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Games and Sanctuaries in Ancient Greece (Greek language edition)
Olympia, Delphoi, Isthmia, Nemea, Athens

By Panos Valavanis

Games and Sanctuaries in Ancient Greece (Greek language edition)
Paperback, 376 pages £50.00
Published: 2017
ISBN: 9786185209179
Format: 280mm x 220mm
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Subjects: Archaeology, Classical Studies and Ancient History, Cultural and Social Studies, History

Distributed by University of Exeter Press.

Modelled on the physical exercises and competitions that existed in earlier Near Eastern cultures, hundreds of athletic games took place in Greek antiq­uity, extending across every area of the Mediterranean in which Greek culture flourished. Of these games, four attained the status of panhellen­ic games: the Olympic games, held at Olympia in honour of Zeus; the Pythian games at Delphi, at the festival of Apollo; the Isthmian games, at the sanctuary of Poseidon at Isthmia; and the Nemean games, celebrated in the sanctuary of Zeus at Nemea. The Panathenaic games, which took place at the festival of the Panathenaia in Athens in honour of Athena, were — at their peak — equal in brilliance to those held at the panhellenic festivals.

In these five games the magnificent culture and ideology of Greek antiquity flourished, and the spectacle of the games gave rise to a sporting tradition that engages the world to this day.

This book celebrates the athletes, the games, the sanctuaries, the cities and, above all, the inspiring spirit of the ancient Greeks over a span of a millennium and a half — from the earliest mentions of athletics in Homer’s Iliad and other literary sources, through the Classical age, and into the Hellenistic, Roman and late antique periods.


Foreword Sir John Boardman


Publisher’s Note



Athletics and Religion

The Prehistory of Athletics

Great Festivals and Games


The Site

Olympia And the Olympic Games


Οlympia Over the Centuries

3rd And 2nd Millennia BC Prehistoric Elis And Olympia

11th–8th C. BC The Establishment of the Sanctuary and the Early Period

8th C. BC The Foundation of The Olympic Games

7th–6th C. BC The Period of Great Development

5th C. BC The Glory of the Classical Period

4th C. BC The Late Classical Period

3rd–2nd C. BC The Hellenistic Period

1st C. BC–2nd C. AD The Roman Intervention

3rd–4th C. AD Olympia in Late Antiquity


The Site

Foundation Myths and Legends


Delphi Over The Centuries

16th–11th C. BC The Prehistoric Settlement

10th–8th C. BC The Arrival of Apollo

7th–6th C. BC The Great Development of the Sanctuary and the Amphictyony

6th C. BC The Archaic Period

5th–4th C. BC Classical Period

3rd–2nd C. BC The Hellenistic Period

1st C. BC–4th C. AD Roman Times


The Site

Foundation Myths and Legends


Isthmia Over The Centuries

11th–6th C. BC Early History of The Sanctuary

5th–4th C. BC The Classical Period

3rd–2nd C. BC The Hellenistic Period

1st C. BC–3rd C. Ad Roman Times


The Site

Foundation Myths and Legends

Nemea Over The Centuries

6th C. BC The Early History of the Sanctuary

5h C. BC The Classical Period

340/30–270/60 BC The Return of the Games to their Cradle


Foundation Myths and Traditions


The Organisation and Conduct of the Festival

The Panathenaic Procession

Other Greek and Roman Games

Local Games in Greece

Games in the Hellenistic East

The Games and the Roman Emperors

Games in the East in Roman Times

The Olympic Games of Antioch

The End of the Ancient Games

The Events, Rules and Great Champions


Illustration Credits


Panos Valavanis is Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Athens, teaching and researching in the fields of classical vase painting, topography of ancient Athens, classical architecture, Greek athletics and ancient Greek technology.

Publication Details:

 Paperback , 376 pages
 280mm x 220mm

BIC Code:
  HIS002000, HIS039000, SOC003000
 Kapon Editions


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