Arete: Greek Sports from Ancient Sources
Stephen G. Miller
University of California Press, 1991 - Sports - 227 pages
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 clay dust as an anti-perspirant and on the buying and selling of victories, Vitruvius on literary competitions, Xenophon on female body building. With fully twice as many texts as the highly successful first edition, this new version of Arete offers readers an absorbing lesson in the culture of Greek athletics from the greatest of teachers—the ancients themselves.
These sources, which Miller himself has translated, provide unparalleled insights into ancient athletic practices and competitive festivals. They emphasize the fundamental role of athletics in education and shed light on such issues as the role of women in athletics and the politics and economics of the games. Ultimately they demonstrate that the concepts of virtue, skill, pride, valor, and nobility embedded in the word arete and so closely associated in the modern mind with Greek athletics are only part of the story from antiquity.
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"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 ... Read full review
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