This is the first book to address the gap in the literature linking the physical culture of the ancient world with the beginnings of modern sport, this original book traces the history of the evolution of a variety of sport, games and physical education from 450-1650AD across Western Europe.
Drawing on primary sources, this book takes a thematic approach, looking at the changing nature of geopolitical structures, educational systems, religious institutions and the practice of warfare and medicine and goes on to trace the disappearance of ancient physical culture with its gymnasia, gladiators and chariot races, the invention of a new physical culture based on chivalry around 1000AD, the transformation of that culture in the Renaissance, and its disappearance around 1650 under the influences of new science.
Offering a new and original perspective on the relationship between sport and society, this unique study will be of great interest to all historians of sport and culture.
Table of Contents
1. Timelines, Historiography, Definitions 2. Sport in the Forgotten Centuries (1): The Primary Sources to 600 AD 3. Sport in the Forgotten Centuries (2): The Primary Sources 600–1700 4. The Sports, the Athletes, the Material Setting 5. Tourneying and Jousting 6. Sport in the Service of the Res Publica 7. Athletics within the Social Fabric 8. Epilogue: From the Renaissance into the Age of Science and Reason. Bibliography. Index
John McClelland is Professor Emeritus of French Literature and former Associated Professor of Sports History at the University of Toronto.