Edition: 2023
Pages: 216
Series: EL
ISBN: 9788858152218

De Arte Gymnastica

Andrea Marcolongo


Patakis (Greek); Gallimard (French); Taurus (World Spanish); Ayné (Portuguese in Brazil); Europa Edition (World English)



After years spent among books and grammars trying to 'think as the Greeks thought', Andrea Marcolongo began to train and to 'run as the Greeks ran'. And she did so using the first sports manual in history, the De arte gymnastica by the philosopher Philostratus, as an accompanying tool. Until she reached her final crazy goal: to run a marathon, or rather, to run “The Marathon”: the 41.8 km that separate Marathon from Athens, which the soldier Pheidippides ran two thousand five hundred years ago, before collapsing to the ground due to excessive fatigue. Why do we run? Why all this hustle and bustle? What does this constant search for muscle and sweat tell us about ourselves? Perhaps the Greeks, who were the first to question why we run, why we test ourselves and why we compete against others, can help us in finding the answer. The famous motto Mens sana in corpore sano is just the first open door through which we will discover a fascinating and complex universe of thought.

The author

Andrea Marcolongo

Andrea Marcolongo is a writer and journalist with a degree in Classical Studies from the University of Milan. She debuted with The Ingenious Language: Nine Epic Reasons to Love Greek (Laterza 2016) which soon became a literary success story, selling 150,000. Among her other publications: La misura eroica (Mondadori 2018), on the myth of the Argonauts, and Alla fonte delle parole (Mondadori 2020). She lives in Paris. Translated in 28 countries, she now counts 500,000 readers around the world.

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