“The Most Famous Contest of All”

Velleius Paterculus, History of Rome 1

“Then, the most famous contest of all sports”

Clarissimum deinde omnium ludicrum certamen

Philo, The Worse Attack the Better 29

“There are some of those athletes who display such perfection of body that their opponents decline to face them and they are announced as victors without a fight….”

εἰσὶ δέ τινες τῶν ἀγωνιστῶν οἳ διὰ σώματος εὐεξίαν, ἀπειπόντων τῶν ἀντιπάλων, ἐστεφανώθησαν ἀμαχὶ…

Livy, 40.13

“Look at the kind of circumstance selected for murder: games, parties, and drinking.”

tempora quidem qualia sint ad parricidium electa vides: lusus convivii comissationis.

Plutarch, Life of Antony 28

“There, he used his leisure in the distractions of youth and childish games, spending and even wasting that most expensive currency, as Antiphon calls it, time.”

ἐκεῖ δὲ μειρακίου σχολὴν ἄγοντος διατριβαῖς καὶ παιδιαῖς χρώμενον ἀναλίσκειν καὶ καθηδυπαθεῖν τὸ πολυτελέστατον, ὡς2Ἀντιφῶν εἶπεν, ἀνάλωμα, τὸν χρόνον.

Horace, Epistles 1.19.48-9

“Sport tends to give rise to heated strife and anger, anger in turns brings savage feuds and war to the death”.

ludus enim genuit trepidum certamen et iram, ira truces inimicitias et funebre bellum.

Xenophanes, Fragment 2. 16-19

“Swiftness of feet—the thing honored most in all of man’s acts of strength in the contest—could never make a city governed well.”

οὐδὲ μὲν εἰ ταχυτῆτι ποδῶν, τόπερ ἐστὶ πρότιμον,
ῥώμης ὅσσ’ ἀνδρῶν ἔργ’ ἐν ἀγῶνι πέλει,
τούνεκεν ἂν δὴ μᾶλλον ἐν εὐνομίηι πόλις εἴη·

Homer, Odyssey 8.147-8

“For as long as he lives, a man has no greater glory
than that which he wins with his own hands and feet”

οὐ μὲν γὰρ μεῖζον κλέος ἀνέρος, ὄφρα κεν ᾖσιν,
ἢ ὅ τι ποσσίν τε ῥέξῃ καὶ χερσὶν ἑῇσιν.

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