Roman Sports Violence

Part of the Springer Series in Social Psychology book series (SSSOC)


The idealists of modern sports—Pierre de Coubertin, for instance, or Avery Brundage —have often made conscious use of verbal and nonverbal symbolism derived from the athletic rituals of ancient Greece. The revival of the discus throw and the creation of the marathon are two examples of idealistic historicism; the torch ignited by the sun at the altar of Zeus in Olympia and carried by relay runners to the site of the modern games is another. Coubertin (1894/1966) himself contrasted “l’athlète d’Olympie” with his ignoble counterpart, the “gladiateur de cirque” Other commentators, disillusioned with the nationalism, commercialism, political instrumentalization, and sheer violence of 20th-century sports, have consistently drawn their analogies not from Delphi and Olympia but rather from Rome and Constantinople. Football players are routinely likened to gladiators and the crowds enthralled by the Indianapolis races or by the Tour de France are said to lust for partem et circenses. Critics of modern violence have referred to ancient gore and have concluded in dismay that we too are in a phase of decadent decline or, worse yet, that humankind is biologically programmed to commit mayhem upon itself.


Football Player Circus Faction Church Father Funeral Game Modern Game 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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