The course considers the role sport and entertainment played in ancient society. We begin by examining athletics in the Greek world, specifically the Olympics and other major games. We will discuss the different types of events and then consider the evolving role athletics played in Greek education and society. We will then transition to the Roman world, examining gladiatorial games, chariot racing, the theatre, and the Olympics in the Roman period. We will trace the development of the status of athletes from amateurs to the professionalization of sport, and pause to consider the place of musicians and actors in Greek and Roman society. Throughout the course students will become familiar with the architecture of related venues and investigate the role of spectators. Students will continually be challenged to relate ancient athletics to the sports of today. Sources will include Homer, Pindar, Virgil, Ovid, Martial and various inscriptions. (Not offered 2017-18).
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