For over one thousand years between 776 B.C. and A.D. 395, princes, statesmen, and famous athletes gathered every four years at Olympia in western Greece to compete for the olive crowns of the ancient Olympic Games. Judith Swaddling traces the mythological and religious origins of the games and describes the events, religious ceremony, and celebrations that were an essential part of the Olympic festival. The book also features a large, detailed model of the site of ancient Olympia, where, alongside religious and civic buildings, there grew an elaborate sports complex with a stadium for 40,000 spectators, indoor and outdoor training facilities, hot and cold baths, a swimming pool, and a race course.
For this revised edition, three new chapters have been added, covering the diet and medical treatment of athletes; sponsorship, patronage, and propaganda; and revivals of the games. Superbly illustrated with vases, sculpture, and other works of ancient art, and with new views of the site, the new edition of this indispensable account of Ancient Olympia and the games now includes color reproduction for over half the illustrations, as well as many additional pictures.