The Ancient Greek sports are remarkable in human history and instructive to those interested in promoting athletics due to their recorded longevity of more than a millennium, their high levels of participation amongst the people of the time, and the great degree of enthusiasm clearly demonstrated for these sports through period artwork and through remunerations for victorious athletes. The Ancient Greek sports also produced the rare example of the professional sports-player. Interestingly enough there are examples of female participation in the sports primarily in wrestling and the foot and hippic races, showing thereby the universal appeal of these games. Athenaeus writes, ‘On the island Chios the most pleasant thing is to walk over to the gymnasiums and running-tracks and to watch the young men wrestling with the girls.’ It is therefore of great use to us to discover the precise nature of these sports and thereby learn the world’s most enduring and popular models of athletics.
Published Online by JudoInfo (2004).