Ancient Greece is one of the best beginning civilizations and without them we would not be where we are today. They have given us everything from Democracy in their government to movement in sculpture. Not only did they give us a basis for a solid society, but also the aristocrats gave birth to the idea of testing the strength of the body and the “intellectual prowess of the mind.” They created athletic festivals to honor their patron god of goddess. Each athlete has the opportunity to bring pride to their family and honor to their country. It began as a simple festival has blossomed into a global event known as the Olympic Games. The Olympic Games is still a huge part of Western Civilization and the world, in which athletes compete every four years to bring honor to their country.
The first Olympic Games began in 776 BCE and every forth year athletes would compete in various events. In Judith Swaddling’s book The Ancient Olympic Games she state
The Games were held in order to honor the god Zeus, he was the supreme God to the people of Greece, and they believed that he lived on mount Olympia with all the other Gods and Goddess. Many people came to watch the games but they also came to make pilgrimages to Olympia which was thought of as a sacred place. Olympia was a very remote cite for such an event to be held, but they believed it was touched by Zeus himself; there fore it must be an important place.
In order for the games to begin there had to be a truce between all Greek cities and suspended hostilities for a specific amount of time. In the 8th century a so called Sacred Truce was signed by many Kings of the Peloponnese area. According to the Foundation of The Hellenic World, “The immediate objective was to stop the hostilities among the people of Peloponnese, but essentially it was a treaty respected by all Greeks.”2 During the truce all hostilities were suspended so that athletes could travel through enemy territories safely. All weapons and armies were forbidden at the Olympic Games and during the truce no death penalty was carried out.
... every victory came honor, glory and pride for the winning athlete and their country. The history and origin of the Olympic games includes religious ... advisors to the Eleans and official warrantors of the truce. The sacred truce played an important role in the Olympics. Before the ... now placed their coronets at the foot of their benefactor god; and where once all the triumph and success was credited ...
You were always able to identify an athlete according to The Olympic Games in Ancient Greece by Olympic Museum and Studies Centre,
One of the most famous of ancient boxers was named Melankomas of Karia. According to legend the boxer, “floated like a butterfly but did not still like He exhausted his opponents by defending their punches but never throwing a punch. Opponents eventually gave up because of his purely defensive approach.
The next event was actually first introduced at funeral games according to Homer’s Iliad. Discus was not used as a weapon of war, but according to mythology it had a reputation of being an “accidental death.” The discus was originally made of stone, but in late years it would come to be made up of materials such as, bronze, iron, or lead. The discus’ weighed between 1.3 to 6.6 kilograms and was between 17 to 32 centimeters wide. Boys threw smaller plates then the men did, and they did not compete with the men in the same group. The techniques to throwing a discus in ancient times isn’t any different then we see athletes throw them today. An official still marks a legal throw with wooden pegs and still measure the distance of the throw by metal rods.
The last and final event in the ancient Greek Olympic Games was the heralds and trumpeters contest. It was introduced as an Olympic event in 396 BCE and it was the 96th Olympic Games. The olny equipment that was used was a trumpet and the reward to the victor of this contest, had the reward of announcing the names of winners from each event and sounded the start of all the events. A man by the name of Herodoros had a career as a trumpeter which last over forty years long; he won ten trumpeting championships in a row.
... days of Ancient Greece, the Olympic Games were held every four years. It is believed that then, the greatest athlete was the man that could ... a separate meet for winter and summer events. He felt it would weaken the Olympic movement. The Baron was wrong.(Grolier Inc. 85) ... in about three hundred B.C. A very cruel and unusual event in the Olympics was called the pancration. This was a ...
Now to the Greek’s the events weren’t the only part of the rules. There was training rules and orders of conduct every athlete had to follow and was announced during the games. Any Greek man could participate but no women, slaves and foreigners were forbidden to take place in any events. Any athlete that wished to participated had to arrive a month before the games, so that they would be able to be supervised under Greek judges. In addition that the have been training for the last ten months athletes also show the judges before hand who has trained well. When you arrived in Elis athletes were separated by event into two gyms. Runners and athletes for the pentathlon trained in the Xystos gym. The Tetragono gym was reserved for wrestlers and boxers. There was also a separate gym called Maltho for the boys. During this time period of training at Elis, the Greek judges had many responsibilities, but there was one that stood above all the rest. They were primarily there to determine the age of the athletes and they would classify them into different groups. Very young boys did not partake in any events, while the adults participated in the men’s events. Boys had there on special day to the games in which the men did not compete. According to the Foundation of the Hellenic World,
Each man is capable of doing one thing well. If he attempts several, he will fail to achieve distinction in any. –Plato
2) Olympic Museum & Studies Centre. The Olympic Games in Ancient Greece. Lausanne, 2002. pg 4
3) CTC Wed Editors. The Ancient Olympics. 1998. http://ablemedia.com/ctcweb/about.html (accessed November 22, 2009).
4) CTC Wed Editors.
5) CTC Wed Editors.
6) CTC Wed Editors
7) “Foundation Of the Hellenic World.” Olympics through Times. http://olympics.fhw.gr/ (accessed November 22, 2009)
8) Olympic Museum & Studies Centre. The Olympic Games in Ancient Greece. Lausanne, 2002. page 11
9) Foundation Of the Hellenic World