Sport as a Venue for “Patriotism” In Greek and/or Roman Culture

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Sports competitions on both local and global levels intensify the love for one’s country. Patriotism refers to the attachment to one’s home or country. Besides, it is a combination of features such as history, culture, politics, and ethnicity. Historians trace back the origin of patriotism to the Elizabethan era of the word patriota, which was translated as countryman. Equally, in the ancient Greek, patriotism was derived from the word patris, meaning fatherland. In the prehistoric Rome, patriotism explains the conceptual meaning of being loyal to one’s country.  Over the years, scholars engaged in heated debates that sought the right term which explains loyalty to a country. The meaning of patriotism is deeply rooted in the Roman perspective of the terms patria and patrius, which meant a city, fatherland, and a native place. The Roman scholars related it to the word familia, which means family. The Romans also believed that atrius and patrius explain the fatherly role linked to property, status, and power. In Rome, a Roman patrician class possessed wealth, which accorded them power and respect in the political arena. A show of loyalty to the powerful and wealthy families proved significant for survival and success in politics. Sporting activities remain as one of the strategies that leaders utilized to increase the sense of patriotism in their countries. In the ancient Rome and Greece, sports played a fundamental role in enhancing unity and peace with their neighboring countries. These ancient cultures utilized sports in various social contexts for both entertainment and competition purposes. Clearly, sports held the concept of patriotism played a significant role in both ancient and Modern Greek and Roman cultures.