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 analysed 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.
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The demise of the ancient Olympics has commonly been blamed on a ban imposed by the Christian emperor Theodosius I. Dr Remijsen challenges this conventional view, and traces instead the collapse of the entire professional circuit of Greek athletics under the pressure of changing institutions and perceptions in late antiquity.About the Author:
Sofie Remijsen is a Junior Professor in the Department of History at the University of Mannheim.
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Buchbeschreibung Cambridge University Press Mai 2015, 2015. Buch. Buchzustand: Neu. Neuware - A comprehensive study of how and why athletic contests, a characteristic feature of ancient Greek culture, disappeared in late antiquity. 408 pp. Englisch. Artikel-Nr. 9781107050785