Ancient Greek Athletics.docx

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Western University
Classical Studies
Classical Studies 2200

Ancient Greek Athletics & Arete Post Oct 16 Midterm 11/22/2012 10:34:00 AM Chapter 6 The Olympic Games – 300BC  Took place 2 full moon after summer solstice (Aug 9, in 300BC)  Not much left for reconstruction o Preparation  Elis – controlled Olympia and supervised its games  Pausanias only accountable description of Elis:  “an old gymnasion” (place for training for Olympia)  “Plethron” – 100 footer (where judges match wrestlers by age/ability)  There’s a second smaller “gymnasion” it is called square because of its shape. Wrestlers/boxers practice. o Theres a road that leads to baths & other leads to Hellanodikaion (judges buildings)  A third “gymnasion” reserved for young men (epheboi) throughout the Olympic festival o This gymnasion is also the council house (bouleuterion)  Elis was an athletic training town  Judges (Hellanodikaion )elected 10 months prior to festival by Eleans – “guardians of the law”  10 judges elected o Nomophylakes (“guardians of the law”) instruct them of their duties  Aonothettes (Sponsor) – pays out of his own money  Split into subcommittees (horse races, footraces etc.)  Ekecheria (50 member boule) - announcement where participants given a month to arrive at games (or they’re flogged), safely no matter what (broadcasted by heralds or spondophoroi – truce bearers, and somethings theoroi – envoys)  Fragment discovered in Nemea proves this o Story of King of Macedonia coming to compete in Olympics (came up with story saying he’s related to Hercules to compete) o Athletes were then trained for a month (late athletes were fined, flogged if didn’t pay) o Athletes took oaths of their 10 months of training  They trained against each other in last month o Pre-approval, trial matches caused some to withdraw o Man who worked out became dominant o 85% of Greeks had their own farms o Meanwhile, spectators and athletes entourage of friends/family came in o Preparations also made at Olympia during this time:  Sacrifices done etc.  Stadium cleared  Building/water channel repairs  Aeration of the land, then smoothen it off  Skammas (pits for jumpers) dug but took place during competition (athletes would help)  Inscriptions (white earth) applied to show lanes on running surfaces (expensive)  Install starting mechanisms for the races (Hysplex) o Before leaving Elis and other Stephanetic cities, judges gather athletes and say  “Go now into the stadium, and be men worthy of winning” o Before leaving for Olympia Judges say:  “if you have worked to be worthy of going to Olympia, if you have done nothing indolent or ignoble, then take heart and march on; but those who have not so trained may leave and go wherever they like (Philostatos)   approx. 1000 ppl heading to Olympia from Elis after speech th  They march day&night, august 6-7 stop once for a ritual purification at Piera where judges are sprinkled with pig’s blood and washed off so they would be clear to enter the Sanctuary of Zeus (Pausanias) o Proof that the games are a religious festival  The Festival o “Plato made friends with random ppl he shared a tent with in Olympia”, he did not make reference to who he actually was  His friends later came to Athens to meet the namesake of their new friend plato, he then said “I am that person” o *“When spectators first come into the stadium, its as if it was magic (overwhelmed the sences), forget everything they had ever learned, and say or do anything that comes to their head” * o House set aside for Olympic council o A huge social escapade (fortune tellers giving fortunes, lawyers disputing law, magicians showing tricks, historians reading, business transactions, etc.) o Poets, painters, sculptors display works seeking commissions o “any unpleasant things exhibited at Olympia are forgotten due to the greatness of the games” – (nothing compares to being at the game) o Man named Diogenes - philosopher said “the toughest and most difficult to defeat, ones which no Greek can stare down, those who chastise a man”  He then took a crap where he was standing and the crowd fled  Another town he walked around masturbating o Man named Peregrinus attached man for bringing water for spectators – thinking they should suffer and that it made them soft (saying this while drinking the very same water)  Crowd stoned him, he escaped by hiding in temple of Zeus  Said he would cremate himself for shame (asked to be receive kindly by mother and father)  was laughed at cuz he actually killed his own father  Judges classify ages of athletes and they all take oaths (some boys fear being placed against men) o Oaths made to scary statue of Zeus (holding thunderbolt)  Judges, fathers, trainers, athletes  Trained for 10 successive months, no cheating etc. o Worried boy wrestler who dreamt of marching with other paides, god disqualified him and he died shortly after o Trainers oaths made to a wild boar (do nothing against Olympic games)  “Horses are all attracted to a giant statue of a horse said to be magical” (Pausanias)  First competitions = trumpeter(salphinx) & Herald(Keryx) o Winners become public announcer etc.  