Anastasiou, A.1*, Panagiotou, A.2, Kaimakamis, V.1, Panou, E.3
1Department of Physical Education and Sports Science, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thermi 57001, Thessaloniki
2Isaak & Solomou 6, 62100 Serres
3Harilaou Trikoupi 28, 62100 Serres
The purpose of this study is to delve into the integral part sports played in Attica, as evidenced by the role they played in the Festival of Panathenaea and especially as is depicted on a specific vase form, the Panathenaic amphora. Inspired by the Panathenaic festival, Athenian artists created great works of art, decorated with sports-related scenes that promoted the festival, as well as the actual sports events that took place. It is well known that in the attic region, a considerable number of well-organized and prestigious festivals took place, as Pericles highlighted in his ‘Epitaph’. During the afore-mentioned festivals, various kinds of events were held, some of which in the form of competitions, for instance musical competitions, athletic competitions and beauty contests. The Panathenaic vase, decorated with and celebrating these competitions and exceptional performances, contributed to a great extent to the promotion of the virtues that are instilled through exercise and sports. Additionally, its importance lies in the fact that the Panathenaic vase provides valuable information, as the scenes depicted are festival- and event- specific, not illustrations of generic athletic events. The Panathenaic amphorae are telling examples of their creators’ exceptional technique and constitute an important source of information on their synchronous evolution with the great Athenian festival. Ceramic art, as well as other forms of art, fostered a creative outlet for all kinds of religious and cultural attitudes of the ancient Greek world.
Keywords: Great Panathenaea; Panathenaic amphorae; Athens; Games.