can you touch on the book arete?

critical readers of the sourcebook, Arete.

Understanding the historical, literary, and political contexts of

ancient evidence

dive deep into a topic of your
choosing. The more invested the writer is in knowing about the
person/place/event/object in question, the better.


  1. Using the “Index and Glossary” at the back of Arete (pp. 209–233), choose a headword with at least three related entries (i.e.,
    numbers in bold at the end of the entry). This may be a person, place,
    event, or object. You may want to try out several headwords before you
    commit to one you find particularly interesting and well-suited to this
  2. Read all entries related to this headword closely—ideally, several
    times. Then, choose three, and only three, entires that seem together to
    give what is to you the most interesting perspective on the headword in
    question. It may be that your three entries may be from a similar era,
    offering a synchronic perspective on the issue, or else from widely
    different sources across space and time. Please avoid taking all three
    of your three pieces of evidence from the same author (e.g., Galen,
    Pausanias, Philostratus, etc.).
  3. The Report: In a typed document, please provide the following
    information for each of your three entries, prominently providing the Arete
    number for reference. Please also make reference to the following
    enumeration (parts 1–5) in your report, but details of formatting
    (line-spacing, font size, etc.) are up to you.

    1. In two or three sentences, describe the author or evidence used:
      What can you discover about the author’s background (language,
      ethnicity, class, profession, age, gender, etc.). Does s/he (although it
      is often he) have a particular bias, goal, framework when writing? If
      the evidence is inscriptional, without a clear sole author, what can you
      say about its context?
    2. Where applicable, offer a one to two sentence summary of the specific work in question (given by Miller in italics): What is the work’s ostensible audience and/or goal? What omissions/preoccupations might you infer?
    3. In one to two sentences, summarize in broad strokes the relevant
      geopolitical background of Greek athletics at the time/place the
      evidence was written. Is this piece of evidence from archaic or
      classical Greece (~776–322 BCE), the so-called Hellenistic era (~322–31
      BCE), or the era of the Roman empire? (~31BCE to the end of antiquity).
      Where applicable, how much time separates your evidence from the
      event(s) it describes?
    4. In one to two sentences, summarize the content of the evidence: What is being discussed/argued/proclaimed
    5. Then, taking as much space as you need, discuss what is
      interesting or distinctive about the evidence, particularly insofar as
      it contributes to your understanding of the chosen headword.

Finally, provide a paragraph synopsis that synthesizes the chosen
three pieces of evidence. Please address in particular: (a) Does the
evidence paint a coherent, or contradictory, picture? (b) Is this
(in)coherence affected by issues of date, ethnicity, religious belief,
etc. — and if so, how? (c) How does this evidence contribute to our
overall understanding of ancient Greek athletics?


2–3 pages in length. lay clear info on the most important details and avoid rambling.

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