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Sports in Ancient Greece, Research Paper Example

Pages: 3

Words: 819

Research Paper

Ancient Greeks loved sports, in this regard, the majority of cities in Greece had gymnasiums that enabled members of the public to relax and train as well. In the ancient Greece, people considered that a healthy body was essential, and thus, took sports to a higher level. It is noteworthy that majority of young men enjoyed sports, and as a result, they did their practice on a daily basis. Apart from fitness, sports also helped the ancient Greece to prepare for war. In this regard, it was the nation’s prerogative that the soldiers be fit enough to enable them to walk long distances, carrying heavy weapons, and enable them to fight their enemies. The Greeks had four national sports festivals. The most crucial were the Olympics held in tribute to Zeus. Olympia is a Greek city that was an important center of athletics. The Olympic games took place in every four years and were so crucial for Greeks in that they were used as the foundations for the Greek calendar. Also, the three events in the Olympics were weightlifting, boxing, and pentathlon. The pentathlon comprised of discus throwing, running, long jump, and wrestling. The Olympics started to sacrifice to Zeus since the games were regarded as religious and anybody caught cheating during the games was never banned permanently since cheating was believed to be impolite to the gods (Miller 39).

The Greeks participate actively in all types of games; however, their main bias is athletics. It is important to note that the Greeks prayed their gods to grant them good health and elegant human bodies. It is evident that there were numerous sports in Greece during the ancient times. The most popular of these sports is the Olympic Games; however, there were other sporting activities held in other places too, such as the Isthmian Games at Corinth (Crowther 23).

The sport in the ancient Greece was an activity entrenched because it was part of the approach to their philosophy, as well as concentrates of their societies. The sport was crucial as it permitted men and boys to train themselves physically, hence attain perfect physique and stamina. The prevailing philosophy of the era during the ancient Greece is dualism, and this referred to the mind, and the body that constitutes our being. Thus, it is important that both be developed. The Greeks gods were too portrayed as idealized human beings, perfect images of feminity along with masculinity, and this inspired physical training and athletics to achieve perfection. Arete that may imply spirit, skill, as well as superiority, was also another ideal during the ancient Greece in which the Greeks sought to accomplish through sports. The endeavors and striving of the athletes culminated in the sports, in which majority of them displayed arête (Miller 43).

Sports played a larger responsibility in religion in the ancient Greece society since the sport was believed to be a religious ceremony, a type of worship, as well as entertainment for the gods. For instance, the Olympics were particularly held at Olympia, in credit of Zeus, king of gods. Similarly, the Isthmian Games were held near Corinth to pay tribute to Poseidon, who was the sea god. Additionally, the physical endeavor by athletes while preparing for the sports was substantial. Furthermore, the attainment of a more remarkable physique was a form of imitating the gods, which translated to worshipping them. The games in ancient Greece also determined that the religion entailed worship, as well as the honor of the gods other than the propagation of values. Therefore, the sport in the ancient Greece was more crucial towards Greek religion for worship (Scanlon 12).

It is also essential to note that during the ancient Greece, sports were used to express identity as well as power in diverse ways. The Olympic games showed the element of loyalty to their cities other than the whole region of Greece. There was no single unifying Greek spirit that people identified other than through sports. The Olympic games were hence an occasion in which the Greeks from various parts of the region gathered, other than a national event. Also, sports in the ancient Greece set precedence for the commercialization of sports as the participants enjoyed a substantial amount of celebrity and got finances along with rewards for their achievements in the sporting arena. Sports in the ancient Greece were a type of interaction in the society and was used to promote the relationship between the various units of the empire and external units. This was a means of Greeks to demonstrate strength along with the courage of their military to other groups be it in Athens and Spartans, or to other colonies outside the territory (Scanlon 13).

Works Cited

Crowther, Nigel B. Sport in Ancient Times. Westport, Conn: Praeger Publishers, 2007. Print.

Miller, Stephen G. Arete: Greek Sports from Ancient Sources. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004.

Scanlon, Thomas F. Sport in the Greek and Roman Worlds. , 2014. Print.

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