Ancient Olympic Games
This is: Ancient Olympic Games
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In 394 AD, Theodosius the Great decreed an end to the Olympic Games.
They had lasted more than a thousand years, maybe as long as 1600 years,
The Greeks based their chronology on four-year periods called Olympiads,
and the Olympic festival marked the beginning of each Olympiad. The festival was
reorganized in 776 BC, which was considered the start of the first Olympiad.
It was basically a religious gathering to celebrate the gods worshipped in
common by all Hellenes, primarily Zeus. The most likely story is that the
Olympic festival was a local religious event until 884 BC, when Iphitus,
turned it into a broader, pan-Hellenic festival.
The events were
- Equestrian events
- Chariot racing
- Pankration - no holds barred wrestling
A branch of wild olive was the only official prize for an Olympic winner,
but there were also usually some unofficial prizes awarded by his city-state.
For example, Athens allowed an Olympic champion to live free of charge in a
special hall set aside for distinguished citizens. Other city-states
exempted winners from taxes for an Olympiad, and in some cases citizens
contributed to a cash award.
Athletes usually competed nude, but women were not allowed to watch the
games, but that had nothing to do with the nudity of the male athletes. Rather,
it was because Olympia was dedicated to Zeus and was therefore a sacred area for
men. The chariot games were held outside of Olympia, and therefore allowed women