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History Of The Olympics Talks About The History Of The Ancient Olympics About The Time That Rome Fell. Also Talks About The Modern Olympics History.

1091 words - 4 pages

The Ancient Olympics were first held in 776 BC. Athletics were an important part in religious festivals for the ancient Greeks. The people of Greece believed that the athletics they played during their religious festivals pleased Zeus, the king of gods. They were held in a scared valley at a place called Olympia.The Olympia is a valley that is about eleven miles from Pirgos. The Olympic games were held there every four years. The games were so important to the Greeks that they used the four year rotation as the basis for their calendar. The Olympiad was their way of telling time. It was the period of four years between two festivals of the Ancient Olympic Games.There are many interpretations of how it all got started. One way said was "One Greek legend said that the great Hercules won a race at Olympia, and then decreed that the race should be re-enacted every four years" (quote from website). Another story is that the Olympic festival was a local religious event until 884 BC, and the king of Elis decided to make it more open to a pan-Hellenic festival.The Olympic festival was pretty much a religious gathering to celebrate the gods worshipped by all of the Hellenes. Zeus was the main god celebrated though. There were three other major festivals that all included fairs but the Olympia became to most popular. In about 572 BC Elis and Sparta made an alliance in which Elis was in charge of the event and Sparta was in charge of the sacred truce.The only event at the Ancient Olympics was a single foot race until the fifteenth Olympiad. More sports began to start at that point. Wrestling started in 708 and boxing began in 688. Chariot racing was in 680. There was also an event called the pancratium which was a combination of boxing and wrestling and it started in 748. At one point in the Ancient Olympics there were twenty-three Olympic sports events, but they were never all held at the same festival.The athletes in the Olympics had to arrive in Elis a month before the games to go through preparation. With preparation they underwent spiritual, moral, and physical training while having the judges supervising them. Then the judges decided if they were genuinely qualified to compete. Each competitor had to take an oath that he was a free-born Greek who hadn't committed any wrong against the gods.The athletes at the Ancient Olympic games had originally worn shorts but a competitor lost his shorts so that he could run more freely. Clothing was then abolished. So the athletes competed nude.Women were not allowed to watch the games (not because the male athletes were nude). Olympia was dedicated to Zeus and was a sacred area for men only. Women did fortunately have their own sacred festivals that men were not allowed to watch.Eventually the fun ended with the Ancient Olympic games when the Roman Empire conquered Greece. It was 100's BC and the games soon lost their religious meaning. The contestants became greedy. In 394 AD, Emperor Theodosius ordered that the...

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