Games are so natural to man, especially in the period of childhood, that no nation has been or can be entirely without them.
I. Accordingly, a few traces are found in the early Hebrew history of at least private and childish diversions. The heat of the climate in Syria would indispose the mature to more bodily exertion than the duties of life imposed, while the gravity which is characteristic of the Oriental character might seem compromised by anything so light as sports. Dignified ease, therefore, corresponds with the idea which we form of Oriental recreation. The father of the family sits at the door of his tent, or reclines on the house-top, or appears at the city gate, and there tranquilly enjoys repose, broken by conversation, under the light and amid the warmth of the bright and breezy heavens, in the cool of the retiring day, or before the sun has assumed his burning ardors (De 16:14; La 5:14). Of the three classes into which games may be arranged, juvenile, manly, and public, the first two alone belong to the Hebrew life; the latter, as noticed in the Bible, being either foreign introductions into Palestine, or the customs of other countries.
1. With regard to juvenile games, the notices are very few. It must not, however, be inferred from this that the Hebrew children were without the amusements adapted to their age. The toys and sports of childhood claim a remote antiquity; and if the children of the ancient Egyptians had their dolls of ingenious construction, and played at ball (Wilkinson, Anc. Egypt. abridgm. 1:197), and if the children of the Romans amused themselves much as those of the present day (Horace, 2 Sat. 3:247), we may imagine the Hebrew children doing the same, as they played in the streets of Jerusalem (Zec 8:5; comp. Jer 30:19). The only recorded sports, however, are keeping tame birds (Job 41:5; compare Catull. 2, 1), and imitating the proceedings of marriages or funeral (Mt 11:16). Commenting on Zec 12:3, Jerome mentions an amusement of the young which is seen practiced in more than one part of the north of England. "It is customary," he says, "in the cities of Palestine, and has been so from ancient times, to place up and down large stones to serve for exercise for the young, who, according in each case to their degree of strength, lift these stones, some as high as their knees, others to their middle, others above their heads, the hands being: kept horizontal and joined under the stone. A similar mode of exercise prevailed in ancient Egypt (Wilkinson, 1:207). SEE CHILDREN.
Music, song, and dancing were recreations reserved mostly for the young or for festive occasions. From Lamentatiions 5:16, "the crown is fallen from our head" (see the entire passage on the subject of games), it might be inferred that, as among the Greeks and Latins, chaplets of flowers were sometimes worn during festivity. To the amusements just mentioned frequent allusions are fomund in holy writ, among which may be givens Ps 30:11; Jer 31:13; Lu 15:25. In Isa 30:29, a passage is found which serves to show how much of festivity and mirth- was mingled with religious observances; the journey on festival occasions up to Jerusalem was enlivened by music, if not by dancing. Some of the chief objects aimed at in the Greek and other games were gained among the Hebrews by their three great national festivals — the Passover, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles. At the recurrence of these festivals the nation was brought together in honor of the true God; and in times of religious feeling these great meetings were looked forward to and were celebrated with perhaps not less joy, though joy of a somewhat different kind, from that with which the Greeks looked forward to and celebrated their Olympic, Isthmian, and Nemean games. The public games of the Hebrews seem to have been exclusively connected with military sports and exercises, and even of these the notices are few and brief. It was probably in this way that the Jewish youth were instructed in the use of the bow and of the sling (1Sa 20:20,30-35; Jg 20:16; 1Ch 12:2). Allusion to what would seem to have been a kind of wardaesce, such as we read of in different countries, seems to be made in 2Sa 2:14, where Abner proposes that the young cen should arise and "play" before the two armies. The Hebrew שָׁחִק (shchak), for "play," is frequently used for dancing (2Sa 6:21; Jer 31:4); and Abner seems here to refer to a sport of this kind not now to be used as as imusement, but turned into stern reality. This may indicate the practice among the ancient Israelites of games somewhat similar to the jousts and tournaments of the Middle Ages. On the subject of dancing, see Michaelis, Mosaische Recht, article 197. No trace is found in Hebrew antiquity of any of the ordinary games of skill or hazard which are so numerous in the Western world. Dice are mentioned by the Talmudists (Mishna, Sanhedr. 3:3; Shabb. 23:2), probably introduced from Egypt (Wilkinson, 2:424); and, if we assume that the Hebrews imitated, as not improbably they did, other amusements of their neighbors, we might add such games as odd and even, mora (the micare digitus of the Romans), draughts, hoops, catching balls, etc. — (Wilkinson, 1:188). If it be objected that such trifling amusements were inconsistent with the gravity of the Hebrews, it may be remarked that the amusements of the Arabians at the present day are equally trifling, such as blind man's buff, hiding the ring, etc. (Wellsted's Arabia, 1:160). SEE SPORT.
