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Ancient Greek Olympic Games

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Birgitta Grebner

on 21 May 2015

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Transcript of Ancient Greek Olympic Games

The Olympic Games
For my final assignment I decided to take a deeper look into the Olympic games. I chose to see their history and the role they played among the Ancient greek societies. The Olympics to me, are such a beautiful time every two years. The world comes together for friendly competition while leaving all their worries and personal agendas behind. To understand our modern day Olympic games though, we must look at their history and origin.
"A Brief History of Ancient Greece"
This book covered many topics from the history of the games, to the events held, women’s roles in the games, to the way the social classes were affected by the games. I think that it is clear that this article is written solely to educate just about anyone that is interested in the Olympic Games but it is structured in a way that makes me believe that it may be intended for students. It is very organized and was an easy read.
According to Young, based on archeological finds, it is believed that the olympic games started in 776 B.C. and continued every four years much like the games today. Other than archeology, there are many other sources that help us to better understand the history of the Olympic Games.
The Athletic Events
The athletic events that we are all used to seeing during the modern day olympic games are for the most part very different than those that were competed in the ancient games. There were fewer events and most of them relied on pure athleticism such as track and field events while others were a challenge of talent like chariot races.
Athletic Events
According to www.perseus.tufts.edu , the athletic events consisted of: "boxing, equestrian events (chariot racing), pankration, pentathlon, running, and wrestling."
The Evidence
The Olympic Games
One of the most intriguing pieces of evidence is that from Hippias. Hippias was a historian of the ancient games. He kept a record of all of the victors and each event that they won. Today, his records are nothing more than a piece of papyrus that has disintegrated over the years. (Young).
Who was allowed to compete?
At the beginning of the olympic games, the competitors were split into two ages groups. Those age groups were men and boys. As you can see, only males were allowed to compete and even more so, only GREEK males. It is said that if you could not speak greek you were not allowed to compete.
The games were held in Olympia, Greece. This city is located in the western region of the Peloponnese
Women and the Games
According to Olympic.org, women had a very limited role in the games. The website states that women who were married were neither allowed to compete or even watch the games where as women who were not married were allowed to be spectators of the games.
The award ceremony
The awards were given at two separate times to the athlete. Immediately after winning their event, they were given an olive branch and had red ribbon tied around their heads and hands. On the last day of the games, each victor was then recognized in front of the crowds and given the olive branch wreath that was placed on their heads (olympic.org).
"Ancient Olympics - First Olympic Games History from Olympia." Ancient Olympics - First Olympic Games History from Olympia. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 May 2015.
"Ancient Sports." Ancient Sports. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 May 2015.
Young, David C. A Brief History of the Olympic Games. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub., 2004. Print.
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