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Arete: Greek Sports from Ancient Sources, Expanded edition [Kindle Edition]

Stephen G. Miller
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

From the informal games of Homer's time to the highly organized contests of the Roman world, Miller has compiled a trove of ancient sources—Plutarch on boxing, Aristotle on the pentathlon, Philostratos on clay dust as an anti-perspirant and on the buying and selling of victories, Vitruvius on literary competitions, Xenophon on female body building. With fully twice as many texts as the highly successful first edition, this new version of Arete offers readers an absorbing lesson in the culture of Greek athletics from the greatest of teachers—the ancients themselves.

These sources, which Miller himself has translated, provide unparalleled insights into ancient athletic practices and competitive festivals. They emphasize the fundamental role of athletics in education and shed light on such issues as the role of women in athletics and the politics and economics of the games. Ultimately they demonstrate that the concepts of virtue, skill, pride, valor, and nobility embedded in the word arete and so closely associated in the modern mind with Greek athletics are only part of the story from antiquity.

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

"Arete" was a word used by ancient Greeks to convey the sense of skill, excellence, and honor in their sports. This collection explores arete in 192 readings drawn from ancient texts translated, edited, and annotated by Miller (classical archaeology, Univ. of California). Thematically arranged, it spans eight centuries, beginning c.750 B.C., and describes athletes, individual sports, equipment, festivals, amateurism, nationalism, and the involvement of politics, society, women, and the arts. This new edition has twice the selections of the first (Univ. of Chicago Pr., 1979), benefiting from recently discovered texts and from Miller's expanded scholarship. However, it does not have the breadth, in text as well as illustrations, of Waldo E. Sweet's Sport and Recreation in Ancient Greece (Oxford Univ. Pr., 1987). An index provides access to subjects, writers, and definitions of words. For large sports collections that do not have Sweet's treatment.
- Donald W. Max well, Stone Hills Lib. Network, Bloomington, Ind.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

Praise for the Second Edition:) -- Review

Product Details

  • File Size: 2030 KB
  • Print Length: 239 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 2nd/Exp edition (August 26, 1991)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003EV5PKW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #574,963 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "... beyond the dug-up area..." February 1, 2004
Format:Paperback
This collection of excerpts from ancient sources concerning
athletes, athletic contests, skills, prizes, and the
athletic "mystique" is excellent. For it gives a
generous overview from different sources, from different
ancient venues, and from different time periods. The
reader gains a growing sense of the awe and reverence
in which skilled as well as beautiful athletes were
held, both by spectators at the events as well as
through the fame which they gained that was passed
down in inscriptions, statues, poetry, and the
memories of those who heard of their skills and
victories even in distant places.
The excerpts are not excessively long, but they are
highy interesting and instructive. The topics covered
by chapters are: the Earliest Days of Greek Athletics/
Nudity and Equipment/ The Events at a Competition
(Running, Wrestling, Boxing, Pankration, Pentathlon,
Equestrian, Music, Poetry and Prose Composition, Acting,
Painting)/ Organization of a Panhellenic Festival/ Local
Festivals/ Role of the Games in Society/ Women in
Athletics/ Athletes and Heroes/ Ball Playing/ Gymnasion,
Athletics, and Education/ Spread of Greek Athletics in
the Hellenistic Period/ Greek Athletics in the Roman
Period/ Amateurism and Professionalism/ Nationalism
and Internationalism/ Our Ideal and the Reality.
As the author, Stephen Miller, explains in the
"Introduction": "A definition of -arete- would
include virtue, skill, prowess, pride, excellence,
valor, and nobility, but these words, whether taken
individually or collectively, do not [completely]
fulfill the meaning of -arete-." *** "...
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1.0 out of 5 stars Wrong Edition July 8, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
The kindle version is of the 2nd edition. The 3rd edition is much expanded and the one regularly used in courses on ancient sports or Greek civilization. The ad for the kindle is somewhat deceptive. It shows the cover of the 2nd edition but when you look inside, it shows the 3rd print edition (with a small warning note). According to my students, when you order it, you do get the 2nd edition. Some of my students have not been very happy when they have been forced to buy the paper version after having already paid for the kindle version.

From a scholar who regularly publishes on ancient sports.
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