A Agon (Greek ἀγών, " fight ", " competition ", " contest " ) was a sporting contest or of arts in Ancient Greece. Agonistics is for the purpose of the competition -driven exercises. For Friedrich Nietzsche and Jacob Burckhardt, it represented the basic principle of Greek culture: individuals can extend its capabilities in higher-level competition and improve, being of the community at the same time useful.

The Greeks distinguished three types of Agonen:

  • Gymnastic agone, which were related to physical education,
  • Hippische agone, which were related to driving and riding, as well as
  • Agone arts, music, poetry and dance the subject had.

The most famous agone was the Olympic, Pythian, Nemean and Isthmian Games, which are referred to collectively as Panhellenic Games. In addition, there were other partly existing only for a shorter period competitions like the Ptolemaia or Antinoeia.

The Greek Agonen found since Augustus frequent imitations in Rome and other cities of the Roman Empire. Nero donated to the model of the Olympic Games every four years recurring Neronia. Until the last time of antiquity, the Capitoline Agon, who donated 86 AD by Domitian and was played in the stadium named after him (the name of the church S. Agnese in Agnone still reminds them ) held. The associated therewith custom of poets coronation took place the entire Middle Ages imitation. As a personification of the competition Agon was presented as an athlete with diving weights. The gymnastic Agon found only in the 6th century an end.