DSBcB020 The History of "Sport" in Antiquity I - Greece

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 2020
Extent and Intensity
2/0. 3 credit(s). Type of Completion: z (credit).
PhDr. Bc. Jiří Kouřil, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
doc. PhDr. Jarmila Bednaříková, CSc.
Department of Classical Studies - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Jitka Erlebachová
Supplier department: Department of Classical Studies - Faculty of Arts
Wed 18:00–19:40 D22
( SOUHLAS ) && (! DSBcB20 History of Ancient Sport I )
*** WARNING *** The course under this code is meant for students, who matriculated in 2018 or in previous years, only. All the others must be enrolled under the new code DSBcB20.
Basic knowledge of the history of the Near East and ancient Greece.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
The subject focuses on the history of physical exercises, "sports" and games in ancient times to Hellenism. The aim is to familiarize the students with ancient physical exercises and education systems, individual gymnic, hippic and other types of agon, athletes, coaches and places for the realization of physical activity. After completion of the subject the students will orientate themselves in "sports" disciplines and they will look at the ancient physical exercises differently than at the current sport.
Learning outcomes
After successful completion of the course, the student will be able to:
- look at Greek "sport" other way than at contemporary sport,
- compare Greek and other ancient “sports" activities among themselves and with the present,
- understand some "sporting" ideals, which are shaping contemporary agon and society,
- understand some specialist terms,
- understand the rules of ancient disciplines and games,
- orientate in the primary sources and specialist literature dealing with this topic.
  • Sports development of states of ancient Oriental type (Mesopotamia and Asia Minor, Egypt, India, China, Crete and Mycenae).
  • Transformation of physical exercises in Greece - transition from the Mycenae to dark and archaic time, continuity and development of physical exercise with reform of hoplites.
  • Gymnic, hippic and other agon in Greece.
  • Development of gymnic and hippic racing in Athens and Sparta. "Sports"-cultural and philosophical ideals (arete, kalokagathia, sophrosyne, hybris, ...).
  • Panhellenic Games, the Great Panathenai and minor games, relationship to women and foreigners.
  • Olympia - the establishment of Games, topography and the course of feast.
  • Olympia - history to Hellenism, disciplines, honorary titles. Selected athletes and coaches of Greek "sport" until Hellenism.
  • Artistic expression (Pindar, Simonides, ... x Myron, Polykleitos, Libon, ...).
    required literature
  • HOMÉROS. Ílias. Translated by Otmar Vaňorný. 12. vyd. Praha: Petr Rezek, 2007. 598 s. ISBN 8086027252. info
  • PAUSANIAS. Cesta po Řecku. I. Vyd. 1. Praha: Svoboda, 1973. 581 s. info
  • PAUSANIAS. Cesta po Řecku. II. Vyd. 1. Praha: Svoboda, 1974. 428 s. info
  • PINDAROS. Olympijské zpěvy. Translated by Jan Šprincl. 2., upr. vyd. Praha: Rezek, 2002. 212 s. ISBN 808602718X. info
  • A companion to sport and spectacle in Greek and Roman antiquity. Edited by Paul Christesen - Donald G. Kyle. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell, 2014. xx, 658. ISBN 9781118610046. info
  • HOGENOVÁ, Anna. Areté : základ olympijské filozofie. 1. vyd. Praha: Karolinum, 2000. 164 s. ISBN 8024600463. info
  • CHRISTESEN, Paul. Sport and democracy in the ancient and modern worlds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. xvii, 309. ISBN 9781107012691. info
  • KYLE, Donald G. Sport and spectacle in the ancient world. 1st pub. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2007. xv, 403. ISBN 9780631229711. info
    not specified
  • Contemporary athletics and ancient Greek ideals. Edited by Daniel A. Dombrowski. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009. 167 p. ;. ISBN 9780226155494. info
  • GUTTMANN, Allen. Essays on sport history and sport mythology. Edited by Donald G. Kyle - Gary D. Stark. 1st ed. College Station: Texas A & M Press, 1990. 154 s. ISBN 0890964548. info
  • GUTTMANN, Allen. The Olympics : a history of the modern Games. 2nd ed. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2002. 214 s. ISBN 0252027256. info
  • JAEGER, Werner Wilhelm. Paideia : die Formung des griechischen Menschen. 2., ungekürzter photomechan. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1989. 1398 s. ISBN 3110038005. info
  • Malá encyklopedie olympijských her. Edited by Miloš Fassati. 1. vyd. Praha: Olympia, 1982. 615 s. : f. info
  • MECHIKOFF, Robert A. A history and philosophy of sport and physical education : from ancient civilizations to the modern world. 5th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010. xviii, 459. ISBN 9780073376493. info
  • OLIVOVÁ, Věra. Sport a hry ve starověkém světě. V Praze: Artia, 1988. 207 s. : i. info
  • SÁBL, Václav. Hrdinové antických olympiád : olympijské příběhy a pověsti. Praha: Olympia, 1968. info
  • SÁBL, Václav. Od Olympie k Římu 1960 : z dějin olympijských her. Vyd. 1. Praha: Sportovní a turistické nakladatelství, 1960. 351 s., [4. info
  • STRACHOVÁ, Milena and Ján GREXA. Dějiny sportu (Sports history). Brno: Masarykova univerzita, 2014. p. nestránkováno, 121 pp. ISBN 978-80-210-7359-3. URL info
  • ZAMAROVSKÝ, Vojtěch. Vzkříšení Olympie. 1. vyd. Praha: Olympia, 1980. 294 s., [4. info
  • SPENGLER, Oswald. Zánik Západu : obrysy morfologie světových dějin. Edited by Martin C. Putna, Translated by Milan Váňa. Vyd. 1. Praha: Academia, 2010. 772 s. ISBN 9788020018861. info
Teaching methods
Lecture, discussion.
Assessment methods
According to the agreement the subject will be finished by a contest and collective discourse; possibly by a test.
Language of instruction
Follow-Up Courses
Further Comments
The course is taught annually.
Listed among pre-requisites of other courses
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2015, Autumn 2016, Autumn 2017, Autumn 2018, Autumn 2019.
  • Enrolment Statistics (recent)
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