‘Ancient and modern Olympics’ is written by Dr Jason König, who teaches Greek in the School of Classics, University of St Andrews. He has published widely on ancient athletic culture: for example Athletics and Literature in the Roman Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2005) and Greek Athletics (Edinburgh University Press, 2010). The blog has been running from March 2012. It offers among other things translations of texts related to the ancient Olympics festival and ancient Greek athletics generally, with a particular focus on texts which have something to tell us about the connections and the gaps between ancient and modern sport. It’s not aiming to do anything revolutionary. Many aspects of ancient sport are well reported in the media these days, and there are now lots of good introductory and popular-history books on ancient sport aimed at non-specialist readers. However, I think there’s still a tendency in many of these publications to generalise, or to quote from the same key ancient works as everyone else does. All I want to do here is to post new translations of some less well known texts, with accompanying comment. For me part of the interest in ancient athletics is the richness and variety of the sources, and the way they can give us snapshots from so many different areas of ancient culture…
Great blog! I would love to learn more about actual training techniques of the ancient Olympians, so please feel free to blog to your heart’s content! Thanks for putting all of this together!