Ancient Olympics: War Minus the Shooting

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Ancient Olympics: War minus the Shooting
15 March 2011

The lifestyle of the ancient Greek people revolves a great deal around the concept of the Olympics in their history. Spivey does an excellent job in covering the everyday routine of an ancient Greek civilian. The topics and issues the author touches upon are those of great importance in the understanding of ancient Greek culture. The story was not a very extensive or lengthy novel but it was certainly filled with great detail and helped me accurately understand the goals and aim of ancient Greek people.

Much like the Olympics today, in the Ancient Greek Olympics the athletes endure a great deal of pain. The difference is the pain is harsher in the old Olympics. The Greeks did not simply want to compete with one another for the fun of it or merely because they could. The competition was a predicted summary of the skills a Greek soldier ought to know while in a real war. Every person wanted to bear pain, but win while doing so. In some cases people died. Athletes would risk their lives, willingly, to win. If an athlete lost in the Olympics they would be ridiculed and humiliated when returning home and after the Olympics were over. The prize for winning would be to go down in history and even have monuments built in some cases. The athletes in today’s Olympics experience defeat but the usual feeling they experience while returning home is self-defeat. Many athletes will be adored and idolized even if they lose. They are seen in many cases as hero’s or professional athletes.

The Olympics for the Greeks was to fight and compete. Most of these so called “battles” were between Greek politics and Greek military. These games were held every four years and continued to take place for decades. The result of this tradition created a sort of order and structure to the Greek people which was passed down from generation to generation. The Greeks saw the Olympics as very important and they praised strong...
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