Ancient Greece was the model that guided the emergence of many facets of the modern sports movement, including most notably the Olympics. Yet the process whereby aspects of the ancient world were appropriated and manipulated by sport authorities of nation-states, athletic organizations and their leaders as well as by sports enthusiasts is only very partially understood.
This volume takes modern Greece as a case-study and explores, in depth, issues related to the reception and use of classical antiquity in modern sport, spectacle and bodily culture. For citizens of the Greek nation-state, classical antiquity is not merely a vague "legacy" but the cornerstone of their national identity. In the field of sport and bodily culture, since the 1830s there had been persistent attempts to establish firm and direct links between ancient Greek athletics and modern sport through the incorporation of sport in school curricula, the emergence of national sport historiographies as well as the initiatives to revive (in the 19th century) or appropriate (in the 20th) the modern Olympics. Based on fieldwork and unpublished material sources, this book dissects the use and abuse of classical antiquity and sport in constructing national, gender and class identities, and illuminate aspects of the complex modern perceptions of classicism, sport and the body.
This book was previously published as a special issue of the International Journal of the History ofSport.
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