Top positive review
22 people found this helpful
ideal beach read for the thinking person
on June 30, 2004
This is a wonderful book for the summer, a surprisingly exciting page-turner that anyone can take to the beach. As both a history lover and avid gym fan, I particularly enjoyed the chapters on 'ancient Greek gymnasium culture;' there is even information on the work-out techniques they used to use! (An early form of aerobics was popular, as many exercises were done to flute music...) The book is packed with wonderful anecdotes from the pagan festival, plucked from Pausanias, Herodotus, Plato, Sophocles and other top authors from the past. It's fun to know that the ancient Games were rowdy, drunken and filled with corruption and shady dealings -- although since they competed naked, athletes would have had trouble providing corporate sponsorships for the latest olive oil merchant. It's a wonderful way to digest excellently-researched history within an amusing (often hilarious) authorial style.