A leading authority on classical games here provides a comprehensive study of the practice of combat sports in the ancient civilizations of Greece, Rome, and the Near East. Describing and analyzing the sports of boxing, wrestling, stick-fighting, and pankration, Michael B. Poliakoff discusses such topics as the function of competition and violent games in ancient society; on the social background of the participants, showing the broad spectrum of Greek athletic personnel; on the significance of the appearance of combat sport in myth and literature; and on the alleged cultic functions of the ancient combat sports. The book is copiously illustrated with photographs of numerous objects rarely or never before published.
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