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A study of the impact of sport and leisure on various aspects of ancient life and their modern reconstructions. Note: course requirements in this combined 200 and 300-level course will be appropriate to the level at which the student is enrolled.
Sport and leisure practices were important for the ancient Greeks and Romans as they are today and comprise one of the greatest legacies of the ancient world on the modern, not least the idea of the Olympic Games. This course considers ancient forms of athletic contest and competition as well as other practices including: Greek games held during the Olympic and other festivals and their celebration in art and literature; the symposium and the convivium; chariot-racing and circus contests in Rome; and Roman blood-sport (animal fights, gladiatorial contests and punishments of criminals in spectacles).We will examine both the archaeological and literary evidence for such events; we also look at the idea of athletes in myth, art and literature, as well as the impact that these competitions have had on our modern perceptions of sport, leisure and athletic contest.
Understanding of the nature, forms and functions of ancient athletics, public games and leisure activities from Archaic Greece to the Roman imperial period, including: ancient Olympic Games, life in Sparta, gladiatorial and other contests, feasting, etc., as well as ancient attitudes to these practices.Understanding of the impact of sport and leisure on various aspects of ancient life: mythology, erotics and sexuality, gender differentiation, social status, ethnic identity, political power, religious rituals, art and literature.Enhanced ability to develop a holistic approach to the subject by handling a wide range of primary source material (literary, historical, iconographic, archaeological, and cinematic) and approaches (philology, socio-cultural history, literary analysis, archaeological investigations, media studies) in understanding ancient sport and leisure. Development of students' skills in critical thinking and contributions to class discussions
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award
Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.
Employable, innovative and enterprising
Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.
Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.
Any 15 points at 100 level from CLAS, orany 60 points at 100 level from the Schedule V of the BA.
Any 100-level course in CLAS.
Students must attend one activity from each section.
Tutorials are held at the City Campus, Arts Centre, 3 Hereford Street (lectures are at Ilam Campus)
Please check the course LEARN page for further details and updates.
Kyle, Donald G;
Sport and spectacle in the ancient world
Wiley Blackwell, 2015.
This textbook will be uploaded as an e-book on Learn. Study material and reading lists for lectures will be made available by the lecturer(s) for each portion of the course and uploaded onto Learn. Powerpoint notes and lecture recordings will be uploaded onto Learn as well; however, these are not substitutes for lectures and tutorials.
Domestic fee $844.00
International fee $3,950.00
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
For further information see