2. With regard to manly games, they were not much followed up by the Hebrews; the natural earnestness of their character and the influence of the climate alike indisposed these to active exertion. The chief amusement of the men appears to have consisted 'in conversation and joking (Jer 15:17; Pr 26:19). The military exercise noticed above in 2Sa 2:14, if intended as a sport, it must have resembled the jerid, with the exception of the combatants not being mounted; but it is more consonant to the sense of the passage to give the term there used the sense offending or fighting (Thenius, Comm. ad loc.). Even among the active Egyptians, however, whose games have been figured on their mural tablets, we find little that suggests a comparison with the vigorous contests of the Grecian games. One of the most remarkable is the following, showing what appears to be play with the single-stick (Wilkinson, 1:206). In some instances wrestling or similar athletic exercises are exhibited on the Egyptian monuments, and even women are represented as tumbling in like sportive manner; but their favorite sport appears to have been the more sedate game of draughts, which even royalty did not disdain to share (Wilkinson, 1:189 sq.). SEE PLAY.
3. Public games were altogether foreign to the spirit of Hebrew institutions; the great religious festivals supplied the pleasurable excitement and the feelings of national union which rendered the games of Greece so popular, and at the same time inspired the persuasion that such gatherings should be exclusively connected with religious duties. Accordingly, the erection of a gymnasium by Jason, in which the discs was chiefly practiced, was looked upon as a heathenish proceeding (1 Macc. 1:14; 2 Macc. 4:12- 14), and the subsequent erection by Herod of a theater and amphitheater at Jerusalem (Josephus, Ant. 15:8, 1), as well as at Caesarea (Ant. 15:9, 6; War, 1:21, 8) and at Berytus (Ant. 19:7, 5), in each of which a quinquennial festival in honor of Caesar was celebrated with the usual contests in gymnastics, chariot-races, music, and with wild beasts was viewed with the deepest aversion by the general body of the Jews (Ant. 15:8, 1). In the Old Testament two passages contain a clear reference to games: Ps 11:5, "Rejoiceth s a strong man to run a race;" Ec 9:11, "I said that the race is not to the swift." The entire absence of verbal or historical reference to this subject, however, in the Gospels shows how little it entered into the life of the Jews. Some of the foreign Jews, indeed, imbibed a taste for theatrical representations; — Josephus (Life, 3) speaks of one Aliturus, an actor of farces (μιμολόγος), who was in high favor with Nero. (See Eichhorn, De Judaeor. re scenica, in the Comment. Goetting. Rec.)
II. Among the Greeks, on the other band, and subsequently among the Romans likewise, the rage for theatrical exhibitions was such that eamery city of any size possessed its theatre and stadium. At Ephesus an annual contest (ἀγών καὶ γυμνικὸς καὶ μουσικός Thucyd. 3:104) was held in honor of Diana, which was superintended by officers named Α᾿σιάρχαι (Ac 19:31; A.V. "chief of Asia"). SEE ASIARCH. It is possible that Paul was present when these games were proceeding, as they were celebrated in the month of May (see Conybbeare and Howson's St. Paul, 2:82); but this hardly asgrees with the notes of time in Ac 20:1-3,16.
