James G. Thompson

photo of James Thompson

Professor Emeritus

Contact Information

271C Recreation Building
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park PA 16802


(fax) n/a



Ph.D., 1971, Sport History, Penn State

Research Interests

Ancient Greek history, including the Aegean Bronze Age through the Classical period (ca 3000-323 B.C.). Specific research has focused on physical education as an important aspect of ancient Greek education. Additional areas of interest include Minoan bull-vaulting, the Panhellenic Games of ancient Greece, and athletic interaction with politics.


  • Homer as a source for a kinesiology ideal
  • Kinesiology and athletics in the broader context of political and military history
  • Kinesiology and athletics in the value system of the ancient Greeks

Selected Publications

Thompson, J.G. (1994). The Agora: An ancient sports center. Journal of Sport History.

Thompson, J.G. (1995). Was bull vaulting possible at Gournia? Archaeological News.

Thompson, J.G. (1997). Odyssey 8: Fitzgeralds's faux pas and athletics. Aethlon: Journal of Sport Literature.