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By Sofie Remijsen

This booklet provides the 1st complete examine of the way and why athletic contests, a attribute point of Greek tradition for over a millennium, disappeared in overdue antiquity. not like earlier discussions, which concentrate on the traditional Olympics, the top of the main recognized video games is analysed the following within the context of the cave in of the whole overseas agonistic circuit, which encompassed a number of hundred contests. the 1st a part of the ebook describes this cave in by way of a close research of the fourth- and fifth-century heritage of the athletic video games in every one quarter of the Mediterranean: Greece, Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, Italy, Gaul and northerly Africa. the second one part keeps via explaining those advancements, tough conventional theories (especially the ban by way of the Christian emperor Theodosius I) and discussing intimately either the overdue old socio-economic context and the past due old perceptions of athletics

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Extra resources for The End of Greek Athletics in Late Antiquity (Greek Culture in the Roman World)

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From the late third century on, honorary inscriptions were largely restricted to provincial governors and other imperial magistrates. The rare examples honoring locals usually appeared as building inscriptions. Other types, such as funerary inscriptions, were less affected by these changes in the epigraphic habit. 36 As the traditional habit of honoring local notables on stone declined, another long-established habit of honoring them gained in popularity: acclamations. Inscribed acclamations, either formally or as graffiti, are already attested in the third century, but became especially frequent in the fifth and sixth centuries, when the circus factions had spread in the entire empire, because acclamation was a central 34 35 Mrozek 1973: 115 gives a graph for all Latin inscriptions (taken over in MacMullen 1982: 243); MacMullen 1986a: 237 for all inscriptions from Lydia.

24 Introduction the same villa and the mosaic from the Constantinian villa at Daphne seem to do the same for an athletic agon, but are unfortunately both very fragmentary. The only complete depiction of an athletic agon, in this case on four horizontal bands, was found in the ancient town of Capsa in modern-day Tunisia (Fig. 61 A recurring iconographic element (in Piazza Armerina on the mosaic of the musical agon and on a mosaic from the same villa with a wrestling contest between Eros and Pan, and on the example from Capsa) is the presence of money bags among the prizes.

Because of the sheer size of this project and the antiquity of many laws, the jurists relied more on earlier redactions than did the team behind the Codex Theodosianus. Usually, passages dealing with athletics in the Codex Iustinianus or Digesta belong to sections on a specific topic, for example on loans or on privileges. Often these sections, including the examples, were copied entirely from an earlier law collection of one of the great jurists from the Principate. Therefore, these laws cannot automatically be taken as evidence for the situation of the sixth century.

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