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Ancient Greek Olympics
Transcript of Ancient Greek Olympics
Bijou De Jong and Catherine Gibbs
How the Olympics Began
Ancient Greek Perception
Rituals in the Olympics
There are many myths regarding the origin of the Olympics, but the main myth involves Hera, the queen of gods, and Herakles, the son of Zeus. As a punishment, Hera gave Herakles 12 very difficult tasks. Some of these tasks included defeating a lion, defeating a boar, killing a bull, locating the golden apple of Zeus, and cleaning out the stables of King Augues, which happened to be many miles of land. When he completed these tasks, he celebrated and thanked the gods by creating the Olympic games. He also planted the sacred olive tree that was later used as the source of olive leaf crowns for the Olympic victors.
September 13, 2013
Also called the (stadion) was an ancient running event part of the Olympic Games
Was big enough for twenty competitors
Race was a 200-yard (about 180-meter) sprint
The race began with a trumpet blow, with officials at the starting blocks to make sure there were no false starts
At the end, they decide on a winner and make sure no one had cheated
If there was a tie, the race would be re-run
Festival of the Olympics
Herakles built the first Olympic stadium by measuring the boundaries with his feet.
The first Olympic games took place around 1300 B.C.E. in the city of Olympia, also known as Peloponnese.
Every four years, each city-state in Greece would send their best athletes to participate in the games in honor of their home land.
Although parts of Greece were constantly at war, the city states would agree to temporary peace while the games took place.
Victors of the Olympics were considered to be "favored by the gods", which caused more wars to break out.
The Festival of the Olympics also included a series of feasts after the games to honor the victor and the gods.
A ritual pouring of a liquid as an offering to a god or spirit or in memory of those who have died
In conducting animal sacrifice, wine is poured onto the victim as part of its ritual slaughter and preparation, and then afterwards onto the ash and flames
The formula "We the polis have made libation" was a declaration of peace or the "Truce of God," which was observed also when the various city-states came together for the the Olympic Games
Lighting of the Fire
At the ancient Games, a sacred flame burned at the altar of Zeus throughout the competition
The tradition of lighting an Olympic flame comes from the ancient Greeks
The lighting ceremony takes place in the sanctuary of Altis in Olympia, Greece
From here, the torch is passed from runner to runner until it reaches Athens
The Olympic flame is then carried from Athens to the city in which the Olympic games are to be held
During the ancient games, a sacred flame was lit from the sun’s rays at Olympia, and stayed lit until the games were completed
The ancient Greek concept of a hero was different from our own culture's
The hero was a religious figure, a dead person who received cult honors and was expected in return to bring prosperity
The hero is also a literary figure, of course, but here, too, we need caution so that we do not misapply our own cultural ideas and standards to the ancient Greek hero
A key part to the narrative of the hero's life is that s/he undergoes some sort of ordeal
The hero, who is mortal not immortal like the gods, must suffer during his or her lifetime, and, significantly, must die
Evolution of the torch runner
Only men were allowed to compete
The participants competed nude
The Olympics were held in Greece only
Only people from Greece could compete
Held every four years
Only during the summer
Events: Running races, equestrian racing, wrestling, boxing, pentathalon
56 events total including summer and winter events
Men and women are allowed to compete
The participants compete in athletic clothes
The Olympics are held all over the world
Every country is allowed to compete
Takes place during the summer and the winter
Swear oath to play fairly
In the Academy is an altar to Prometheus, and from it they run to the city [Athens] carrying burning torches. The contest is while running to keep the torch still alight
If the torch of the first runner goes out, he has no longer any claim to victory, but the second runner has. If his torch also goes out, then the third man is victor. If all the torches go out, no one is left to be winner
It is said that Peisistratus also had a boy lover, Charmus, and that he dedicated the statue of Love [Eros] in the Academy, where the runners in the sacred torch race light their torche
Although most of the time the torch with the Olympic flame is still carried by runners, it has been transported in many different ways
The fire traveled by boat in 1948 and 2012 to cross the English Channel
One of the most spectacular of these ceremonies took place at the 1992 Barcelona Games, when Paralympic archer Antonio Rebollo ignited the cauldron by shooting a burning arrow over it, which ignited gas rising from the cauldron
Two years later, the Olympic fire was brought into the stadium of Lillehammer by a ski jumper
In Beijing 2008, Li Ning 'ran' on air around the Bird's Nest and lit the flame
In Vancouver 2010, four athletes—Catriona LeMay Doan, Wayne Gretzky, Steve Nash and Nancy Greene—were given the honor of lighting the flame simultaneously
At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, seven young athletes-Callum Airlie, Jordan Duckitt, Desiree Henry, Katie Kirk, Cameron MacRitchie, Aidan Reynolds and Adelle Tracey-were given the honor to light the flame on one of 204 copper petals before converging to form the cauldron for the Games
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