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Thinking the Olympics


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements List of Contributors List of Illustrations Introduction: Game Plan - Barbara Goff 1. Pythagoras and the Origins of Olympic Ideology - Nigel Spivey 2. True Heroes and Dishonourable Victors at Olympia - David Gilman Romano 3. To Give Over One's Heart: Pindar, Bataille and the Poetics of Victory - Damian Stocking 4. Epideictic Oratory at the Olympic Games - Eleni Volonaki 5. Living in the Shadow of the Past: Greek Athletes during the Roman Empire - Stephen Brunet 6. Gilbert West and the English Contribution to the Revival of the Olympic Games - Hugh Lee 7. James Barry's Crowning the Victors at Olympia:Transmitting the Values of the Classical Olympic Games into the Modern Era - William Pressly 8. The Race for a Healthy Body: The Ancient Greek Physical Ideal in Victorian London - Debbie Challis 9. Nervi's Palazzo and Palazzetto dello Sport: Striking a Delicate Balance between Past and Present in 1960 Rome - Ann Keen 10. Trailing the Olympic Epic: Black Modernity and the Athenian Arena, 2004 - Michael Simpson 11. Pindar at the Olympics: The Limits of Revivalism - Armand D'Angour Afterword: London 2012 - Tessa Jowell Bibliography Index

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A fascinating exploration of the relation of the Modern Olympic Games to the Classical tradition, examining claims of continuity between ancient and modern.

Contributors: * Stephen Brunet, Associate Professor of Classics and Affiliate Faculty in Kinesiology at the University of New Hampshire. * Debbie Challis, Audience Development Officer at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology. * Armand D'Angour, Fellow and Tutor in Classics at Jesus College, Oxford. * Barbara Goff, Professor of Classics at the University of Reading. * Ann Keen is an architectural historian. * The Rt. Hon. Tessa Jowell MP is currently Shadow Minister for the Olympics. She was Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 2001-07, and Minister for the Olympics 2007-10. * Hugh M. Lee, Professor of Classics at the University of Maryland, College Park. * William L. Pressly, Professor in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at the University of Maryland. * Michael Simpson, Senior Lecturer in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London. * Nigel Spivey, Senior Lecturer in Classical Art and Archaeology in the Faculty of Classics, Cambridge University. * Damian Stocking, Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Occidental College, in Los Angeles, California. * Eleni Volonaki, Lecturer in Ancient Greek Literature in the School of Humanities, University of Peloponnese.

About the Author

Barbara Goff is Professor of Classics, University of Reading. Michael Simpson is Senior Lecturer in English Literature, Goldsmiths University of London.


[T]his book has much to offer all historians. Highlighting the value of sport as an alternative, indeed frequently revealing, prism through which to view past and present, Thinking the Olympics offers illuminating insights into changing perspectives over time regarding the classical tradition; the invention of tradition, and particularly the use of an idealized version of ancient Greece for both overt and covert present-day purposes at varying time periods for diverse audiences; and the problem that "so much is speculation" because of fragmentary and partial evidence. -- Peter J. Beck, Kingston University * The Historian *
Individual papers are in general of high quality and the book is well edited. Many classicists will no doubt be attracted by the chapters dealing with the ancient Olympics. But the most notable achievement of the volume lies perhaps in drawing attention to the complex and diverse impact of ancient Greek athletics on modern sport practices and ideas about sport. -- Zinon Papakonstantinou, University of Illinois at Chicago * The Classical Review *
The overall quality of this eclectic collection is very high, and both experts and non-experts will find much of interest. Better still, while focused and erudite, the essays are nevertheless generally accessible to non-insiders and will be valuable to instructors looking to diversify their course readings ... [A]welcome and useful contribution to a growing field. -- Jacques A. Bromberg * American Journal of Philology *

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