Tag Archives: sport

Book review: A Visitor’s Guide to the Ancient Olympics by Neil Faulkner

Book review: A Visitor’s Guide to the Ancient Olympics by Neil Faulkner


Author: Neil Faulkner
Publisher: Yale University Press
Reviewed by: Paul Cartledge
Price (RRP): £14.99

Paul Cartledge savours a breezy history of the ancient Greek Olympics, presented in travel-guide style

Tudors at play

Tudors at play

Tudor England worked hard and played hard: “Sometimes their necks are broken, sometimes their backs, sometimes their legs, sometimes their arms” – not a description of some brutal medieval torture, but 16th century football. This sport was hugely popular, especially on occasions such as Shrove Tuesday and Ascension Day when entire villages played each other in ferocious all day encounters, the object being to capture a ball and bring it back to their own village.

19th Century sport in Scotland

19th Century sport in Scotland

Communal games involving men and older boys ranged up and down the streets of many towns and can still be observed each New Year in Kirkwall’s Ba’ Game, between „Uppies“ and „Doonies“ on 1st January. The border towns kept their Common Ridings, and many others celebrated an annual beating of the bounds, in all cases accompanied by fairgrounds, music, dancing and the public consumption of a great deal of alcohol.