The myth of the ancient Games / Bruce Kidd

Kidd, Bruce

This article was written for that collection. It was intended to dispel the widely held beliefs in the trans-historical continuities between the Games of Antiquity and those of the modern period, and to introduce the recent, revisionist, social history. The author argued that equating both ancient and modern, as the International Olympic Committee often did, distorted the nature of both classical and modern Games and the complex, uneven, and contingent process of human history. He also argued that the myth of trans-historical Games also helped obscure the explicitly political origins of both ancient and modern Games, and the extent to which the organization of, participation in, and communication of sport – even the sport forms themselves – contribute to and are shaped by the political process.

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