Stadium Starting Block, Nemea, Greece

Stadium Starting Block, Nemea, Greece

Top 10 Surviving Nazi Built Buildings

The Nazi government under Adolf Hitler saw architecture as a means of imposing fear and respect. Hitler, like many Germans, had an admiration of the ancient world, especially Greece and Rome.

In a time when art was changing rapidly, he deemed the avant-garde movement as degenerate.

Together with his chief architect, Albert Speer, Hitler revived a conservative, monolithic architectural style that impressed and scared many at the same time.

The Thousand-Year-Reich was to be demonstrated through the aesthetics of these structures, which showed Hitler’s undeniable power within Germany.

Even though many of these buildings never survived the war, some were spared the destruction, to remain as painful reminders of the regime, or to be put to use once again.

In this list, we will concentrate on some of those structures that are still present today.


Just a few miles from Corinth is the town of Loutraki which is famous for its bottled spring water which you will undoubtedly come across during one of your meals in Greece. Loutraki is also known for its famous Casino Hotel where you can win or lose a fortune, or not play and just enjoy the ancient olive grove that has been transplanted on the hotel grounds. The Casino Hotel has an enormous pool and artificial waterways that snake around the gardens and it is right on the beach. In 2006 my friend George from Fantasy Travel was swimming here with his daughter when what he thought was a shark surfaced right next to him. As his life flashed before his eyes and he readied to sacrifice himself while his daughter swam to shore the creature lifted his head and looked him in the eye. It was the smiling face of a dolphin.

A Brief History of Homoeroticism (and Denial) in the Olympics

Now that the Olympics are off to a wobbly, terrifying, sans-plumbing start, plenty of public figures are taking the opportunity to rain vicious side-eye upon Putin's draconian anti-gay propaganda law.

Google made a dissenting Google Doodle . Germany dressed its team in rainbow.

Today's Google Doodle is pretty fucking fantastic.

A caveat for Putin et. al: if we're going to turn the Olympics into a symbol of the fight for LGBTQ rights — which it seems that we are — then team LGBTQ has a very big home court advantage. Sorry. The Olympics of antiquity were just one big, oily celebration of the eroticized male form the early modern Olympics were one big, oily celebration of a male form that everyone unconvincingly feigned to not find erotic and there have always, always been gay Olympians. Acting as though there's no gay precedent for the Olympics is disrespectful to history and tradition and to our forebears. Shame on you, Putin. You ought to be shuttled out of the stadium like a stray dog .

For public perusal, here is a (very) brief history of homosexuality and homoeroticism in the Olympic games:

The Ancient Greek Olympics: 776 BCE - 260 CE

Let us get this out of the way: homosexuality is a modern construct. To characterize the ancient Greek games as "gay" or "homoerotic" is specious, because the ancient Greeks did not conceive of sexual orientation in the way we do now. With that said, however, the ancient Greek games were totally a celebration of homoeroticism and the eroticized male form. In a blog post , Greg Laden puts it succinctly: "Everyone knows that the original Olympics… were all about watching naked men. Sure, it was a sporting event, but it was also a softly pornographic group voyeuristic tournament."

How soft-core porny are we talking? Um, well, all the athletes were naked, competitively rubbing their muscly body parts together in a steamy arena while the throngs roared and gnashed their teeth with glee. As an added bonus, the athletes kept their penises tied to their bodies in a way that made them appear constantly erect! According to The Closet Professor :

[I]n order to protect their penis during wrestling matches and other contact sports, the men would tie a string around the tip of their foreskin enclosing their glans, thus keeping them safe. The kynodesme was tied tightly around the part of the foreskin that extended beyond the glans. The kynodesme could then either be attached to a waist band to expose the scrotum, or tied to the base of the penis so that the penis appeared to curl upwards.

The display of the nude body was an integral part of ancient Greek culture fawning over naked (male) bodies was an integral part of ancient Greek art. As Tony Perrottet, the author of The Naked Olympics, told National Geographic , "The nude athletes would parade like peacocks up and down the stadium. Poets would write in a shaky hand these wonderful odes to the bodies of the young men, their skin the color of fired clay."

The erotic exchange wasn't just contained to the world of sporting contact, nor was it merely specular: the idea of pederasty — a socially acknowledged erotic relationship between a wealthy older man and a younger male — was "integral to gymnasium culture," Perrottet affirms. According to David Potter, a University of Michigan professor of Greek and Latin, men were prohibited from entering the gymnasium in order to make sexual advances. But this wasn't some sexually prohibitive thing — significantly, "the issue was evidently keeping order rather than condemning specific sexual activities." Male-on-male erotic contact was widespread enough to be distracting and popular enough to warrant a ban — the ancient-day equivalent of yoga pants in a conservative middle school!

