The End of Greek Athletics in Late Antiquity

The End of Greek Athletics in Late Antiquity

by Sofie Remijsen


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The End of Greek Athletics in Late Antiquity by Sofie Remijsen

This book presents the first comprehensive study of how and why athletic contests, a characteristic aspect of Greek culture for over a millennium, disappeared in late antiquity. In contrast to previous discussions, which focus on the ancient Olympics, the end of the most famous games is analyzed here in the context of the collapse of the entire international agonistic circuit, which encompassed several hundred contests. The first part of the book describes this collapse by means of a detailed analysis of the fourth- and fifth-century history of the athletic games in each region of the Mediterranean: Greece, Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, Italy, Gaul and northern Africa. The second half continues by explaining these developments, challenging traditional theories (especially the ban by the Christian emperor Theodosius I) and discussing in detail both the late antique socio-economic context and the late antique perceptions of athletics.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107644700
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 03/29/2018
Series: Greek Culture in the Roman World Series
Pages: 407
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x (d)

About the Author

Sofie Remijsen is a Junior Professor in the Department of History at Universit�t Mannheim, Germany.

Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. An Overview of Athletics in Late Antiquity: 1. Greece; 2. Asia Minor; 3. Syria; 4. Egypt; 5. Italy; 6. Gaul; 7. North Africa; Conclusions to Part I; Part II. Agones in a Changing World: 8. A religious ban?; 9. An imperial ban?; 10. The athletic professionals; 11. Athletics as elite activity; 12. The practical organization of agones; 13. The agon as spectacle; Conclusions to Part II.

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