1. Roman Beast-fights and Gladiatorial Shows. —
(1.) A direct reference to the exhibitions that took place on such occasions is made in the terms — ἐθηρ ομάχησα, "I fought with beasts" (1Co 15:32). The θηριομαχία a or beast-fight (venatio in Latin) constituted among the Romans a part of the amusements of the circus or amphitheater. It consisted in the combat of human beings with animals. The persons destined to this barbarous kind of amusement were termed θηριομἀχοι, bestiarii. They were generally of tewo classes: 1. Voluntary, that is, persons who fought either for amusement or for pay: they were clothed and provided with offensive and defensive weapons. 2. Condemned persons, who were mostly exposed to the fury of the animals unclothed, unarmed, and sometimes bound (Cicero, Pro Sext. 64; Ep. ad Quint. Frat. 2:6; Seneca, De Benef 2:19; Tertull. Apol. 9). Politicai offenders especially were so treated, and Josephus (War, 7:3, 1) records that no less than 2500
Jews were destroyed in the theater at Caesarea by this and similar methods. The expression as used by Paul is usually taken as metaphorical, both on account of the qualifying words κατ᾿ ἄνθρωπον, "after the manner of a man," the absence of all reference to the occurrence in the Acts, and the rights of citizenship which he enjoyed none of these arguments can be held to be absolutely conclusive, while, on the other hand, the term θηριομαχεῖν is applied in its literal sense in the apostolical epistles (Igsnatius, ad Ephesians 1; ad Trall. 10; Mart. Polyc. 3; comp. Euseb. E. H. 4:15), and, where metaphorically used (Ignatius, ad Romans 5), an explanation is added which implies that it would otherwise have been taken literally. Certainly Paul was exposed to some extraordinary suffering at Ephesus, which he describes in language borrowed from, if not descriptive of, a real case of θηριομαχία for he speaks of himself as a criminal condemned to death (ἐπιθανατίους, 1Co 4:9; ἀποκρίμα τοῦ θανάτου ἐσχήκαμεν, 2Co 1:9), exhibited previously to the execution of the sentence (ἀπέδειξεν 1 Corinthians l.c.), reserved to the conclusion of the games (ἐσχάτους), as was usual with the theriomachi ("novissimos elegit, velut bestiarios," Tertull. De Pudic. 14), and thus made a spectacle (θέατρον ἐγενὴθημεν). Lightfoot (Exercit. on 1Co 15:32) points to the friendliness of the asiarchs at a subsequent period (Ac 19:31) as probably resulting from some wonderful preservation which they had witnessed. Nero selected this mode of executing the Christians at Rome, with the barbarous aggravation that the victims were dressed up in the skins of beasts (Tacitus, Ann. 15:44). Paul may possibly allude to his escape from such torture in 2Ti 4:17. As none but the vilest of men were in general devoted to these beast-fights, no punishment could be more condign and cruel than what was frequently inflicted on the primitive Christians, when they were hurried away "to the lions" (as the phrase was), merely for their fidelity to conscience and to Christ its Lord. Ephesus appears to have had some unenviable distinction in these brutal exhibitions (Schleusner, Lex. s.v.), so that there is a peculiar propriety in the language of the apostle.
Of these beast-fights the Romans were passionately fond. The number of animals which appear to have been from time to time engaged in them is such as to excite in the reader's mind both pity and aversion. Sylla, during his praetorship, sent into the arena no fewer than 100 lions, which were butchered by beings wearing the human shape. Pompey caused the destruction in this way of 600 lions. On the same occasion there perished nearly twenty elephants. These numbers, however, are small compared with the butchery which took place in later periods. Under Titus, 5000 wild and 4000 tame animals, and in the reign of Trajan, 11,000 animals, are said to have been, destroyed. See Smith, Dict. of Class. Ant. s.v. Bestiarii.
(2.) The fights of the gladiators with one another was also a common practice at Rome. It began B.C. 264, and increased to such a fearful extent that on a single occasion, in honor of the triumph of the emperor Trajan over the Dacians, 10,000 gladiators fought for the amusement of the people. They were at first composed of captives or condemned malefactors, but afterwards, as the passion for blood grew stronger, free- born citizens, men of noble birth, and even women, fought after this fashion. The spectators betted on their favorite gladiators with much the same feelings as they betted on the favorite horses which ran before them in the circus. See Smith, Dict. of Class. Ant. s.v. Gladiatores.
The games and theatrical exhibitions of the heathen were regarded by the early Christians with as strong disapprobation as they were by the Jews generally, and for better reasons (Neander's Church Hist. 1:365, § 3). National antagonism to everything foreign as such had much effect in producing Jewish opposition to the games. It was as ministering in themselves and by their attendant circumstances to the lusts of the flesh and of the eye, as producing almost of necessity a cruel temper in the beholders, and running counter to the moral feeling, modesty, and sobriety of the Christian character, that the public spectacles and games of the heathen were ranked among those pomps and vanities which the Christians were obliged to renounce by their baptismal vow. Even the better-minded among the heathen regarded these games with disapproval. Pliny the consul speaks with approval of Junius Mauricius, who expressed an earnest wish that they could be abolished at Rome (Pliny's Letters, 4:22); nor does Tacitus appear to treat them with much greater respect (Hist. 3:83). Rome added to the Greek example features of cruelty which were unknown in the original Grecian games; and there was one feature of difference between the Grecian and Roman games which rendered the former a much more fitting illustration of the Christian life than the latter were, namely, that in the Grecian games the most eminent men in the land came forward and contended personally for victory, while in Rome the most eminent men were merely spectators of the contests of their inferiors (Gibbon, Decline
and Fall, chapter 40, page 11). Diomede and Menelaus, Antilochus and Ajax, and Ulysses, the kings, great warriors, and wise men of the Grecian states, deemed it an honor to contend for victory in their countries' games, and even old Nestor, the Homeric type of perfection in the qualities of mind and body, regretted that his years prevented him from joining in the glorious strife (Iliad, 23:634); but "a senator, or even a citizen, conscious of his dignity, would have blushed to expose his person or his horses in the circus of Rome." See Smith's Dict. of Class. Ant. s.v. Ludi.
