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The Ancient Olympic Games

The Ancient Olympic Games
Second Edition, Revised and Updated

Published in time for the 2008 Olympics—an updated edition of the indispensable guide to the ancient Games, with a new final chapter on the modern Games.

Series: A new edition is now available.

Copublished with the British Museum Press
January 2008
This book is out of print and no longer available.
120 pages | 54 color and 61 b&w illus. |

In this revised and enlarged 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. The last additional 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. Eleven additional archival photographs chart the major landmarks in the Olympics over the last hundred years.


Judith Swaddling is Assistant Keeper in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities at the British Museum.