We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

E-book purchase
Choose a subscription

Downloaded copy on your device does not expire. Includes 4 years of Bookshelf Online.


Where applicable, tax will be added to the above price prior to payment.

E-book purchasing help


Ancient Greek Athletics

Primary Sources in Translation

Charles H. Stocking and Susan A. Stephens

Publication Date - October 2021

ISBN: 9780198839606

464 pages
9.7 x 7.4 inches

In Stock


The Sourcebook of Ancient Greek Athletics offers the most comprehensive collection to date of primary sources in translation for the study of ancient Greek athletics. Because Greek athletics was such an essential feature of both Greek and Roman culture, there is an especially strong need for proper treatment and understanding of the texts and other media used to reconstruct practices and ideologies of ancient athletics. The sources in this collection are arranged chronologically from the Archaic Period to the Roman Imperial Era, with an extensive appendix discussing key themes and topics. The organization and in-depth presentation of textual sources is designed to help students, scholars, and general readers fully appreciate the broader social and cultural significance of ancient Greek athletics as it developed in different historical time periods throughout antiquity.


  • The most comprehensive sourcebook to date on ancient Greek athletics, including previously untranslated texts, epigraphic material, and papyri
  • Proposes complete textual sources with proper historical contextualization
  • Offers a chronological arrangement of ancient sources grouped by genre

About the Author(s)

Charles H. Stocking, Associate Professor, Classical Studies, Western University, Ontario,Susan A. Stephens, Sara Hart Kimball Professor in the Humanities, Stanford University

Charles H. Stocking is Associate Professor of Classical Studies at Western University. His work focuses broadly on poetics, religion, and embodiment in antiquity and modernity, with publications including The Politics of Sacrifice in Early Greek Myth and Poetry (Cambridge 2017), The Cultural History of Sport in Antiquity (Bloomsbury 2021), along with numerous articles ranging from Homeric poetics to the advent of modern bodybuilding. Prior to becoming a professor of Classics, Charles Stocking was an NCAA Division 1 Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Athletics Department at UCLA, where he trained multiple collegiate and Olympic athletes.

Susan A. Stephens is Sara Hart Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Classics at Stanford University. Trained as a papyrologist, her work includes contributions to the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, Yale Papyri in the Beineke Library (1985), and Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments, co-authored with Jack Winkler (Princeton, 1995). Subsequent scholarship has focused on the political and social context of early Alexandrian writers. Books include Seeing Double: Intercultural Poetics in Ptolemaic Alexandria (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 2003), Callimachus: The Hymns (Oxford, 2015), and The Poets of Alexandria (Bloomsbury, 2018) as well as numerous articles on Callimachus, Theocritus, Apollonius, and Posidippus. Recent work has focused on the politics of Greek athletics in the Hellenistic and Roman periods.


"This is a hugely valuable book. With 26 full colour illustrations, an historical time frame (which could have been more compendious), a list of Pindaric victory odes, tables showing when 'important Greek athletic contests were established' and the circuit of the four crown games, as well as a good bibliography, an index of names and a general index, it more than earns its place in libraries of schools and universities." -- David Stuttard, Classics for all

"Overall, there is a wealth of information included in this primary source book that will be well appreciated by future students and scholars." -- David Gilman Romano, University of Arizona, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Table of Contents

    1. The Archaic and Early Classical Period
    Victory Odes
    2. The Classical Period
    Tragedy and Comedy
    Hippocratic Corpus
    Attic Oratory
    3. The Hellenistic Period
    4. The Roman Period
    5. Olympia
    6. Delphi
    7. Sparta
    8. Athens
    9. Other Significant Inscriptions
    Appendix A: The Athlete in Greek Culture
    Appendix B: Sites and Conduct of Festival Games
    Appendix C: The Events