2. Grecian Prize or Gymnastic Contests. — The scriptural allusions (Ga 2:2; Ga 5:7; Php 2:16; Php 3:14; 1Ti 6:12; 2Ti 2:5; Heb 12:1,4,12) are the more appropriate, because the Grecian games were in their origin and in their best days intimately connected with religion. Games in Greece were very numerous. They are traceable by tradition back to the earliest periods of Grecian civilization. Indeed, much of the obscurity which rests on their origin is a consequence and a sign of their high and even mythic antiquity. See Smith, Dict. of Class. Ant. s.v. Athlete.
(1.) Four of these games stood far above the rest, bearing the appellation of ἱεροί "sacred," and deriving their support from the great Hellenic family at large, though each one had special honor in its own locality: these four were the Olympic, Pythian, Nemean, and Isthmian. The first were held in the highest honor. The victors at the Olympic games were accounted the noblest and happiest of mortals, and every means was taken that could show the respect in which they were held. These games were celebrated every five years at Olympia, in Elis, on the west side of the Peloponnesus. Hence the epoch called the Olympiads.
The gymnastic exercises were laid down in a well-planned systematic series, beginning with the easier (κὃνφα), and proceeding on to the more difficult (βαπέα). Some of these were specially fitted to give strength, others agility; some educated the hands, others the feet. Among the lighter exercises was reckoned running (δρόμος), leaping (ἱίλμα), quoiting (δισκος), hurling the javelin (ἀκόντιον). When skill had been obtained in these, and the consequent strength. then followed a severer course of discipline. This was twofold — 1, simple; 2, compound. The simple consisted of wrestling (πἀλη), boxing (πυγμή): the compound we find in the pentathlon (πἐνταθλον, quinquertium, the five contests), made up of the union of leaping, running, quoiting, wrestling, and in hurling the spear; and in the pankration (παγκράτιον, general trial of strength), which consisted of wrestling and boxing. It is not necessary here to speak in detail of the distinctions which Galen makes between the ordinary motions of the body and those which were required in these exercises, since the names theemselves are sufficient to make manifest how manifold, severe, long, and difficult the bodily discipline was, and the inference is easy and unavoidable that the effect on the bodily frame must have been of the most decided and lasting kind. SEE EXERCISE (BODILY).
Racing, which is the kind of contest chiefly referred to in the N.T., may be traced back to the earliest periods of Grecian antiquity, and may be regarded as the first friendly contest in which men engaged. Accordingly, the Olympic and Pythian, probably also the other games, opened with foot- races. Foot-racing, perfected by systematic practice, was divided into different kinds. If one ran merely to the end of the course (στάδιον), it was called stadium; if one went thither and back, he ran the double course (δίαυλος) The longest course was the δόλιχος, which required extraordinary speed and power of endurance. What it involved the ancients have left in no small uncertainty. It is sometimes given as seven times over the stadium; at others, twelve times; at others again, twenty; and even the number of four-and-twenty times is mentioned. In the preparatory discipline everything was done which could conduce to swiftness and strength. The exercises were performed with the body naked and well oiled. Minute directions were established in order to prevent foul play (κακοτεχνία, κακοὺργια) of any kind, so that as the competitors might start and run on terms of entire equality. The contest was generally most severe; to reach the goal sooner by one foot was enough to decide the victory. See Smith, Dict. of Class. Antiq. s.v. Stadium. SEE DISCUS; SEE LEAPING; SEE WRESTLING.
Besides the athletic games above described, there were others, consisting of racing in chariots, on horseback, or with torches; and still others, in which the parties strove to excel one another in skill in playing upon various instruments. SEE RACE.