On a particularly poignant note, homoeroticism was literally built into the foundation of the original games: Potter notes that "The entry to the stadium at Nemea, site of the principle festivals in ancient Greece, is filled with graffiti that include love notes from one [male] athlete to another."

393 CE: Olympic Games Banned

Emperor Theodosius I, who was both a Christian and a practicing giant party-pooper, banned the Games in 393. At the Huffington Post, Kevin Childs states that "the nudity, the joy in physical beauty, the sheer exhilarating mix of the Games were at odds with his appropriation of a new religion and much too redolent of the old." Tellingly, "at about the same time he criminalized homosexuality, as if to reinforce the link between the two." Theodosius was the worst.

1894: Games Relaunched By French Educator Pierre de Coubertin

The Olympics remained mostly dormant for centuries (THANKS, THEODOSIUS). In 1884, French educator Pierre de Coubertin decided to revive them with a focus on more modern concepts, such as fair play and adherence to rules. According to JP Larocque at Daily Xtra, the games served another purpose — namely, that of enforcing a "modern" construction of masculinity:

[I]n many ways, these modern Games were also a reflection of the predominant cultural anxieties of the time — namely, that men were becoming too feminized as a result of modernity and the Industrial Revolution. With farming communities broken up and fathers separated from their sons, many feared that a lack of male influence in homes and in schools would lead to a "softening" of Western males. Organized sports were viewed as a means to reestablish the gender binary by separating men and women and reinforcing masculine values.

(Like basically every old-timey man, de Coubertin was a real dick about women. He once said that "a female Olympiad is unthinkable. It would be impractical, ugly and wrong." Ugh, fuck that guy. Anyway, women weren't allowed to compete until 1900, at which point they could enter in five sport categories: tennis, sailing, croquet, equestrianism and golf.)

1912-1952: The Era of Overtly Homoerotic Posters

Despite the games' new focus on strong, manly, heterosexual masculinity, homoeroticism continued to thrive — both overtly and covertly. As Bruce Kidd, a professor of kinesthesiology and physical education at the University of Toronto, told Daily Xtra, "Virtually every [modern] Games has produced powerful homoerotic images, especially the official posters from Stockholm 1912 through to Helsinki in 1952. And of course, sex has always been part of every Games, which is why condoms are now distributed to the athletes in every Village and quickly run out."

In agreement with Kidd, graphic design blog Right Reading has dubbed the Olympic poster design from 1912-1924 "the homoerotic era," and rightfully so. JUST LOOK AT THEM:

Miletus, Stadium (Building)

The arena of the stadium is 29.56 m. wide, equalling 100 Ionic feet. In length, it was ca. 192.27 m. (greater than the required 600 Greek feet, which would have resulted in a stadium 177 m. in length). The twenty rows of seats at the northern row attained a height between 8 and 9 m. The Hellenistic propylon at the west end of the stadium was 8.94 m. (or 30 Ionic feet). The supporting wall of the stadium was 4.37 m. thick, equal to the thickness of the city walls of Miletus.

Ionic. The propylon at the west end of the stadium employs Ionic columns.

The stadium conforms to the grid of the city plan of Miletus, and is oriented east-west. The stadium consists of two rectangular blocks of seats which flank the central arena or running track. At the west is a distyle in antis propylon of Ionic order, on seven steps, built on axis with the stadium and linking it to an unexcavated building at the east, a monumental double colonnade of eight monolithic Corinthian columns dates to the late Roman period.

A building inscription from the south anta of the propylon at the west of the stadium refers to Eumenes II, and dates to post-166 B.C. The construction technique of various elements of the stadium is also analogous with the contemporary Bouleuterion at Miletus . The form of the profiles of the seats also confirm this date. Later periods of restoration are dated by their construction techniques, e.g. use of mortar, form of acanthus decoration, employment of reused blocks.

The stadium was constructed during the reign of Eumenes II, in the first half of the second century B.C. The unexcavated building to the west of the stadium is a gymnasium, tentatively named the Gymnasium of Eumenes II, connected to the stadium by a propylon thus the stadium, propylon and gymnasium originally constituted a building complex dating to ca. 160 B.C. In the first century B.C., the northern parodos wall of the stadium was renovated, and at this time a second series of starting blocks was laid down at the east and west ends of the arena. In the Trajanic or Antonine period, the gymnasium at the west end of the stadium was restored, as was the propylon, and there were further renovations at the east end of the stadium, notably the staircase leading up to the rows of seats. In the third century A.D. a monumental double-colonnaded gateway with Corinthian columns was built across the east end of the stadium. In the sixth century A.D. the new fortifications of Miletus incorporated the stadium into their circuit.

