Athlete and state : qualifying for the Olympic Games in Ancient Greece / Nigel B. Crowther

Crowther, Nigel B.

Did individuals who wished to compete in the ancient Olympic Games have to endure the complex andrigorous process of selection so familiar to us today? Could athletes simply turn up at Olympia at the appropriate time and enter the Games? To what extent did the Greek city state, the polis, subsidize athletes, or provide assistance to those who aspired to be athletes, or represent the interests of competitors in disputes which arose during the course of the Games? This article attempts to discuss these and other questions with some reference to the modern Games. It will be seen that in the Ancient Games, unlike in the modern, religion and ritual were important aspects in the qualification and preparation of athletes.

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