• Alexander the Great established a vast empire and then diedAlexander-the-great-death
  • Was maintained by his successors (led to the spread of the Greek language)
  • During his conquests, Alexander the Great (AtG) would hold athletic events; this resulted in the mass export of athletes to various parts of his kingdom outside Greece
  • Often done to entertain his troops; often facilitated by his troops/ generals (the stadium worth of goat skins’ brought with Perdikkas and Krateros) ; that means the soldiers could have potentially have taken part
  • If musical events (mousikos agon) was included in the event, then athletes were professionals and it was purely for entertainment purposes (note: no musical events when Pythian games were occurring)
  • Athletic guilds came into existence during the time of AtG [there were men in his army whom sole job was to be athletes, not soldiers]
  • STORY: of the athlete Dioxippos defeating the a Macedonian, Koragos. They then framed Dioxippos and he committed suicide
  • This defeat is the antithesis; to the notion that athletic training was detrimental the training to be a soldier and for combat ; this displeased AtG that an athlete could defeat the “far superior” warrior
  • Philopoimen: the athlete regimen involved: lots of sleep, much food and specific periods of training and rest  — the soldier was deal with extreme hardship and irregularity in both his sleep and training ; he goes onto to reject athletics with dishonour and turning useful bodies into worthless beings.
  • Isopythian games: Sorteria (saviour) made by Aitolians after they saved Delphi from invasion by the Gauls ; also IsoNemian games were established
  • Ambassadors were throughout the Greek world to seek official recognition for these iso- games
  • Nikephoria: founded by King Eumenes II of Pergamon (isoPythian in music, isOlympic in nude/ equestrian competitions)
  • Naples: Augustus established a Roman IsOlympic Games. But included sacrifices & cash prizes, gladiators etc.
  • A jewist priest, Jason, bribed his way into a position of high priest of Jerusalem and asked permission to set up: gymnasion & ephebion; king granted permission; youth left the temples and yearned for greek glory in the field of athletics.  Led to the Maccabees uprising
  • The Romans were suspicious of nudity; however the competed in Isthmian Games; however the notion of Greek Athletics remained a novelty to them.
  • Etruscans, who collected Greek pottery, had perizomata (loincloths) painted over the athletes’ genitalia to be deemed appropriate for use in Roman culture
  • There is no evidence that either the Etruscans or the Romans had any direct knowledge of Greek athletics in the sixth, fifth, or fourth centuries B.C.
  • Julius Caesar took interest in the Greek Games, building a temporary stadium for competition
  • Nero, took a passion for all things Greek, visited Greece and won 1,808 victories at various festivalsNero-Roman-Emperor
  • All prizes for music for sent to Nero, when he visited he forces all competition to be held [even if they weren’t scheduled], everyone has to remain the theatre while he performed,  insisted on announcing his own victories, torn tablets/ statues of previous musical winners,  drove 10 horses in the 4 horse event [didn’t finish was still crowned victor], after the games he granted freedom to the whole province where Olympia was located and gave them Roman citizenship. Then returned home through the tore down walls of Roman cities,  with a purple robe and wearing his crown from Olympia.
  • Domitian, made Greek athletics, a part of the Capitolinus Games (held every 4 years) with stadium and music hall; however after his death, the buildings were used for other purposes…..Greek athletics simply did not excite the Romans.
  • Synod of Worldwide Winners of Scared Games and Crowns; alumni club for successful athletes — exemption from military services, public duties and billeting of troops; favours granted by Mark Antony.
  • Other guilds arose: Loyal, Patriotic, Reverent, Itinernant Synondes of Alexandrians
  • Xystic Synodos of the Heraklean Athletic Winners of Scared Games and Crowns (union located in Rome and had a curia athletrum (meeting house of athletes)
  • Another development of the Hellenistic and Roman period is the creation of titles to demonstrate the superiority of a given athlete. (i.e winner of pale and pankration (Kapros of Elis)= Successor of Herakles) & winner of stadion, diaulos, hoplitodromos (Leonidas of Rhodes)= Tripler)
  • These titles: 1) enhanced the reputation of the athletes 2) established old crown games as more important than their newer iso-games
  • Titus Flavius Archibius of Alexandra: victor incomparable” -> most fulsome praise given to an athlete (first in mankind to have his record of victories)
  • By the Roman period, professionalism of athletics had been established -> athletes had to arrive a month early and receive daily obsonion (food allowance) and a place to sleep
  • A century later the obsonion had become a pension for victorious athletes at the so-called eiselastic games. Free meals for life become a victory prize for winners of eiselastic games. (being given the key to the city) section of the town wall was pulled down and you athlete could enter through it
  • Pliny the Younger: corresponds about how athletes want their obsonion from the moment they are crowned not from when they enter the city through the wall; also athletes wanting obsonion for victories before they eiselatic games were instated. Tarjan responses: no to both
  • Professional athletes would rely on winning multiple eiselastic games and then look for jobs opened to athletes after their careers were over (i.e leader of guilds or athletic trainers/ facilitates)
  • Galen: athletes are so mentally deficient they lack an understanding of whether or not they have a brain; (mindless dumb animals), they are in awful physical condition from overexerting themselves, over eating; their lives are like pigs. Only crippling and damaging their bodies, it all downhill, shortening their life spans.  Lack beauty, physical or mental health, what is their strength good for? Do we not fight with weapons? Can’t survive extreme weather. All are in debt, and those earning alot will soon lose it all after they stop competing; can never enjoy their bodies because they are always in pain,Hellenistic-Boxer
  • The profit of the games, leads wealthy men to only train boys that they see potential in and then take a % of their winnings.
  • Athletes could sell their victories at (pay off their opponents) the Isthmian and Pythian games; however they could NOT SELL THEIR Olympia victories
  • Gymnastai peddlers, give extremely high interest loans to athletes and instruct on how to buy & sell victories [Roman period]
    • MILLER: Money, they assert, breeds professional athletes, which breeds corruption; only through strict amateurism can the true value of sport be realized. Were the athletes of the sixth and fifth centuries B.C—Arrhichion, Milo, Theagenes, Kleomedes, Euthymos, Polydamas—amateurs? To answer that, we must first define amateur and professional.
    • No ancient Greek equivalent for the word; amateur; it a French derivative of Latin: amator -> lover, person does something out of love
    • Professional, latin for profession; public declaration or acknowledgment. Profiteer “to declare publicly”
    • Note: someone can do something professional..out of love; Greeks has no equivalent to amateur and professional, in athletics; money was of no object to the ancient Greeks, it was for the glory..those only arose during the time of AtG
    • However there was still big money to be made (Theagene made $44,400,000 during his career) during the “amateur” days of Greek athletics
    • Dromeus of Stymphalos, winner of multiple crown games, made the all meat diet highly popular; trainer, Herodikos, used a special diet to greater extend his life
    • Specialized diets imply, rewards beyond those of glory; also free meals were economic benefit
    • Kleombrotos, dedicated 1/10th of his victory at Olympia to Athena; implying tangibles were awarded to him, even during the early days of Greek athletics
    • Professional, defined as someone who is paid for participate in athletics, relying on it as their sole income and trains exclusively trains for it arose in the time of AtG
    • The wealth amassed by AtG, promote the exploit of money in athletics and the trade off between financial gains of athletics and the injuries their endure while training
    • Galen: warns about the fleeting benefits of athletics, that youth are tricked into believing it is an art; however if you wish to make money safely and honestly you must train for a profession which can be continued throughout life

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