The ancient olympics

Visit Website Did you know? The Games featured the first Olympic marathon, which followed the mile route run by the Greek soldier who brought news of a victory over the Persians from Marathon to Athens in B.

The ancient olympics

Origins[ edit ] To the Greeks, it was important to root the Olympic Games in mythology. According to the story, the dactyl Heracles not to be confused with the son of Zeus and the Roman god Hercules and four of his brothers, PaeonaeusEpimedesIasius and Idasraced at Olympia to entertain the newborn Zeus.

He crowned the victor with an olive wreath which thus became a peace symbolwhich also explains the four year interval, bringing the games around every fifth year counting inclusively.

Welcome to the ancient olympic games

The story of Pelops begins with Oenomausthe king of Pisa, Greecewho had a beautiful daughter named Hippodamia. According to an oracle, the king would be killed by her husband. Therefore, he decreed that any young man who wanted to marry his daughter was required to drive away with her in his chariot, and Oenomaus would follow in another chariot, and spear the suitor if he caught up with them.

Now, the king's chariot horses were a present from the god Poseidon and were therefore supernaturally fast. Pelops The ancient olympics a very handsome young man and the king's daughter fell in love with him. Before the race, she persuaded her father's charioteer Myrtilus to replace the bronze axle pins of the king's chariot with wax ones.

Naturally, during the race, the wax melted and the king fell from his chariot and was killed. At the same time, the king's palace was struck by lightning and reduced to ashes, save for one wooden pillar that was revered in the Altis for centuries, and stood near what was to be the site of the temple of Zeus.

The ancient olympics was proclaimed the winner and married Hippodamia. After his victory, Pelops organized chariot races as thanksgiving to the gods and as funeral games in honor of King Oenomaus, in order to be purified of his death.

It was from this funeral race held at Olympia that the beginnings of the Olympic Games were inspired.

The ancient olympics

Pelops became a great king, a local hero, and he gave his name to the Peloponnese. One later myth, attributed to Pindarstates that the festival at Olympia involved Heraclesthe son of Zeus: According to Pindar, Heracles established an athletic festival to honor his father, Zeus, after he had completing his labors.

The games of previous millennia were discontinued and then revived by Lycurgus of SpartaIphitos of Elisand Cleisthenes of Pisa at the behest of the Oracle of Delphi who claimed that the people had strayed from the gods, which had caused a plague and constant war.

Restoration of the games would end the plague, usher in a time of peace, and signal a return to a more traditional lifestyle. It was often supposed that the origins of many aspects of the Olympics date to funeral games of the Mycenean period and later. The most recent theory traces the origins of the games to large game hunting and related animal ceremonialism.

The first games began as an annual foot race of young women in competition for the position of the priestess for the goddess, Hera[24] and a second race was instituted for a consort for the priestess who would participate in the religious traditions at the temple.

It originally consisted of foot races only, as did the competition for males. Some texts, including Pausanias's Description of Greecec.

The ancient olympics

Other texts related to the Elis and Pisa conflict indicate that the " Sixteen Women " were peacemakers from Pisa and Elis and, because of their political competence, became administrators of the Heraea. Being the consort of Hera in Classical Greek mythologyZeus was the father of the deities in the pantheon of that era.

This statue was one of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World. By the time of the Classical Greek culture, in the fifth and fourth centuries BC, the games were restricted to male participants. The historian Ephoruswho lived in the fourth century BC, is one potential candidate for establishing the use of Olympiads to count years, although credit for codifying this particular epoch usually falls to Hippias of Elis, to Eratosthenes, or even to Timaeus, whom Eratosthenes may have imitated.

Previously, the local dating systems of the Greek states were used they continued to be used by everyone except the historianswhich led to confusion when trying to determine dates. The word stadium is derived from this foot race. Several groups fought over control of the sanctuary at Olympia, and hence the games, for prestige and political advantage.

The next year, Elis regained control. The Olympic Games were part of the Panhellenic Gamesfour separate games held at two- or four-year intervals, but arranged so that there was at least one set of games every year.

It represents an ancient Olympic discus thrower The ancient Olympics were as much a religious festival as an athletic event. The games were held in honor of the Greek god Zeusand on the middle day of the games, oxen would be sacrificed to him.

The temple was one of the largest Doric temples in Greece. It was placed on a throne in the temple. The statue became one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

The temple was adorned by its numerous offerings, which were dedicated there from all parts of Greece.The ancient Olympic Games were a sporting event held every four years at the sacred site of Olympia, in the western Peloponnese, in honour of Zeus.

Although the ancient Games were staged in Olympia, Greece, from BC through AD, it took years for the Olympics to return. The first modern Olympics were held in Athens, Greece, in The first ancient Olympic Games can be traced back to Olympia in BC. Full of blood, passion and extraordinary feats of athletic endeavour, the Olympic Games were the sporting, social and cultural highlight of the Ancient Greek calendar for almost 12 centuries.

Welcome to the ancient olympic games. From boxing contests with no weight classifications or point scoring to chariot racing where danger lurked on every corner, it is easy to see why the Ancient Games enthralled the Greeks for so long. The Ancient Olympics [Nigel Spivey] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.

All time greats of the olympic games

The word 'athletics' is derived from the Greek 5/5(2). Read the fascinating history of the Olympics, including rituals and origins of the ancient Greek Olympics. As a sacred place used regularly in religious ceremonies, as well as playing host to the ancient games, Olympia was at the centre of Greek civilisation.

Welcome to the ancient olympic games.

Olympic History - from the home of Zeus in Olympia to the modern Games