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Looks at some of the sports and games of the ancient world from seven different geographic regions as they are currently understood, and includes suggestions on how to adapt many of the games to modern use.
Orwell was wrong. Sports are not "war without the shooting", nor are they "war by other means." To be sure sports have generated animosity throughout human history, but they also require rules to which the participants agree to abide before the contest. Among other things, those rules are supposed to limit violence, even death. More than anything else, sports have been a significant part of a historical "civilizing process." They are the opposite of war. As the historical profession has taken its cultural turn over the last few decades, scholars have turned their attention to subject once seen as marginal. As researchers have come to understand the centrality of the human body in human history, they have come to study this most corporeal of human activities. Taking early cues from physical educators and kinesiologists, historians have been exploring sports in all their forms in order to help us answer the most fundamental questions to which scholars have devoted their lives. We have now seen a veritable explosion excellent work on this subject, just as sports have assumed an even greater share of a globalizing world's cultural, political and economic space. Practiced by millions and watched by billions, sports provide an enormous share of content on the Internet. This volume combines the efforts of sports historians with essays by historians whose careers have been devoted to more traditional topics. We want to show how sports have evolved from ancient societies to the world we inhabit today. Our goal is to introduce those from outside this sub-field to this burgeoning body of scholarship. At the same time, we hope here to show those who may want to study sport with rigor and nuance how to embark on a rewarding journey and tackle profound matters that have affected and will affect all of humankind.
The field of sports history is no longer a fledgling area of study. There is a great vitality in the field and it has matured dramatically over the past decade. Reflecting changes to traditional approaches, sport historians need now to engage with contemporary debates about history, to be encouraged to position themselves and their methodologies in relation to current epistemological issues, and to promote the importance of reflecting on the literary or poetic dimensions of producing history. These contemporary developments, along with a wealth of international research from a range of theoretical perspectives, provide the backdrop to the new Routledge Companion to Sports History. This book provides a comprehensive guide to the international field of sports history as it has developed as an academic area of study. Readers are guided through the development of the field across a range of thematic and geographical contexts and are introduced to the latest cutting edge approaches within the field. Including contributions from many of the world’s leading sports historians, the Routledge Companion to Sports History is the most important single volume for researchers and students in, and entering, the sports history field. It is an essential guide to contemporary research themes, to new ways of doing sports history, and to the theoretical and methodological foundations of this most fascinating of subjects.
"Did you know that the martial arts include such former Western pursuits as dueling, gunfighting, and gladiatorial combat? Nearly 100 articles by scholars discuss specific martial arts, countries, and concepts such as religion and spiritual development common to martial arts traditions of the world. Definitions of unfamiliar terms and an index that notes the historical figures and classic texts dicussed within articles help to make this set a scholarly corrective in an area often informed by the movies."--"Outstanding Reference Sources," American Libraries, May 2002.
Analyzes sport from an anthropological perspective that includes cultural evolution, social function, and human expression.

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