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Athletics And Games of the Ancient Greeks volume 1

Cover Athletics And Games of the Ancient Greeks volume 1
Athletics And Games of the Ancient Greeks volume 1
Edward Marwick Plummer
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Until the time of Alexander, /victory among the Greeks, depended on the muscular power, endurani?e, and ^ skill of the individual warriors. The central and principal feature of early Greek warfare was a personal hand-to-hand grapple. There- fore, it was essential in preparing for war that each separate soldier should be made as active and vigorous as possible. That this mode of warfare prevailed until a late date, may be seen from the fact that Plutarch attributed the victory of the Thebans ove...r the Spartans at the battle of Leuktra, b. C. 371, to the superiority of the former in the art of wrestlins^. Battle itself was an effective, even if a very perilous, mode of physical culture. It often involved, to be sure, the death of the weaker adversary, who was weak only comparatively, and who, con- sidered by himself, was usually an admirable specimen of man. But, throughout all historic time, a branch of athletic sports has existed that could not be practiced without risk, as fencing, boxing, or wrestling.

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