and females made different uses of the same contests, that pederasty and athletic nudity were fostered by an athletic revolution beginning in the late seventh century B.C., and that public athletic festivals may be seen as quasi-dramatic performances of the human tension between desire and death. Accessibly written and full of insights that will challenge long-held assumptions about ancient sport, Eros and Greek Athletics will appeal to readers interested in ancient and modern sports, religion, sexuality, and gender studies.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195149852
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
02/28/2002
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
468
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction - Reconstructing Ancient Sport3
1Greek Athletics and Religion25
2The Ecumenical Olympics - The Games in the Roman Era40
3Athletics, Initiation, and Pederasty64
4Racing for Hera - A Girls' Contest at Olympia98
5"Only We Produce Men" - Spartan Female Athletics and Eugenics121
6Race or Chase of "the Bears" at Brauron?139
7Atalanta and Athletic Myths of Gender175
8Eros and Greek Athletics199
9Drama, Desire, and Death in Athletic Performance274
10Conclusions - The Nexus of Athletics, Religion, Gender, and Eros323
Abbreviations335
Notes337
Select Bibliography435
Index449

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