Macroculture, Athletics and Democracy in ancient Greece
In the present essay we examine whether and how sports affected the emergence of democracy as a political phenomenon in Classical Greece. To achieve this we introduce in a model the concept of macroculture as a complex of mutually supporting values, norms and beliefs in various areas of human activity, like athletics, war, politics, etc. Then, we proceed through a historical review on the history of sports in Ancient Greece and we investigate various aspects of how and under which terms athletics performed during classical Greece, predominantly, in ancient Athens. We found that the values that gradually emerged through sports during an extended period that goes back as far as the Bronze Age times, led to the development of an environment of mutually supporting norms and values such as equality and trust, that by being correlated and coordinated each other, led to the creation of new values and norms, as the theory of macroculture proposes. We also found that these new values were “diffused” from athletics to the field of politics and played a key role to the emergence of democracy.
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