Agon, arete, sport and war: Ancient Greece Period

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Competition, War, Ancient Period


Agon and arete are the dominant concepts of the Ancient Greek Period. In this research, which is carried out with the traditional review design, which is one of the qualitative research methods, it is aimed to reveal the relationship of these concepts with sports and war which are also important practices of the period. Agon and arete are associated with ‘good man’, competition, courage, and war. Therefore, the display of these features is typical quality of societies like Ancient Greece where war is a necessity. In ancient Greece, warfare takes place in the most destructive form of the agon. Arete is the highest value a brave young man can earn, who can endure blood and death in battle, stay close to the enemy, and fight. The great importance attributed to military victory, honour and combat readiness applies to sports and male athletes, as sport is considered an indispensable tool for combat training and skills. Successful male athletes become respected and divinely privileged citizens. In the distinguished works of the period, the relationship and common points between sports and war are often expressed. While war and sports have an important social function for militarism, glory, social privilege, social construction and maintenance of masculinity, it is a sign of the existence of Hellenic ethnic identity.


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How to Cite

Tekin, G. (2023). Agon, arete, sport and war: Ancient Greece Period. Journal of ROL Sport Sciences, 4(1), 359–380.