Monday, July 19, 2010

Book Review: Sport in the Cultures of the Ancient World

Bryn Mawr Classical Review (Review by Reyes Bertolin)

Zinon Papakonstantinou (ed.), Sport in the Cultures of the Ancient World. New Perspectives. Sport in the Global Society. Routledge, 2009.

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The fifth essay, Sofie Remijsen's "Challenged by Egyptians: Greek Sports in the Third Century BC", deals with the efforts of the Ptolemies to spread sport as a means of strengthening their own image of power. For this they possessed four means: creating new kinds of games in Egypt, sponsoring Egyptian athletes to participate in the Greek games, entering themselves into equestrian events, and engaging the poets Callimachus and Posidippus to promote their success. At the beginning, only athletes who lived in or competed for a Greek city were counted as eligible to participate in the Greek games. The city most commonly given for these foreign athletes was Alexandria. Only in later Roman times do we find the names of native Egyptian towns given for the athletes.

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