By Debra Hawhee
The position of athletics in historical Greece prolonged well past the geographical regions of kinesiology, pageant, and leisure. In educating and philosophy, athletic practices overlapped with rhetorical ones and shaped a shared mode of information creation. "Bodily Arts" examines this fascinating intersection, providing an immense context for knowing the attitudes of historic Greeks towards themselves and their atmosphere. In classical society, rhetoric was once an job, person who was once in essence 'performed'. Detailing how athletics got here to be rhetoric's 'twin artwork' within the physically facets of studying and function, "Bodily Arts" attracts on diversified orators and philosophers resembling Isocrates, Demosthenes, and Plato, in addition to scientific treatises and a wealth of artifacts from the time, together with statues and vases. Debra Hawhee's insightful examine spotlights the proposal of a classical fitness center because the situation for a ordinary 'mingling' of athletic and rhetorical performances, and using historical athletic guideline to create rhetorical education in accordance with rhythm, repetition, and reaction. offering her facts opposed to the backdrop of a vast cultural viewpoint instead of a slim disciplinary one, Hawhee offers a pioneering interpretation of Greek civilization from the 6th, 5th, and fourth centuries BCE by way of staring at its voters in motion.
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Additional resources for Bodily Arts: Rhetoric and Athletics in Ancient Greece
The resulting actions—the slicing of Pandaros’ face and Achilles’ winning of the footrace—are deemed indicators of virtuosity by the onlookers in the poem as well as its readers/listeners. Establishing oneself as a great warrior and dying in battle were of course not the only ways to achieve fame in ancient Greece. As the example of Achilles’ footrace suggests, the ‘‘politics of reputation’’ also operated in athletic competitions, sometimes held as part of funerary rituals (as in the Iliad and the Odyssey) and sometimes as part of celebratory festivals, as is the case with the Isthmian, the Pythian, the Nemean, and the Olympic Games.
In this regard, the interventions of Athena are telling. In Book 5 of the Iliad, Athena guides the spear of Diomedes into Pandaros’ face (290–91) and then into Ares’ midsection (856–57), and in Book 23, Athena trips Ajax in a footrace (774–75), thus sealing Achilles’ victory. As Seth L. Schein notes, such interventions say less about the agency of the gods versus humans and more about the goodness of the hero receiving assistance from the gods. That is, as Schein puts it, ‘‘the presence of the god was the traditional poetic means of calling attention to the greatness of the victor and the victory, and it likewise conferred a special dignity on both victor and victim by showing that the gods themselves were concerned to intervene in their struggle’’ (1984: 58).
As such, it allows a perspective on rhetoric as an art that was deeply situated in Greek culture and entangled with other arts of subject production. A focus on rhetoric’s connections to athletics enables a view of rhetoric as a bodily art rather than strictly a cerebral endeavor, and traces the way in which rhetoric and athletics mutually shaped and struggled with each other—conceptually, practically, and culturally. ). In the name and spirit of the agōn, bodies not only came together, they became bodies, bodies capable of action and (hence) identity formation.