Ancient Greek Athletics

Front Cover
Yale University Press, 2004 - Sports & Recreation - 288 pages
A comprehensive survey of sports in ancient Greece, available just in time for the Summer Olympics in Athens

The earliest Olympic games began more than twenty-five-hundred years ago. What were they like, how were they organized, who participated? Were ancient sports a means of preparing youth for warfare? In this lavishly illustrated book, a world expert on ancient Greek athletics provides the first comprehensive introduction to the subject, vividly describing ancient sporting events and games and exploring their impact on art, literature, and politics.

Using a wide array of ancient sources, written and visual, and including recent archaeological discoveries, Stephen Miller reconstructs ancient Greek athletic festivals and the details of specific athletic events. He also explores broader themes, including the role of women in ancient athletics, the place of amateurism, and the relationship between athletic events and social and political life.

Published in the year the modern Olympic Games return to Athens, this book will be a source of information and enjoyment for anyone interested in the history of athletics and the origins of the world's most famous sporting event.

What people are saying - Write a review

Ancient Greek athletics

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

As pointed out by Miller (classical archaeology, Berkeley; director, excavations, ancient Nemea, Greece), "Plato spends long discussions on the place of athletics in education and society, yet modern ... Read full review


The World of Greek Athletics
The Events
The Sites of the Crown Competitions
The Olympic Games 3oo B C
The Money Games at Epidauros Athens
Women and Athletics
Sport and Recreation
Athletics as Entertainment in
Politics and the Games

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2004)

Stephen G. Miller, professor of classical archaeology at the University of California, Berkeley, directs the excavations at Nemea in Greece, one of the major sites of ancient games. He is the author of many books, including Arete: Greek Sports from Ancient Sources.

Bibliographic information