Les Mercredis de l'Antiquité - a lecture series offered by the Musée des Moulages (Paul-Valéry-Montpellier 3 University), the Musée Fabre, Lattara - Musée Henri-Prades archaeology site, ComUE Languedoc-Roussillon Universités and LabEx ARCHIMEDE.
Sport in Antiquity.
Shows of strength in the ancient Mediterranean.
In the first Olympic Games of the modern era, held in Athens in 1896, we are aware of the apparent links between our own sporting habits and those of the Greeks and, to a lesser extent, the Romans.
For the Greeks, the foundation of the Olympic competitions in 776 BC has sometimes even been thought to mark the start of a common calendar for all Greek cities.
The Iliad includes a long description of horse-racing and sporting trials. In the 6th century BC, a kind of sporting mindset emerges, borrowing many of its values from the aristocracy. In the classical and Hellenistic periods in Greece, sport was practised in a gymnasium, often in liaison with preparations for war. Public sporting and horse-racing shows were used to honour the gods. In the Roman world, sporting habits do not have entirely the same origins. They are also linked to funerals. Later on, they took place mainly in amphitheatres and were eventually associated with the imperial cult.
This culture of shows of strength lasted until the end of Antiquity, disappearing at the same time as Greco-Roman polytheism.
Christophe Chandezon, Professor of Ancient History, Paul Valéry / Montpellier 3 University
Rosa Plana, Professor of Archaeology, Paul Valéry / Montpellier 3 University
17 October 2018, 18:30
The arm of the boxer from Narbonne: An experiment in ancient pugilism by Brice Lopez and Corinne Sanchez
21 November 2018, 18:30
Olympus beside the river Alpheus: competitions and gods at Olympia by Vinciane Pirenne-Delforge
12 December 2018, 18:30
‘Like Hercules.’ Dangerous sports: hunters and acrobats in the arena in Roman times by Hélène Ménard
16 January 2019, 20:00
The invention of sport in Ancient Greece: in search of the first athlete by Jean-Manuel Roubineau
20 February 2019, 18:30
Representations of sport in Greek sculpture and ceramics by Ludovic Laugier
27 March 2019, 18:30
The mysteries of the ancient well of Auribelle (Pézenas, Hérault) by Stéphane Mauné
10 April 2019, 18:30
Sport at the baths, why? by Michel Blonski
22 May 2019, 18:30
Women’s sport in ancient Greece. From the spectacle to the spectacular, from the real to the imaginary by Florence Gherchanoc
12 June 2019, 18:30
Faith in the Arena: Christian martyrs in 19th Century painting by Pierre Stepanoff