Historický pohled na zdraví z pohledu antiky

Title in English Historical View on Health in Antiquity


Year of publication 2017
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description An enormous emphasis was placed on "sport" in ancient Greece. This initially served as a preparation for struggle and as a part of the religious ceremonies, but later “sport“ began to separate and stood apart until went through (especially thanks to commercialization) professionalism. In this time the original higher ideals disappeared from it, and antique "sport" became much closer to contemporary sport. Nevertheless a lot of men still looked at "sport" as a suitable part of life and they criticized disproportionate body overload, professionalisation, and the lifestyle of the athletes at this time, which was limited only to training, sleeping and food. These men recommended healthy movement for all. Of course, always in a different form. Plutarch emphasized the necessity of practicing in old age. The seniors, according to him, should not neglect movement or physical training; they were forbidden e.g. long jump or discus throwing, on the contrary, suitable for them were walk, light ball games and breathing exercises, as well as conducting different interviews, but they were not allowed to fall into total inactivity and become cold. Plato thought that soul and body care is possible for any age. Also Aristotle recommended exercises regardless of age, the training-grounds were divided by age; this suggests that he proposed various exercises for children, adults and the elderly whose training-ground should be in the square near offices. Reversely e.g. Theophrastus, student of Aristotle, criticized education and physical activities of seniors. In Roman "sport" there were also several exceptions, e.g. both biggest charioteers. Gaius Appuleius Diocles competed until he was 42 and Porphyrius/ Calliopas competed in Byzantine Empire even until he was 60. Although there is no record about sport of the seniors in antiquity, but thanks to a few references, we can make a fairly plausible picture how they lived and that "sports" were considered appropriate for them.
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