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Ancient Olympia: A Panhellenic benchmark

01.08.2016 in History

Ancient Olympia:  A Panhellenic benchmark     It may be a well-known fact that the Ancient Greeks were almost constantly at war – they considered battle a necessary evil when peace was not possible. However, Ancient Olympia was a special “theatre of war”, a field of competition among the Greeks where no blood was shed….     The ancient site of Altis (as Olympia was called in antiquity) lies in the sublime valley of the Alpheios River in the western Peloponnese. Olympia was originally dedicated to Zeus, the Father of Gods, and is still known today for the most important athletic event ever…

The Ancient Olympic Games: A Panhellenic Ideal

01.08.2016 in History

The Ancient Olympic Games:  A Panhellenic Ideal    The modern Olympic Games owe their reputation to a small piece of land in the western Peloponnese – the sanctuary of Ancient Olympia – where an athletic competition occurred in honor of Zeus every four years. In this place, and during this sacred time, athletes and judges along with all visitors were under the protection of the sacred truce. No one but the gods could interrupt the most magnificent religious and athletic festival in the Greek world, a tradition that would continue for over a millennium (776 BCE-393 AD).     For the Greeks,…