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The Ancient Olympic Games
Between 776 BC and AD 395, the ancient Olympic Games were held every four years. Tracing the mythological and religious origins of the games, this history shows a detailed model of the sports complex and covers the sponsorship and training of the athletes.
Paperback, 120 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by University of Texas Press
(first published January 1st 1980)
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Efficient little study of the Original Olympic Games, a distillation of what we about the site, the participants and the events. Tries hard not to get bogged down in the archeological detail, which makes it perfectly accessible for the general reader. Some nice anecdotes about the games too: my favourite being how Emperor Nero delayed the games for two years from 65 -67AD, then turned up to participate in the four horse chariot race with a chariot pulled by ten horses. As if this was not unfair ...more
This is a pretty solid read if you are looking for a not too heavy introduction to the ancient olympics. It is quick and covers a lot of the points the average person would ask an expert with as good a backing as one could provide on a 2,000+ year old subject.