At the Olympic games the prize was simply a chaplet made of wild olive. The crowns were laid on a tripod, and placed in the middle of the course, so as to be seen by all. On the same table there were also exposed to view palm-branches, one of which was given into the hand of each conqueror at the same time with the chaplet. The victors, having been summoned by proclamation, were presented with the ensigns of victory, and conducted along the stadium, preceded by a herald, who proclaimed their honors, and announced their name, parentage, and country. The real reward, however, was in the fame which ensued. A chaplet won in the chariot-races at Olympia was the highest of earthly honors. What congratulations from friends; how was the public eye directed to the fortunate conqueror; what honor had he conferred on his native city, and for what office was such a one not fit! With what intense and deep delight must his bosom have been filled when the full acclaim of assembled Greece fell upon his ear, coming in loud salutations and applauses from every part of the crowded course! Then came the more primate attentions of individual friends. One brought a chaplet of flowers; another bound his head with ribbons. Afterwards came the triumphal sacrifice made to the twelve gods, accompanied by sumptuous feasting. The poet now began his office, gaining in some cases, both for himself and the happy victor, an unexpected immortality. Music also lent her aid, and his name was sung wherever the noble accents of the Greek tongue asserted their supremacy In order to perpetuate the memory of these great men, their names and achievements were entered into a public register, which was under the care of suitable officers. A no less privilege was that of having a statue of themselves placed, either at the expense of their country or their friends, in the sacred grove of Jupiter. A perhaps still greater honor awaited the victor on his return home. The conquerors at the Isthemian games were wont to be received in their chariots, superbly attired, amid thronging and jubilant multitudes. One or two other privileges belonged to these victors, such as immunity from public offices, and a certain yearly stipend. At the Isthmian games the prize was ivy during the mythic periods. In later ages the victor was usually crowned with a chaplet of pine-leaves. If the conqueror had come off victorious in the three great divisions — music, gymnastics, and racing — he was in the Pythian, as well as in the other sacred games, presented also with a palm-branch. See Smith's Dict. of Class. Antiq. s.v. Isthmian, Olympian, Nemean, Pythian Games severally. SEE CROWN.
(2.) Paul's epistles (as above) abound with allusions to the Greek contests, borrowed probably from the Isthtmian games, at which he may well have been present during his first visit to Corinth (Conybeare and Howson, 2:206), These contests (ὁ ἀγών — a word of general import, applied by Paul, not to the fight, as the A.V. has it, but to the race, 2Ti 4:7; 1Ti 6:12) are minutely illustrated by his references, in which they are used as a figure of the Christian's course of duty and struggle with opposing influences. The competitors (ὁ ἀγωνιζὀμενος, 1Co 9:25; ἐάνἀθλῇ τις, 2Ti 2:5) required a long and severe course of previous training (comp. σωματικὴ γυμνασία, 1Ti 4:8), during which a particular diet was enforced (πάντα ἐγκρατεύεται, δουλαγωγῶ, 1Co 9:25,27). In the Olympic contests these preparatory exercises (προγυμνάσματα) extended over a period of ten months, during the last of which they were conducted under the supervision of appointed officers. The contests took place in the presence of a vast multitude of spectators (περικείμενον νέφος μαρτύρων, Heb 12:1), the competitors being the spectacle (θέατρον= θέαμα, 1Co 4:9; θεαζόμενοι, Heb 10:33). The games were opened by the proclamation of a herald (κηρύξας, 1Co 9:27), whose office it was to proclaim the name and country of each candidate, and especially to announce the name of the victor before the assembled multitude, as well as to signify the other crises of the game. Certain conditions and rules were laid down for the different contests, as, that no bribe be offered to a competitor; that in boxing the combatants should not lay hold of one another, etc.; any infringement of these rules (ἐὰν μὴ νομίμως ἀθλήση, 2Ti 2:5) involved a loss of the prize, the competitor being pronounced disqualified (ἀδόκιμος, 1Co 9:27, "castaway," a term that seems to picture the condition of one