The fact that the stadium conforms to the grid plan of Miletus has led some scholars to conclude that when the city was newly laid out in ca. 479 B.C., space was already allocated for the stadium. The fact that the stadium was not constructed until the second century B.C., however, is clear from its building inscription, architectural details, and relationship to the gymnasium to the west. The stadium lacks the curved ends or sphendone typical of stadia of the Roman period, and is similar to the groundplans of the stadia at Olympia, Epidauros and Priene. Another similarity between the stadium at Miletus and the Stadium at Priene is the form and arrangement of the starting blocks or *A*F*E*S*I*S , although their exact mechanism remains unclear.

von Gerkan 1921a, 1-41, figs. 1-47, pls. 1-10 Kleiner 1968, 110-113, figs. 81-83 .

Stadium Starting Block, Nemea, Greece - History

David Gilman Romano , Senior Research Scientist in the Mediterranean Section of The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is also Adjunct Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He received an A.B. in Art and Archaeology from Washington University, St. Louis, an M.A. with Honors in Physical Education from the University of Oregon and a Ph.D. in Classical Archaeology from the University of Pennsylvania. The title of his dissertation (1981) was “The Stadia of the Peloponnesos,” an architectural study of the ancient Greek stadium in southern Greece. Since 1982 he has been teaching Classical Archaeology and Classical Studies classes at the University of Pennsylvania including ‘Ancient Athletics’. His research interests include Greek athletics and the ancient Olympic Games, ancient Greek and Roman architecture and city planning, and computer applications in archaeology. He has participated in archaeological fieldwork in Greece at Athens, Corinth, Gournia, Nemea and Mt. Lykaion. Since 1987 he has been the Director of the Corinth Computer Project, a long-term study of the city and landscape planning of the Roman city of Corinth. In 2004 Dr. Romano will begin a new survey and excavation at the Sanctuary of Zeus at Mt. Lykaion in Arcadia. This sanctuary was the site of the Pan-Arkadian Lykaion Games and includes a stadium and the only visible hippodrome in the entire Greek world. The Sanctuary of Zeus is located high on a mountain and is only 15 miles from the Sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia. Learn more at the Mt. Lykaion project website.

His books include Athletics and Mathematics in Archaic Corinth: The Origins of the Greek Stadion, 1993 The Catalogue of the Classical Collections of the Glencairn Museum (With Irene Bald Romano), 1999 Mapping Augustan Rome (in collaboration with Lothar Haselberger), 2002. He is also an athlete, a long distance runner, as well as a former physical education teacher and track coach.

This special website is based on "Boycotts, Bribes and Fines" an article by Dr. David Gilman Romano (see bio on right) which appeared in Penn Museum's Expedition Magazine in 1985 "Exploring 5000 Years of Athletics."

The Ancient Olympics: Athletes, Games and Heroes
videolecture by David Gilman Romano
Institute for Mediterranean Studies
order here
Many of our present-day athletic events are modeled on those of ancient Olympics, and many of the words used in antiquity--like stadium, discus, and pentathlon--are still used today. Dr. Romano discusses the rituals and rules of the Olympics and explains the various events and customs of the five-day Olympiad. In addition, he focuses on the athletes and heroes and the rewards, scandals and politics that surrounded them! This multi-faceted introduction to the ancient Olympics includes sculpture, vase paintings and contemporary scenes of athletic competition. The video, The Ancient Olympics: Athletes, Games and Heroes is intended for home viewing by the general public as well as for use in educational settings. With its interdisciplinary approach it presents material directly connected to Ancient History and Religion, as well as Classical Archaeology in addition, it is of great value to anyone interested in athletics, ancient and modern.
1996 VHS 55 minutes
distributed by the Institute for Mediterranean Studies
$21.95 order here

How to get away from it all in Greece

Discover gods, heroes, and less visited villages in the Peloponnese.

Whether your tastes skew toward Homer or Hollywood (think of those sparring Spartans in 300), you’ve likely encountered the Peloponnese, the peninsula at the southernmost tip of Greece that was the heart of ancient Hellenic culture. A mythic land where gods and heroes walked, the Peloponnese still evokes epic qualities fit for laurels and lyrical poems. With a beguiling mix of classical ruins, wild landscapes, and some of the best culinary treasures the country has to offer, it’s an attractive alternative to well-trod tourist routes around Athens and the Greek islands.

