The Victor's Crown: How the Birth of the Olympics and the Rise of the Roman Games Changed Sport for Ever

Author(s): David Potter

Ancient & Medieval | History | Staff Picks

Incorporating the latest research, The Victor's Crown offers an analysis of how competitive sport emerged in Greece during the eighth century BC, and then how the great festival cycle of Classical Greece came into being during the sixth century BC. Special attention is paid to violent sports of boxing, wrestling and pancration. We meet the great athletes of the past and discover what it was that made them so great. It shows how the rise of the Roman Empire transformed the sporting world by popularizing new forms of entertainment (chiefly chariot racing, gladiatorial combat and beast hunts). David Potter vividly brings to life the experiences of being fan and competitor, and extrapolates skilfully to the modern day, creating not just a history of ancient sport, but also an examination of the social and cultural roles sport has played throughout history.

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'Vivid and authoritative ... scholarly and entertaining ... fascinating and impressive' - Sunday Times. 'A rich, absorbing account' - Independent on Sunday.

David Potter is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Greek and Latin in the Department of Classical Studies at the University of Michigan. He is also the author of Emperors of Rome.

General Fields

  • : 9780857382009
  • : Quercus
  • : Quercus
  • : March 2012
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : David Potter
  • : Paperback
  • : 352