Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The future of democracies in the world

Harvard government lecturer Yascha Mounck studies the stability of democracies in the world today and concludes that it doesn't look good--contrary to conventional wisdom that says once a country goes democratic it's unlikely to go back. He talks about Venezuela, Poland, the EU generally.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Another Blog about Ancient Olympics

This one is from Belgium, by two ancient-history professors at Leuven.
Large site from Univ. of Pennsylvania Museum about the ancient Games.

Blog post on Disabled Athletes in the Ancient World

I have just found this blog (Ancient and Modern Olympics), which is quite useful. The author is a professor at the Univ. of St. Andrews in Scotland and ancient sports seems to be his specialty. This entry describes the very few instances we know from antiquity--Greek or Roman--where disabled people competed in athletics. Not surprisingly, they were mainly "novelty" acts: dwarf gladiators, for example. I continue to be intrigued by the topic of disabled athletes, however, because surely many people suffered disabling injuries in war, injuries which cannot have been considered shameful or disgraceful. I'd think the man injured in the service of his country, but recovered, might continue to participate in physical exercise, especially if his old injury did not leave him incapable or further service. At the gym you'd have seen men with scars, limps, or imperfect limbs due to battle injuries. Maybe they didn't go on to compete in the Olympics, but maybe they did. Spartans, after all, were liable for military service until the age of 60! They must have had scars, warped limbs, limps, arthritis, etc., but they still had to train with their unit. Of course, at the moment, I'm just spouting off about this topic and haven't really researched it. Stay tuned.

Full text of Lucian's Anacharsis

A barbarian visits Athens and learns about sports culture.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Olympic Museum in Switzerland


Olympic Odyssey (New York Times)


"Strange Rites of the Ancient Olympics" (Wall Street Journal)


Defunct events from the early modern Olympics


Review of several books about ancient Olympics


Facebook: Following Hadrian: picture of stadium at Olympia


Bribes at the ancient Olympics?


Olympics: did Michael Phelps tie a record from antiquity?


Red-figure cup with picture of athlete (Getty Villa)


Getty Villa Blog: Guide to Ancient Olympics

Or try this link: http://blogs.getty.edu/iris/grit-money-glory-olympics-then-and-now/

Victory songs from ancient Olympics


Ancient Olympics: Sponsorship Deals for Athletes