A Book Release for The Greek Athlete and the Olympic Spirit

Title:The Greek Athlete and the Olympic Spirit
Authors: Essays by John J. Herrmann Jr. and Christine Kondoleon; Foreword by Bill Littlefield
Publisher: MFA Publications
Date of Publication: 2004
Language: English
ISBN: 0878466800
Price: List price $45.00
Description:  Clothbound, 10 x 9 in.; 224 pp; 207 color and 10 b x w (also available in softcover).
Availability: Major booksellers and distributors, including online Barnes & Noble.com and Amazon.com

From the Publisher

The Greek Athlete and the Olympic Spirit

Essays by John J. Herrmann Jr. and Christine Kondoleon. Foreword by Bill Littlefield.

As Athens prepares for 2004, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, proudly presents the original Olympics in all their sweaty, heroic glory. Like today, sports were a vital part of daily life in ancient Greece. Games for the Gods unearths the original traditions of athletics, highlighting both the fascinating similarities and the jarring differences between the ancient ways and our own. We might not be used to such Classical customs as associating athletic festivals with certain gods, seeing our athletes compete in the nude, or having them indulge in dirty fighting as accepted practice (then again...), but the excitement of competition, admiration for athletic skill, and adoration of champions--as well as several of the sports--are just as familiar to fans today as they were to the ancients. The Greek games here come to life in a series of texts that explore the Olympics then and now, the origins of the games and various athletic events, and the ways in which the contests were prepared for and the victors honored. With stunning illustrations of over 140 sculptures, vases, and coins, as well as photographs of modern athletes, Games for the Gods is a unique celebration of the Olympic spirit through the ages.


". . . fine, informative introduction" to the exhibition--Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker

About the Exhibition

Read review by Peter Schjeldahl of The New Yorker.

Listen to radio show discussion about ancient athletics and the exhibition at the Boston MFA on WBUR.org.

Christian Science Monitor article and exhibition review by April Austin.

Read press release about exhibition by MFA and sponsor New Balance.

Article by Christopher Millis of The Boston Phoenix.com.

About the Authors

John J. Herrmann Jr. is Joint Head of the Department of Art of The Ancient World at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Christine Kondoleon is the George D. and Margo Behrakis Curator of Greek and Roman Art at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and a distinguished lecturer for the John C. Rouman Classical Lecture Series at the University of New Hampshire.

(Posting date 19 November 2006)

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