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The Ancient Olympics

The Ancient Olympics by Nigel Spivey
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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.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. Victory was almost worth dying for, and a number of athletes did just that. Many more resorted to cheating and bribery. 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 thebattlefield.
Oxford University Press; June 2004
320 pages; ISBN 9780191655418
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Title: The Ancient Olympics
Author: Nigel Spivey
 
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