Olympic Games of the Ancient World
February 24, 2014 at 2:55 am #533400
The Olympic Games of the ancient world were one of four athletic competitions associated with four ancient Greek religious celebrations. In addition to the Olympic Games, which were held every four years in Olympia in honor of Zeus, these athletic competitions included the Nemean Games, Nike Air Max 90 VT Hombres Oscuro Azul Blanco 131214-004, held every two years in Nemea also in honor of Zeus; the Pythian Games, held every four years in Delphi in honor of Apollo; and the Isthmian Games, held every two years in Corinth, in honor of Poseidon. By the fi fth century b.c.e. these biannual and quadannual athletic celebrations formed an athletic circuit, in which the most outstanding athletes of the ancient world competed.
The Olympic Games were the oldest and the most significant of these athletic festivals. While the origins of the Olympics are unknown, the Greeks developed several legends celebrating physical strength, competition, and skill. Nike Air Max 1 France SP Camuflaje Blanco Negro 607473-007. These include Hercules founding the games in honor of his own physical prowess. Others contended that the games celebrated Zeus’s defeat of Cronus in their battle for the hills overlooking Olympia, and yet others claimed the games commemorated Pelops, who won a beautiful bride in a chariot race contested in Olympia. Legends aside, Olympia became a shrine for Zeus in c. 1000 b.c.e., and it is then that historians believe the athletic competition associated with the religious celebrations in honor of Zeus began. At the beginning of the games the athletes pledged to compete fairly in the name of Zeus, otherwise suffer significant fines, which went to the erection of statues and shrines to the god of Olympia.
The first recorded Olympic competition was in 776 b.c.e. ; the footrace of approximately 200 meters (656 feet) long, the stade, was the only competition held at that time. Nike Air Max 1 France SP Camuflaje Verde Gris 607473-001. In 724 b.c.e. the games expanded to include a double race of approximately 400 meters (1,312 feet). A long-distance race of 4,800 meters (15,748 feet) was added in 720 b.c.e., wrestling and the pentathlon in 708 b.c.e., boxing in 688 b.c.e., and a chariot race in 680 b.c.e. From 632 to 616 b.c.e. footraces, wrestling, and boxing were added for adolescent athletes. Finally a 200-meter race in armor was added in 520 b.c.e. Until 550 b.c.e. these events were held in open spaces at the foot of the hills surrounding Olympia. In that year construction began of a hippodrome, a stadium with the capacity to seat 40,000 spectators, a gymnasium, and a palaestra. Footraces were held in the stadium, the inside length of which equaled the distance of the stade.
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