Day 1 (Aug 8) o Second competition= Hippodrome and all the horse events (Trumpeter gathers everyone, Herald announced competitors names, fathers name, and native city-state) o Third competition = Stadium and the pentathalon  Winners received a ribbon, and palm branch  Then would run a victory lap to be cheered for they would throw him flowers etc. (phyllobolia)  This concluded first days competiton  Famous celebration by Alkibiades, victor in the tethripon borrowed official golden ritual vessels of the Athenians to serve his guests (he allowed them to believe he owned them)  The night of the full moon (panselinos) marked the religious high point of the games (sacrifices at the alter of Zeus)  Day 2 (Aug 9) o The next day all eager to make good impressions  100 oxens sacrificed to Zeus by Eleans o Competition for boys could have been the evening after the panselinos or the next morning (debate)  Day 3 (Aug 10) o The next day its clear that it was the Gymnikos agones (following same route pentathletes and the boy competitors marched on the previous days  Which is them passing the statue of zanes (fine statues) o Race started with dolichos (warmup for the crowd) , stadion, diaulos o Winner of stadion will be added to this Olympiad, (e.g., Olympiad when Pythagoras of Magnesia won the stadion)  Must have been 2+ heats as there was only 17 lanes (Pausanias)  Meaning victor in stadion won twice o First day of heavy events – wrestling (or whichever one is least harmful to the person who’s competing in 2 or more events)  “Once, however, the favorite for the wrestling was so unpopular with the Eleans that they actually canceled the event rather than allow him the chance to win an Olympic victory (Dio Cassius 80.10; A 9 6)” o Next came Boxing  Story of a humble inferior man vs. a famous unbeatable opponent, crowd shifts it encourage the inferior man.  king Ptolemy wanted to crush a mans fame, he sent Aristonikos to beat Kleitomachos – crowd cheered for Aristonikos until Kleitomachos asked why cheer for him… then they started cheering for Kelitomachos and in the end and he won o Then came the pankration o Final event hoplitodromos (race in armor) o When drawing beans they would sneak a peak of theirs o End of August 10, many (namely losers) tend to leave Olympia  Day 4 (Aug 11) o On last day, in front of temple of Zeus, final price awarded to each winner (olive crown, Ribbons – moreso tokens of victory, prize itself means little)  Reputation, victory, victory through pain, Arete, are what they are truly after, and being recognized as equals to the gods o Winner returned home welcomed with (eiselasis – triumphal entry into city, and awared a free meal every day for the rest of their lives) o Man who won Olympics as a young man, had his 2 sons with 2 different events in Olympics (Moment of youth is the greatest part of a Greek’s life)  Crowd said “die now you’ll never be happier”  Seize your youth, don’t let life keep dragging on  Don’t stuff yourself with second grade food etc. o Olympic festival ends with dinner given by Eleans o Hestiatorion – banquet for victors o Lots of traffic getting home from Olympics (people stayed against their wills)  Prohibition and Penalties o Wine prohibited in dromos (Delphi)  Must make amends to Apollo, fine of $110 o Some competition rules  “wrestler is neither to break a finger”  “the diaitater is to punish except upon the head  “those who are stained are to be rounded up and noted  “the Olympic games shall begin as worth of victory again”  “he is not to support a man of Elis nor of an ally”  “dharchmas are to be paid if he does an injury or..”  “those who start to soon are flogged with switches”, “but those who wait to long, receive no crown of victory” (Herodotus)  Judges weren’t aloud to enter horses in equestrian events  Victors weren’t aloud to set up statues larger than their own bodies  Metaphor o “Now I lie on the shore, now in the surf of the seam unmourned, unburied, washed back and forth by the many diauloi of the waves o “The gods of the underworld have a gloomy adiaulos, seat for the lost souls on the Acherontian lake. Chapter 7 The Money Games 11/22/2012 10:34:00 AM Chapter 7 The Money Games  2 other categories of festivals; o depending on sponsorship by sanctuary (religious) or city-state o Both chrematitic (money) o 100’s of them throughout Greece  Victors were rewarded with cash/something of value  Lots of Semi-pro people  Lure of money never greater than lure of crown  Multiple Prizes  Subjectivity  Events military in nature within civic games  Idiosyncratic (peculiar to that region) The Asklepeia (Not important, Temple was well preserved)  Located near Epidauros  Within the city was the secluded sanctuary of Askelpios (hero-god of healing) o Discovered how to heal people from the dead o Bastard son of Apollo  Constructed during 4 century  Temple of Asklepios opposite of sanctuary o Sick spent the night to be cured (it was like a hotel)– snakes licking them etc.  Women could take part in this  Wasn’t clear whether women were aloud to take part in the events  Festival took place 9 days after Isthmian games  There was a locker rooms (apodyterion), stadium, hidden entrance (Kypte Esodos), huge theater, hotel, gym, etc. o Important Competitions;  Gymnikos agon (pankration, stadion, pentathalon), mousikos agon (aulos, kithara, rhapsodes, actors) The Panathenaia – Most famous (All Athens)  Located in Athens  Social Aspect  Held to honor Athena o Goddess of weaving, intelligence, goddess of war craft (strategy/tactics) etc.  Held every year  Funded by a Tyrant – he was the man, and Athens was THE CITY  Theres a marble stele fragment listing individual competitions together with prizes awarded to each (source) o We can reconstruct Panathenaia because of this  Originally held for only Athenians (lesser Panathenaia) o Prizes were much smaller o Javelin thrower on horseback (very military based)  Thrower wore – petasos (hat), chlamys (cloak) – symbol of young men citizenship  Euandria – beauty contest (winners could carry sacred items used for sacrifice)  Lampadedromia “Torch race” – began from from Akademy to Akropolis relay of 10 people (torch symbolizes life) – if it goes out you’re eliminated o Everyone would see it throughout the city o Never apart of the ancient olympics  Anthippasia – calvalry combat (horseback combat) – more military aspects  A boat race – 50 km maybe, trireme may have been used (military ship, normally used to ram other ships)  The military aspect shows that young men are ready for their military service for their city  Day 6 – Panathaenaic Procession (Huge parage) o Athenians were very proud o Very religious – athenas robe  Day 7 – Apobates and Boat o Charioteer and armed soldier who hops on and off the chariot (usefull military skill)  Day 8 – Feasting and Partying o Prizes; olive oil, wreaths of gold, cash  Held every 4 years (greater Panathenaia) o Included all Greeks + new events  Important Competition; o Gymnikos agon, Hyppikos agon, Mousikos agon, (Similar to the program at Delphi) o They have Pryyiche this was dancing done in unison (naked) o Hopomachi - fighting with a shield/dancing  Prizes for 1 , 2 , 3 4 !!!!!! (different from stephanetic) o The competitions:  Only running event was the stadion (Stele fragment)  There was pale, pyx, panktration, all awarded with amphoras of oil  Amphoras decorated with Athena  Two horse chariot race for full-grown, and foals (Stele fragment)  Prizes were largest  Group of 10 athlothetai (prize producers) o Responsible for organizing games, making vases, gather oil, presenting prizes  Their duties were important and the public paid for them to be fed in the (prytaneion – home of the sacred flame)  Oil was gathered in the 4 years inbetween the festival  Prizes held in the acropolis at all times The Eleutheria (Freedom)  Located in Larissa (Thesally)  In honor of Zeus  Not open to other Greeks o Competitions;  Gymnikos agon (stadion, diaulos, pyx, pankration), trumpetors/heralds, , torch race on horseback  Bull hunt (taurotheria) – rider would chase a bull till it became tired, then rider would guide his horse alongside horse so they would become tired together and mix sweat. The rider would then jump to bull from horse and take it down (like a rodeo)  Theagenes of Thesally The Karneia  Located in Sparta – largest Polis in greece o Known for its educational system o More inclusive of girls o Developed a strong military force o Communal Society – work was done by enforced servants o Citizens needed to TRAIN themselves o Military Achievements were valued over Athletic Achievements o Spartan society wanted acknowledgement of their Excellence (Arete)  Dedicated to Apollo o Competitions
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