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Olympia: The Story of the Ancient Olympic Games
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Robin Waterfield
Olympia: The Story of the Ancient Olympic Games by Robin Waterfield at Abbey's Bookshop,

Olympia: The Story of the Ancient Olympic Games

Robin Waterfield


Head of Zeus

European history;
Ancient history: to c 500 CE;
Olympic games


224 pages

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The story of the ancient Olympic Games, held in honour of Zeus at Olympia in the eastern Peloponnese, traditionally dated as starting in 776 BC, and held from the 8th century BCE to the 4th century CE. The victors of these ancient games may have been awarded crowns of olive leaves in recognition of their achievements, but these original Olympics were no graceful, idealistic celebration of the classical aesthetic of grace and beauty shared by all of the participating Greek city-states, but rather a bitterly contested struggle between political rivals.

Robin Waterfield paints a vivid picture of the reality of the ancient Olympic Games; outlines the events in which competitors took part; explores their purpose, rituals and politics; and charts their thousand-year history.

By:   Robin Waterfield
Imprint:   Head of Zeus
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 200mm,  Width: 135mm, 
ISBN:   9781786691910
ISBN 10:   1786691914
Series:   The Landmark Library
Pages:   224
Publication Date:   February 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Robin Waterfield is a former university lecturer and translator of ancient Greek texts for Oxford University Press and Penguin. His Creators, Conquerors, and Citizens: A History of Ancient Greece was published by OUP in 2018.

'Waterfield's tone is suitably authoritative ... His book is enlivened by its detail' Daisy Dunn, Sunday Times on Creators, Conquerors, and Citizens.

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