Chapter 7 Early Cultures PE in US borrowed from development of Europeans from prehistory to 1800s. Included survival skills: running, jumping, wrestling, swimming, climbing, throwing. Tribal/family leaders taught skills through imitation. Egyptians Warrior class used weapons, chariots
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"Always excel, and be preeminent above others, and not bring shame on the line of my ancestors..." Iliad 6.207-11
The Ancient Olympics
to 400 AD
From 776 BC, the Games were held in Olympia every four years for almost 12 centuries.
The first recorded Olympic Games took place in 776 BC. There was just one event, a race over a distance called a stade. A stade was about 180 meters, nearly the length of the stadium at Olympia. The race was won by a young cook, Coroebus, from Elis.
The Olympic Truce
Chariot race of the funeral games of Patroklos: our first glimpse of organized Greek athletics where prizes are awarded. Note the cauldron and the tripod as prizes.
The Games and the Olympic Spirit
In one of Aristophanes's comedies, one character recommends that another rub his neck with lard in preparation for a heated argument with an adversary. The debater replies, "Spoken like a finished wrestling coach." (Aristophanes, Knights l.490ff.)
Model of the Sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia
Trainer Watching Wrestlers
Races at Olympia
The races were run in heats, and the last racer remaining was the winner.
Wrestlers were anointed with olive oil then dusted with powder to make them easier to grasp. The competition took place in the "keroma", or beeswax, a muddy and sticky arena!
With five victories at Olympia, perhaps the most famous and successful of Olympic wrestlers was Milo. When attempting his sixth Olympic victory at forty years old, he was finally beaten by a younger man.
A famous pankriatist named Sostartos was nicknamed "Mr. Finger-tips," because he would break his opponents fingers early in the match to make them surrender.
Cities which sent competitors to the Olympics
in the 5th century B.C.
How did they end?