The Olympic Games By Mr. Warnken
The Ancient Games • The Ancient Games were held every four years as a religious festival to honor Zeus. • Olympia, a city state in the western Peloponnesus, was chosen as the site. Supposedly, one of Zeus’s thunderbolts had struck at that location. • Prayers, sacrifices, and the Games were part of the religious festivities
Were women included? Did different city states and nations compete? What were the prizes? Is it true that the athletes competed naked? Did competitors cheat in ancient times? Who competed?
Athletes • The Games were only open to Greek men. • Journeyed to Olympia from city states and colonies throughout the Mediterranean world. • Competed naked to be sure no women were present.
Arete • Arete is the Greek word for excellence. • Those who lived the ideal of arete won fame and honor. • Com peted as individuals for a wreath of laurel.
Cheating • Those who cheated at the Games were fined. The money was used to build statues of Zeus that were inscribed with the cheaters name and the offense. The statues were placed along the road to the entrance of the Olympic Stadium.
Ekecheiria • The Greek word for “holding hands”. • The Olympic Truce- an official time of peace in the Greek world. Wars ceased while athletes and spectators from rival city states were allowed safe passage to Olympia
Training • The Greeks thought mental and physical training to be very important. • Most Olympians worked regular jobs and trained on the side. Many athletes employed coaches to help them manage routines and diet. • Successful Olympians were generally rewarded well by their hometowns for the rest of their lives.
Timeline • The first Olympics were recorded in 776 BC. • The Olympics continued until 393 AD. The Christian Roman Emperor Theodosius ended the pagan games.
Revival • In 1896, the Games were revived by Baron Pierre de Coubertin. • The first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens, Greece.
Want to Learn More About the Olympic Movement Search the following websites Ancient Games www.perseus.tufts.edu/Olympics Modern Games www.olympic.org/
References • www.perseus.tufts.edu/Olympics • www.museum.upenn.edu/new/olympics/olympicintr.shtml • www.olympics.org.uk/Library/Coubertin.jpg • http://plato-dialogues.org/tools/greece.htm