Games and Sanctuaries in Ancient Greece : Olympia, Delphi, Isthmia, Nemea, Athens Valavanis de Panos, John Boardman


In this book Panos Valavanis examines athletic competitions in ancient Greek culture, providing a look at the intricate relationship between athletic competition, religious worship, and communal identity.

The book is divided into sections focusing on different aspects of Greek games and sanctuaries combining archaeological evidence and literary sources. In a first part the author takes us back to the origins of Greek athletics, tracing the development of various games from their primitive beginnings to their more formalized versions in the classical period. He then explains the significance of the Panhellenic games (such as the Olympic, Pythian, Isthmian, and Nemean games) not just as mere sporting events but as pivotal cultural and religious festivals that united the Greek world: Valavanis explores how athletic competition served as a means of fostering unity and identity among the Greek city-states, despite their frequent conflicts. He also addresses the role of the games in the context of Greek diplomacy and international relations, highlighting their significance in the broader Mediterranean world.

Especially during the Olympic games, we are reminded of the ancient Greek contribution to sports, this book skillfully celebrates this legacy.

Available at the library

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