The view from Flame restaurant, in the Costa Navarino resort area, takes in an 18-hole golf course.

Separated from mainland Greece by the Corinth canal, the Peloponnese has for centuries been a crossroads of the eastern Mediterranean, its landscape littered with the remains of ancient civilizations and would-be conquerors. Temples to the Greek gods still stand, as do palaces built by the powerful Spartan and Mycenaean empires, and fortresses that testify to the waves of invaders—Ottoman, Frank, Venetian—who across the centuries have staked their claim to the peninsula. (Discover underrated Mediterranean destinations to visit now.)

The modern-day hordes are thankfully kept at bay—the Peloponnese has largely been spared the overdevelopment of Greek tourist traps such as Mykonos and Santorini. The lovely Arcadia region, lush with cypress, poplar, and olive groves, bears traces of the virgin wilderness where nymphs, naiads, and the horned god Pan once frolicked. Spend a few days hiking the Lousios Gorge and you’re less likely to encounter tourists than monks cloistered in the area’s working monasteries, some of which date to the Middle Ages. (Speaking of olive groves, here’s another sun-soaked Greek island where you can eat like a god.)

The remote Mani region, at the southern end of the peninsula, has in recent years been made easily accessible to travelers. Famed for the ferocity of its inhabitants, the region maintains a rough, austere beauty. With its dramatic mountain passes and sheer cliffs plunging straight into the sea, the Mani holds much of the wild allure that seduced Paris and Helen of Troy. According to Homer, the star-crossed lovers spent the first night of their elopement here—before their ill-fated affair sparked the Trojan War.

Ancient Greek Athletics

The earliest Olympic games began more than twenty-five-hundred years ago. What were they like, how were they organized, who participated? Were ancient sports a means of preparing youth for warfare? In this lavishly illustrated book, a world expert on ancient Greek athletics provides the first comprehensive introduction to the subject, vividly describing ancient sporting events and games and exploring their impact on art, literature, and politics.

Using a wide array of ancient sources, written and visual, and including recent archaeological discoveries, Stephen Miller reconstructs ancient Greek athletic festivals and the details of specific athletic events. He also explores broader themes, including the role of women in ancient athletics, the place of amateurism, and the relationship between athletic events and social and political life.

Published in the year the modern Olympic Games return to Athens, this book will be a source of information and enjoyment for anyone interested in the history of athletics and the origins of the world's most famous sporting event.

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Ancient Greek athletics

As pointed out by Miller (classical archaeology, Berkeley director, excavations, ancient Nemea, Greece), "Plato spends long discussions on the place of athletics in education and society, yet modern . Читать весь отзыв

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Stephen G. Miller, professor of classical archaeology at the University of California, Berkeley, directs the excavations at Nemea in Greece, one of the major sites of ancient games. He is the author of many books, including Arete: Greek Sports from Ancient Sources.


V1 Analytics put together this fascinating video timeline of Blockbuster Video US store locations between 1986 and 2019. On YouTube they explain:

Between 1985 and 2010, Blockbuster Video opened thousands of stores across the US. This map shows the locations of US Blockbuster Video stores over time.

Blockbuster opened their first store in Dallas in October of 1985. They weren’t the first video rental company, but they did have the largest selection of movie titles, over 6,500, which was more than any of their competitors at the time. Their first store was a huge success and throughout 1986, they opened three more stores in Texas.

While Blockbuster’s store concept worked really well, it wasn’t unique enough to be patentable. They knew that other companies would likely start copying their business model. To overcome this, their strategy was to grab as much market share as quickly as possible to stay ahead of any potential competitors. Throughout 1989, they purchased another four established rental chains and by 1990, they had opened over 1000 stores.

Through 2005, Blockbuster began closing their most unprofitable stores while they struggled to return to profitability. By this point, in addition to Netflix, they were also facing competition from Redbox which pretty much offered the same product as Blockbuster, just as a vending machine instead of an entire store.

In 2010, they continued downsizing and closing stores and by the end of the year, they filed for bankruptcy. Blockbuster was eventually acquired by the television provider Dish Network. Dish initially had plans to keep around 1,500 stores open and launch their own streaming service to rival Netflix, but these plans never ended up happening.

The last surviving store is located in Bend Oregon, it’s not only the last store in the US, it’s the last one left in the entire world. They’re a small owner operated store which is supported by loyal local customers as well as tourists stopping by to experience the nostalgia of visiting a Blockbuster store.

In the end, Blockbuster’s competitors simply had a better product and Blockbuster was just too slow to innovate.

Watch the video: How to use starting blocks? (October 2021).