The Olympic ideal found resonance, not just in its cradle, the sacred land of Olympia where it was born and nurtured, but also in three other Pan-Hellenic sanctuaries, as well as in major local festivals, from the brilliant Panathenaia to the athletic contests in cities and sanctuaries in distant regions of the Eastern and Western world.
With the book "Games and Sanctuaries in Ancient Greece" by Panos Valavanis, which we first published in 2004, when Greece sought and successfully held the Olympic Games in Athens, we sought to present a richly illustrated work of scholarship, where the spirit of fair play in the major sanctuaries is set against the imposing backdrop of the natural and built environment. Our goal was to explore in detail the monuments of a priceless architectural heritage, as well as the beauty of works of art which relate to the athletic ethos.
It is a great honour for us that this edition has been introduced by the distinguished scholar and admirer of ancient Greek civilization, Sir John Boardman, to whom we extend our warmest thanks.
The author Panos Valavanis has ensured that the present edition is up to date by enriching the text with material from recent archaeological reports, as well as with photographs of recent restoration work at the archaeological sites. We thank him warmly for his harmonious and constructive cooperation.
The book "Games and Sanctuaries in Ancient Greece" is a tribute to the power of human determination and its achievements. It celebrates the values of mankind and the harmonious coexistence of the transient with the permanent, where the ideals of power, beauty and peace converge.