Organized Greek Games

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In the article, Organized Greek Games, William J. Baker describes the difference between Ancient Olympic Games and Modern Olympic Games, relationship between religion and Olympics, and Greek philosopher’s thought on the role of athletics. Athletic festivals were an essential part of Greek civilization for thousands of years. Moreover, the history of organized athletics can tell us the history of Greek. There were hundreds of athletic festivals which are the mixtures of athletic competition and religion ceremony held around the country including its colonies such as Egypt, Bosporus and Sicily. Out of all these festivals, The Olympic Games was the most influential and oldest and it was for honor of Zeus. Olympic Games were held every four year in same place which is in the north western tip of Peloponnesus. The Olympics were of fundamental religious importance, contests alternating with sacrifices and ceremonies honoring both Zeus and Pelops, divine hero and mythical king of Olympia famous for his legendary chariot race, in whose honor the games were held. There were fewer events, and only free men who spoke Greek could compete, instead of athletes from any country. Ancient Greek people were extremely religious and they believed in particular for assistance that’s why they used to invent many kinds of ceremony and festivals with music and dancing in order to sacrifice their gods. Around 1000 b.c Olympia was a place of worship to Zeus. The first date of Olympic Games is unknown but year of 77b b.c is recorded as the first victory for footrace. At that time, footrace was the only event regarding to religious festival at Olympia and after that many of the event were added. In the beginning, they didn’t have stadium to hold the event but around 550 b.c the stadium which can provide space for 40,000 spectators. The competitors were judged strictly in order to participate at the Olympics – they had to prove that they have been training for last one month and all their...
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