By David Sansone

How is game in modern society concerning game in prior civilizations? Why is the expenditure of strength excited about game thought of exhilarating, whereas the an identical expenditure of power in different contexts may be dispiriting? David Sansone deals solutions to those questions and advances a innovative thesis to account for the frequent phenomenon of activity. Drawing upon ethnological findings to illustrate the ritual personality of recreation, he explores the connection among old Greek game and sacrificial ritual and lines parts universal to either again to primitive origins.

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If the association in our own day can be explained in some other way than by the assumption of a necessary and inherent connection between sport and religion,24 then it may be the case that in earlier societies as well the connection between the two was only superficial. Therefore it is reasonable to demand that an account be given of the exact relationship between sport and religious ritual. It is obviously inadequate merely to point, as so many ethnographers have done, to the frequent collocation of the two.

In the second place, there is no reason to believe that the notion of the survival of the spirit of the deceased is any older than the 18. M. A. Salter, "Meteorological Play-Forms of the Eastern Woodlands," History of Physical Education and Sport: Research and Studies 3 (197576) 12. 19. Gardiner, Athletics of the Ancient World 33. Similarly 20 and, concerning the Etruscans, 120. 20. Virgil, Aeneid 6. 65355 and 64243, trans. C. Day Lewis (Oxford, 1952). Virgil is imitating Pindar (frag. 129. 6 Snell) and is in turn imitated by Milton (Paradise Lost 2.

Html [13-02-2009 20:08:41] page_23 < previous page page_23 next page > Page 23 conceived of in strictly human terms. ) Apart from the various attempts to show that sport has its origins in religious ritual, there have also been numerous studies devoted to examining the relationship between sport and religion in general. 23 There can be no doubt that the connections between sport and religion are numerous and well documented. In most societies, sports events are associated with, or form part of, religious festivals.

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