Cash and crowns: A network approach to Greek athletic prizes

Mann, Christian

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Document Type: Book chapter
Year of publication: 2018
Book title: Ancient Greek history and contemporary social science
The title of a journal, publication series: Edinburgh Leventis Studies
Volume: 9
Page range: 293-312
Publisher: Canevaro, Mirko
Place of publication: Edinburgh
Publishing house: Edinburgh University Press
ISBN: 978-1-4744-2177-5 , 978-1-4744-2178-2 , 978-1-4744-2179-9
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Humanities > Alte Geschichte, Archäologie (Mann 2011-)
Subject: 930 History of the ancient world to ca. 499, archaeology
Abstract: It is well known that Olympic victors received “only” an olive wreath – a fact that classified them as “amateurs” in the perspective of the modern Olympic movement. But the reality of ancient sports was far more complex: At many competitions, the victors’ awards were objects of value (amphorae filled with olive oil, weapons and other bronze objects, living animals) or cash. In some cases, victors were not allowed to do with the prize what they wanted to, but were obligated to dedicate it in a sanctuary, to sell it to the polis officials, to deliver it to a king etc. So what was the nature of athletic prizes? They have been analyzed as cult objects or in the context of gift exchange (according to Marcel Mauss). This chapter offers a new approach taking into account network theory and theories about the convertibility of capital: Athletic prizes – wreaths as well as value prizes – are considered as objects with both an economic and symbolic dimension. Their function was to construct and strengthen networks in the Greek world, while the structure of those networks changed according to political developments.

Dieser Eintrag ist Teil der Universitätsbibliographie.

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