As Athens prepares for 2004, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, proudly presents the original Olympics in all their sweaty, heroic glory. Like today, sports were a vital part of daily life in ancient Greece. Games for the Gods unearths the original traditions of athletics, highlighting both the fascinating similarities and the jarring differences between the ancient ways and our own. We might not be used to such Classical customs as associating athletic festivals with certain gods, seeing our athletes compete in the nude, or having them indulge in dirty fighting as accepted practice (then again...), but the excitement of competition, admiration for athletic skill, and adoration of champions--as well as several of the sports--are just as familiar to fans today as they were to the ancients. The Greek games here come to life in a series of texts that explore the Olympics then and now, the origins of the games and various athletic events, and the ways in which the contests were prepared for and the victors honored. With stunning illustrations of over 140 sculptures, vases, and coins, as well as photographs of modern athletes, Games for the Gods is a unique celebration of the Olympic spirit through the ages.
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