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From the informal games of Homer's time to the highly organized contests of the Roman world, Miller has compiled a trove of ancient sources: Plutarch on boxing, Aristotle on the pentathlon, Philostratos on the buying and selling of victories, Vitruvius on literary competitions, and Xenophon on female body building. Arete offers readers an absorbing lesson in the culture of Greek athletics from the greatest of teachers, the ancients themselves, and demonstrates that the concepts of virtue, skill, pride, valor, and nobility embedded in the word arete are only part of the story from antiquity. This bestselling volume on the culture of Greek athletics is updated with a new preface by leading scholar Paul Christesen that discusses the book's continued importance for students of ancient athletics.
About the Author
Stephen G. Miller is Professor of Classical Archaeology Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.
Paul Christesen is Associate Professor of Classics at Dartmouth College.
"A remarkable compendium of ancient sources . . . An invaluable resource for the study of Greek sport . . . What Miller’s Arete does extremely well is to show that 'nearly almost every aspect of athletics we know today existed already in that distant but kindred world'"
— European Legacy
"Unquestionably the best available sourcebook on the nature of athletics and its role in Greek society from Homeric through Roman Imperial times."
— Classical World