Athenian democracy may have opened up politics to every citizen, but it had no impact on participation in sport. The city's sportsmen continued to be drawn from the elite, and so it comes as a surprise that sport was very popular with non-elite citizens of the classical period, who rewarded victorious sportsmen lavishly and created an unrivalled program of local sporting festivals on which they spent staggering sums of money. They also shielded sportsmen from the public criticism which was otherwise normally directed towards the elite and its conspicuous activities. This book is a bold and novel exploration of this apparent contradiction, which examines three of the fundamental aspects of Athens in the classical period - democratic politics, public commitment to sport and constant warfare - and is essential reading for all of those who are interested in Greek sport, Athenian democracy and its waging of war.
David M. Pritchard is Senior Lecturer in the School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics at the University of Queensland. He has held research fellowships at Macquarie University, Sydney, the University of Copenhagen and the University of Sydney. In 2013 Dr Pritchard was the Charles Gordon Mackay Lecturer in Greek at the University of Edinburgh. He has edited War, Democracy and Culture in Classical Athens (Cambridge, 2010) and co-edited Sport and Festival in the Ancient Greek World (2003). He is currently finishing a monograph on public spending in democratic Athens.
1. Problems, models and sources; 2. Athletic participation and education; 3. The democratic support of athletics; 4. Athletics in satyric drama; 5. The common culture of athletics and war; 6. The democratisation of war; 7. Conclusion: athletic ephebes.