Countries will swap roles in different events and at different points, and come to see that the range of human emotions are something common—even the bitterness and jealousies. By competing, athletes were attempting to become closer to the gods.
Not least is the use of the term "games" - as in "playing the game", "it's only a game", "a game for gentlemen": Competition at Olympia was in part a means to gain attributes of the heroic ideal as set out by Homer. It was not for nothing that the leading intellectuals of the Greek world used to make speeches at Olympia about the possibilities of "united thinking", or homonoia.
Hercules-like, Nigel Spivey sets about clearing all the mountainous cowpats from the ancient Olympics, and sets out to tell it straight, like it was, in all its strangeness. The story was that Augeas never used to clean out the stinking, insalubrious dungyards of his huge cattle herds; eventually Hercules turned up and diverted the local river to wash out the accumula tions of slurry.
In some cases people died. Spivey makes much of one year BC when it broke down in disastrous military violence, which spread to the sanc tuary itself; but the fact remains that there was a period of universal peace, however brief, throughout the much-conflicted Greek world for nearly every one of the more than Olympic festivals that were held before the Romans came and for even more under the Roman empire.
Art, Pain, and Fortitude. Anyone who has played even in a school football match knows this. Spivey is also pretty scathing about the "Olympic truce". Games are taken seriously in London and New York, and they were taken seriously in Rome and Byzantium: Some cried from disappointment, others from happiness, others from injury.
It was, along with Delphi, the prime destination of Greek theoriausually translated as "pilgrimage", but meaning something more like a journey of festival experience and ancestor of "theory".
Early competition in the Olympic Games also held associations with the heroic ideal. Photograph courtesy of the Tampa Museum of Art Excavators have uncovered evidence of altars in and around the sanctuary of Zeus in the form of ashy deposits, which could be attributed to the seventh and eighth centuries, along with a number of votive offerings.
The organisers banned them from the events unless they paid a large fine, even though they were by far the most powerful and aggressive state in the whole of the Peloponnese. And it will take international human endeavour and cultural imagination - homonoia - to do anything towards clearing out the festering piles of hatred, aggression and vengefulness from the world that is celebrating the Athens Olympics.
Spivey asserts that in Greek Myth all the events that appeared at the Olympic Games during the eighth and seventh centuries BC were first participated in by gods or heroes. On the village green, where you pick up sides and no feeling of local patriotism is involved, it is possible to play simply for the fun and exercise: The Greeks did not simply want to compete with one another for the fun of it or merely because they could.
It can be all too easy to convince ourselves of a nice-sounding narrative, as we have done about the Olympics and international sport, when even brief thought and reflection could bring us closer to the reality.
While he was at it, he inaugurated the Olympic Festival, at least according to one of several founding myths. Nigel Spivey paints a portrait of the Greek Olympics as they really were - fierce contests between bitter rivals, in which victors won kudos and rewards, and losers faced scorn and even assault.
Eusebius asserts that Iphitus consulted the Delphic oracle and introduced the Olympic festival in response to the concern for wars, and he proclaimed a truce for those involved in the Olympic Games. The process was begun in a big way by the founder, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, bullshitter extraordinaire.
In a single Olympics almost all countries will at points feel uplifted and proud, and then disappointed and embarrassed. Nigel Spivey paints a portrait of the Greek Olympics as they really were--fierce contests between bitter rivals, in which victors won kudos and rewards, and losers faced scorn and even assault.
Which means, of course, that for a month or so countries will forget their rivalries, jealousies and bitterness and come together to compete in a friendly way to advance world peace and everlasting human health and happiness.
Every person wanted to bear pain, but win while doing so. They saw good civilians as being strong physically which will help that same person to be morally well rounded. In a single Olympics almost all countries will at points feel uplifted and proud, and then disappointed and embarrassed.
The Iliad and the Odyssey illustrate the shame culture in Ancient Greece and the Homeric values of honour and fame. The more bitter truth is memorably and movingly captured in Seamus Heaney's sonnet "The Augean Stables".
Sometimes, perhaps, his lip tends to curl into "the sneer of cold command" command of the subject, that is. Contested always bitterly and often bloodily, the ancient Olympics were not an idealistic celebration of unity, but a clash of military powers in an arena not far removed from the battlefield.
And it will take international human endeavour and cultural imagination - homonoia - to do anything towards clearing out the festering piles of hatred, aggression and vengefulness from the world that is celebrating the Athens Olympics.
Spathari explains that the competition and training was essentially an attempt to attain and evolve physical, intellectual and spiritual powers.
The furious Spartans refused to pay, but they did accede to the ban. Heroic poetry had a very significant role in competition in Ancient Greece and in particular at the Olympic Games. Spivey does an excellent job in covering the everyday routine of an ancient Greek civilian.
The last six lines need to be quoted in full: The competition was a predicted summary of the skills a Greek soldier ought to know while in a real war. The Olympics, International Sport, and Orwell on the Sporting Spirit “Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words it is war minus the shooting.”.
Jan 28, · War Minus the Shooting: Ideals behind the Ancient Olympic Games. Posted on January 28, Updated on February 17, ‘War Minus the Shooting’, is what Orwell in Spivey’s ‘The Ancient Olympics’ states as being what serious sport amounts to. THE ANCIENT OLYMPICS: A History User Review - Kirkus.
Just in time for the Summer Olympics, a fresh new history of the games that begot all of today's quadrennial pomp, circumstance, competition, and douglasishere.com a deft analysis of the rise and fall. The Ancient Olympics and millions of other books are available for Amazon Kindle.
Learn more Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App.5/5(2). The word 'athletics' is derived from the Greek verb 'to struggle for a prize'.
After reading this book, no one will see the Olympics as a graceful display of Greek beauty again, but as war by other means. Jan 28, · War Minus the Shooting: Ideals behind the Ancient Olympic Games. Posted on January 28, Updated on February 17, ‘War Minus the Shooting’, is what Orwell in Spivey’s ‘The Ancient Olympics’ .Ancient olympics war minus the shooting