disgraced by being adjudged unfit to enter the lists or rejected after the game was over). The judge was selected for his spotless integrity (ὁ δίκαιος κριτής, 2Ti 4:8): his office was to decide any disputes (βραβευέτω, Col 3:15; A.V. "rule") and to give the. prize (το βραβεῖον, 1Co 9:24; Php 3:14), consisting of a crown (στέφανος, 2Ti 2:5; 2Ti 4:8) of leaves of wild olive at the Olympic games, and of pine, or, at one period, ivy, at the Isthmian games. These crowns, though perishable (φθαρτόν, 1Co 9:25; comp. 1Pe 5:4), were always regarded as a source of unfailing exultation (Php 4:1; 1Th 2:19): palm-branches were also placed in the hands of the victors (Re 7:9). Paul alludes to two only out of five contests, boxing and running, most frequently to the latter. In boxing (πυγμή ; compare πυκτεύω, 1Co 9:26), the hands and arms were bound with the cestus, a band of leather studded with nails, which very much increased the severity of the blow, and rendered a bruise inevitable (ὑποπιάζω, 1 Corinthians 1.c.; ὑπώπια= τὰ ὑπὸ τὁυς ῏ωπας τῶν πληγῶν ἴχνη, Polluxji Onom. 2:4, 52). The skill of the combatant was shown in avoiding the blows of his adversary, so that they were expended on the air (οὐκ ὡς ἀέρα δέρων, 1 Corinthians 1.c.), or the phrase may allude to the preludial trials of comparative strength (comp. Statius, Theb. 6:487; Virgil, ,Eneid, 4:370). The foot-race (δρόμος, 2Ti 4:7, a word peculiar to Paul; comp. Ac 13:52; Ac 20:24) was run in the stadium (ἐν σταδίω; A.V. "race;" 1Co 9:24), an oblong area, open at one end and rounded in a semicircular form at the other, along the sides of which were the raised tiers of seats on which the spectators sat. The race was either from one end of the stadium to the other, or, in the διαυλος, back again to the starting-post. There may be a latent reference to the δίαυλος in the expression ἀρχηγὸν καὶ τελειωτήν (Heb 12:2), Jesus being, as it were, the starting-point and the goal, the locus a quo and the locus ad quem of the Christian's course. The judge was stationed by the goal (σκοπόν; Auth. Vers. "mark;" Php 3:14), which was clearly visible from one end of the stadium to the ether, so that the runner could make straight for it (οὐκ ὼς ἀδήλως, 1Co 9:26). Paul brings vividly before our minds the earnestness of the competitor, having cast off every encumbrance (ὄγκον ἀποθέμενοι πάντα), especially any closely-fitting robe (εὐπερίστατον, Heb 12:1; comp. Conybeare and Howson, 2:543), holding on his course uninterruptedly (διὡκω, Php 3:12), his eye fixed on the distant goal (ἀφορῶντες ἀπέβλεπε, Heb 12:2; Heb 11:26), unmindful of the space already past (τὰ μὲνὀπίσω ἐπιλανθανόμενος, Philippians 1.c.), and stretching forward with bent body (τοῖς δὲ ἔμπροσθεν ἐπεκτεινὀμενος), his perseverance (δἰ ὑπομονῆς, Heb 12:1), his joy at the completion of the course (μετὰ χαρᾶκ, Ac 20:24), his exultation as he not only receives (ἔλαβον, Php 3:12), but actually grasps (καταλάβω, not "apprehend," as A.V. Phil.; ἐπιλαβον, 1Ti 6:12,19) the crown which had been set apart (ἀπὀκειται. 2Ti 4:8) for the victor. The lengths of the bounds (a stade or furlong apart) give some idea of the severity of the trial, and serve to illustrate the meaning of the apostle when he speaks of running with patience the race set before him (ὐπομονή, sustained effort), Indeed, one Ladas, a victor of the Olympic games, in the δόλοχος, or long race, was so exhausted by his efforts that, immediately on gaining the honor and being crowned, he yielded up his breath: a fact which also serves to throw light on scriptural language, as showing with what intense eagerness these aspirants (δολιχοδρόμοι, long-runners) strove for perishing chaplets (φθαρτὸν στὲφανον). SEE RUNNER.
On the subject here treated of, see West's Odes of Pindar, 2d ed.; Potter's Antiquities of Greece, book 2, chapter 21-25; and Adams' Roman Antiq. pages 224-234. By far the best work, however, is Krause's Die Gymnnastik und Agonistik der Hellenen (Halle, 1835); his Darstellung der Olymphischen Spiele (Vien. 1838); and his Die Pythien, Nemeen und Isthmeen (Leipzig, 1841). See also Nagel, De ludis saecularibus Romanorum in Gemara commemoratis (Altorf, 1743); Eckhard, De Paulo athleta (Viteb. 1688); Guhling, De locutionibuts sacris e palaestra petitis (ibid. 1726); Schopfer, De locutionibus Pauli gymnasticis (ibid. 1704); Auerswald, De veterum arte luctandi (ibid. 1720); Gunther, De cursoritus veterum (ib. 1709); Hofmann, De athletis veterum (Halle, 1717); Lydii Agonistica sacra (Franeq. 1700).