This is a readable, up-to-date, illustrated introduction to the history of sport and spectacle in the ancient world from the Ancient Near East through Greek and Hellenistic times and into the Roman Empire.
- Covers athletics, combat sports, chariot racing, beast fights and gladiators.
- Traces the precursors of Greek and Roman sports and spectacles in the Ancient Near East and the Bronze Age Aegean.
- Investigates the origins, nature and meaning of sport, covering issues of violence, professionalism, class, gender and eroticism.
- Challenges the notion that Greek sport and Roman spectacle were polar opposites.
- Approaches sport and spectacle as overlapping and compatible features of civilized states and empires.