The Olympic Games

Topics: Ancient Olympic Games, Olympic Games, Greece, Athens, Ancient Rome / Pages: 5 (1009 words) / Published: Dec 4th, 2013
The Olympic Games of Ancient Greece and What They Represented The ancient Olympic games were primarily part of a religious festival in honor of Zeus, the father of the Greek gods and goddesses. The festival and the Games were held in Olympia, a rural sanctuary site in western Peloponnesia. The Greeks invented athletic contests and held them in honor of their many gods and Zeus. The Isthmos games were staged every two years at the Isthmos of Corinth. The Pythian games took place every four years near Delphi. The most famous games were held at Olympia, which took place every four years. The period between two celebrations became known as an Olympiad. The Greeks used Olympiads as one of their methods to count years. The origin of the ancient Olympic games has been lost; although, there are many legends surrounding its origins. One of these legends associates the first Games with the ancient Greek concept of ekeicheiria or Olympic truce. The first recorded celebration of the Games in Olympia was in 776 B.C., although this was certainly not the first time they were held. The Games were then mostly a local affair, and only one event was contested, the Stadion race. From that moment on, the Games slowly became more important throughout ancient Greece, reaching their peak in the Sixth and Fifth Centuries B.C. The Olympics were of fundamental, religious importance. The number of events increased to twenty, and the celebration was spread over several days. Winners of the events were broadly admired and were immortalized in poems and statues. During the ancient times, normally, only young men competed. Performers were usually naked; furthermore, as the festival was meant to be, in part, a celebration of the achievements of the human body. No married women were allowed to watch the games and only Greek natives could participate. All of the contestants either participated nude or with a genital loin clothe; thus, explaining why married women were not allowed into the

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