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Greek Sport and Social Status

By Mark Golden

Publication Year: 2008

A noted authority on ancient sport discusses various ways in which the ancient Greeks, as well as people today, used sports to achieve social status.

Published by: University of Texas Press

Series: Fordyce W. Mitchel Memorial Lecture Series

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. vii

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pp. ix-xii

This short book has been a long time in the making. When Ian Worthington invited me to give the first Fordyce W. Mitchel Memorial Lectures at the University of Missouri at Columbia in 2000, I was a little intimidated—Mitchel’s own 1968 Semple lecture at Cincinnati...


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pp. xiii-xvi

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One. HELPERS, HORSES, AND HEROES: Contests over Victory in Ancient Greece

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pp. 1-39

On March 7, 2000, a judge of the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court in Chicago ruled on the case of Ford Olinger. Olinger, then 33, suffered from bilateral vascular necrosis of the hips, a condition that made walking both difficult and painful. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, he sought to force the U.S. Golf...

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pp. 40-67

I begin with an inscription, a law regulating the gymnasium at Beroea in Macedonia and dating from some time in the first half of the second century before the current era.1 When it was first discovered about sixty years ago, it was being used as the access ramp to...

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pp. 68-104

Before we make the long journey back to Greek and Roman antiquity, let us linger a while in the more recent past and recall two films of the ’80s and ’90s. First, Chariots of Fire, a British film that won the Oscar for best picture in 1981. Since 1981 may itself count as ancient...

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Four. OLIVE-TINTED SPECTACLES: Myths in the Histories of the Ancient and Modern Olympics

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pp. 105-139

In 1889, A. G. Spalding led a group of professional baseball players on a barnstorming tour of Europe. Himself a former star pitcher, Spalding was also a gifted and imaginative entrepreneur, one of the first players to control his own team, the dominant figure...

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pp. 140-142

Let us linger in the present for a few more pages and consider a peculiarly modern manner in which sport intersects with social status. One of the odder aspects of North American sport is the exploitation of native peoples, otherwise likely to be dispossessed and marginalized...


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pp. 143-170


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pp. 171-194


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pp. 195-202


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pp. 209-214

E-ISBN-13: 9780292793743
E-ISBN-10: 029279374X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292718692
Print-ISBN-10: 0292718691

Page Count: 232
Illustrations: none
Publication Year: 2008

Series Title: Fordyce W. Mitchel Memorial Lecture Series