Stephen G Millers Ancient Greek Athletics
Write 7 pages with APA style on Critical Analysis of Stephen G Millers Ancient Greek Athletics.
This has led to an explosion of books on the topic of Ancient Greek athletics of varying qualities ranging from extraordinarily poor and uninformed to brilliant academic works that further the study of Greek athletics for future generations. Miller’s book, Ancient Greek Athletics is certainly somewhere between the two extremes. It is a well researched and well-constructed work that is plenty accessible for a lay audience while still being informative and academically rigorous, especially in its citation of primary source materials. The fourteenth and fifteenth chapters of the work, which focus on the political ramifications of the games and the importance of the games to Greek society uphold this general standard: well thought out, well researched, while perhaps not being overly earth-shattering in their conclusions.
Because these two chapters are on linked but distinct topics, this essay will deal with each of them separately in order to avoid muddling arguments and evidence between each individual chapter. The fourteenth chapter, titled “Politics and the Games” demonstrates that the games served important political roles in Greek society. It begins by arguing that the games, to a certain extent at least, served as an alternative for warfare, a way of gaining supremacy and competition without having to resort to deadly battle on the open field (Miller, 2004, 216). He then indicates that there is a wide variety of evidence that the states themselves saw the games as extremely important politically, and were willing to devote significant resources to achieving victories in them – so if the states themselves saw the games as politically important as an alternative to warfare, there can be little doubt that they, in fact, were (Miller, 2004, 220). Miller (2004, 222), argues that the truces that accompanied the Olympic and other .pan-Hellenic games were relatively stable and long-lasting, and gave political leaders a chance to intermingle with each other and conduct relations of the state, even when their cities were ostensibly at war with each other.