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Quand les champions étaient des dieux
Aux origines des Jeux olympiques
Pascal Charvet, Annie Collognat

For over a thousand years (from 776 B.C.E. to 393 C.E.), the Olympics were the largest sports and religious event in Antiquity. Every four years (a period known as an Olympiad), the most famous athletes of Greece and the Mediterranean region came to Olympia, a small town on the Peloponnese peninsula. Those Titans faced off in the stadium or the hippodrome, in competitions of speed and strength in order to bring back a wreath woven from branches of the sacred olive tree at Zeus’s sanctuary at Olympia. For them, the goal was to be the best, even if it meant laying down their lives. The Ancient Greeks would never have agreed with the modern Olympic creed, The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part. Their goal was to win. Healthy competition with the other (agôn) meant both rivalry and friendship: it did not mean hostility towards one’s competitors, because the point was to outdo oneself in order to surpass others.

Do we still have anything to learn from the first Olympics? This book answers that question by leading readers to the very heart of breathtakingly lively and well-documented tales. We run; we fight at the battle of Marathon, led by the great strategist Miltiades; we witness the birth of that showpiece event, the marathon, alongside the runner Pheidippides. In that phallocratic society, we will see the emergence of pioneering Olympic women like Cynisca, Eurycleonis and others. We stroll through Olympia during the Games, visiting the Altis, exploring its monuments, seeing how the athletes train, and attending events at both the stadium and the hippodrome.?A Who’s Who provides portraits of the best-known athletes; a dictionary of the concepts mentioned completes the information addressed in the main section of the book (eating habits, the body, doping, nudity, cheating, etc.).?

A fully immersive experience!

Quand les champions étaient des dieux -
  • Libretto
  • Essay
  • Publication date : 14/03/2024
  • Size : 12 x 18,2 cm, 272 p., 10,50 EUR €
  • ISBN 978-2-36914-849-4
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