In this revised and all-colour edition of her indispensable guide to the ancient Games, Judith Swaddling traces their mythological and religious origins, and describes the events, the sacred ceremony and the celebrations that were an essential part of the Olympic festival. A large, detailed model based on modern research and excavation reconstructs the site of ancient Olympia, where alongside religious and civic buildings there grew an elaborate sports complex with a stadium for 40,000 spectators, indoor and outdoor training facilities, hot and cold baths, a swimming pool and a race-course. Later chapters cover the diet and medical treatment of athletes, sponsorship, patronage, propaganda and revivals of the Games and a brand new chapter, based on the latest research discusses the literary sources for the Olympic Games. The expanded final chapter on the modern Games is written in collaboration with Stewart Binns, an expert in this field who has worked closely with the International Olympic Committee over many years, and has been revised to bring the story up to the preparations for the London 2012 Games. Illustrated with gorgeous, full-colour photography and covering thousands of years of Olympic history, this fascinating book is essential reading for anyone interested in the Olympic Games.
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