Greek sculpture is full of breathing vitality and yet, at the same time, it reaches beyond mere imitation of nature to give form to thought in works of timeless beauty. For over 2000 years the Greeks experimented with representing the human body in works that range from prehistoric abstract simplicity to the full-blown realism of the age of Alexander the Great. The ancient Greeks invented the modern idea of the human body in art as an object of sensory delight and as a bearer of meaning. Their vision has had a profound influence on the way the western world sees itself. Drawing on the British Museums outstanding collection of Greek sculpture including extraordinary pieces from the Parthenon and the celebrated representation of a discus thrower and through a number of themed sections, this richly illustrated book explores the Greek portrayal of human character in sculpture, along with sexual and social identity. In athletics, the male body was displayed as if it was a living sculpture, and victors were commemorated by actual statues.