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Panhellenic Games

Panhellenic Games. Some Greek Terms. Pan = all Hellas = Greece Panhellenic = all-Greek Games = international games Periodos = circuit of 4 games. review. Olympic games (the oldest), at Olympia In honour of Zeus Pythian games, at Delphi In honour of Apollo

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Panhellenic Games

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  1. Panhellenic Games

  2. Some Greek Terms • Pan = all • Hellas = Greece • Panhellenic = all-Greek Games = international games • Periodos = circuit of 4 games

  3. review • Olympic games (the oldest), at Olympia • In honour of Zeus • Pythian games, at Delphi • In honour of Apollo • Isthmian games, at Corinth • in honour of Poseidon • Nemean games, at Nemea • In honour of Zeus

  4. Pan-Hellenic Sites http://ca.search.yahoo.com/search/images/view?back=http%3A%2F%2Fca.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3Fp%3DMap%2Bof%2BAncient%2BGreece%26ei%3DUTF-8%26fr%3Drogers-web%26fl%3D0%26x%3Dwrt&w=570&h=443&imgurl=www.sikyon.com%2FKorinth%2Fimages%2Fmap2_ellas.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sikyon.com%2FSicyon%2Fsmapold_eg.html&size=69.8kB&name=map2_ellas.jpg&p=Map+of+Ancient+Greece&type=jpeg&no=3&tt=591&oid=91d84ebe0ad37b90&ei=UTF-8

  5. Religious context of Panhellenic Games • All games took place in religious context • In honour of gods • Athletes were under religious supervision • Included religious processions, sacrifices, sporting competitions in which athletes offer their skills and physical power to the gods.

  6. Originally local festivals in honour of one god or another • Some outgrew local purpose and became international like the Panhellenic Games • Contests included poetic and musical contests, recitations. • Term agon used for all forms of contests

  7. The Mythical Origins of the Panhellenic Games • Origins in myths: races organized at religious festivals were decided by gods. • gods and heroes were the first privileged performers

  8. The Pythian Games • Games held at Dephi during the Pythian festival in honor of the god Apollo • Associated with the cult center – The Oracle at Delphi • Held every four years

  9. The Cult Center at Delphi • Cult center for the worship of Apollo Pythios (Apollo who slew Python) • Evidence for cult activity starting from c. 1000 BCE • Evidence of habitation from ca. 860 BCE • Seat of an oracle – Eclipsed the oracle of Zeus at Olympia • Pan-Hellenic oracle – particularly important for colonization

  10. Temple of Apollo at Delphi http://www.students.sbc.edu/hart06/Apollo%20Temple%20Images/Delphi%20Temple%20of%20Apollo%20from%20above,%20tb051303076.jpg

  11. The Pan-Hellenic CultHymn to Pythian Apollo, 286-299 • “ ‘In this place I am minded to build a glorious temple to be an oracle for men, and here they will always bring perfect hecatombs, [290] both they who dwell in rich Peloponnesus and the men of Europe and from all the wave-washed isles, coming to question me. And I will deliver to them all counsel that cannot fail, answering them in my rich temple.’ When he had said this, Phoebus Apollo laid out all the foundations [295] throughout, wide and very long; and upon these the sons of Erginus, Trophonius and Agamedes, dear to the deathless gods, laid a footing of stone. And the countless tribes of men built the whole temple of wrought stones, to be sung of for ever.” (H.G. Evelyn-White, 1914)

  12. The Foundation Tale For The SanctuaryHymn to Pythian Apollo, 300-358 • “[300] But near by was a sweet flowing spring, and there with his strong bow the lord, the son of Zeus, killed the bloated, great she-dragon, a fierce monster wont to do great mischief to men upon earth, to men themselves and to their thin-shanked sheep; for she was a very bloody plague…. Whosoever met the dragoness, the day of doom would sweep him away, until the lord Apollo, who deals death from afar, shot a strong arrow at her….” (A.D. Godley, 1920)

  13. Foundation of Athletic Events at DelphiOvid, Metamorphoses, 1.416-451 • “Lest in a dark oblivion time should hidethe fame of this achievement, sacred sportshe instituted, from the Python called“The Pythian Games.” In these the happy youthwho proved victorious in the chariot race,running and boxing, with an honoured crownof oak leaves was enwreathed. The laurel thenwas not created, wherefore Phoebus, brightand godlike, beauteous with his flowing hair,was wont to wreathe his brows with various leaves.” (B. More, 1922)

  14. The Historical Games at Delphi • Delphi develops as an independent polis in 590 BCE • The sanctuary placed under the control of a league of Greek cities (Amphictyony) by the tyrant Cleisthenes of Sikyon • First contests were probably in music/poetry in keeping with the worship of ApolloThe Earliest Contests at Delphi • Hand-out:(Paus. 10.2-7. W.H.S. Jones, 1918 • 586 BCE – Athletic contests added modeled on Olympic Games

  15. Stadium at Delphi – 4th century BCE http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Delphi_stadium_DSC06305.jpg

  16. The Isthmian Games http://ca.search.yahoo.com/search/images/view?back=http%3A%2F%2Fca.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3Fp%3DMap%2Bof%2BAncient%2BGreece%26ei%3DUTF-8%26fr%3Drogers-web%26fl%3D0%26x%3Dwrt&w=570&h=443&imgurl=www.sikyon.com%2FKorinth%2Fimages%2Fmap2_ellas.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sikyon.com%2FSicyon%2Fsmapold_eg.html&size=69.8kB&name=map2_ellas.jpg&p=Map+of+Ancient+Greece&type=jpeg&no=3&tt=591&oid=91d84ebe0ad37b90&ei=UTF-8

  17. Legendary OriginsMelikertes & Sisyphus • “There are legends about the rocks, which rise especially at the narrow part of the road. As to the Molurian, it is said that from it Ino flung her self into the sea with Melicertes, the younger of her children. Learchus, the elder of them, had been killed by his father. One account is that Athamas did this in a fit of madness; another is that he vented on Ino and her children unbridled rage when he learned that the famine which befell the Orchomenians and the supposed death of Phrixus were not accidents from heaven, but that Ino, the step-mother, had intrigued for all these things. Then it was that she fled to the sea and cast herself and her son from the Molurian Rock. The son, they say, was landed on the Corinthian Isthmus by a dolphin, and honors were offered to Melicertes, then renamed Palaemon, including the celebration of the Isthmian games.” (Paus. 1.7-8. W.H.S. Jones, 1918)

  18. Historical Games • Evidence for cultic activity from ca. 1050 BCE • Cult sanctuary dedicated to Poseidon, god of the Sea, Horses, Earthquakes • 582/0 BCE – Cult reorganized by Kypselus Tyrant of Corinth – Controlled by Corinth until 146 BCE • Programme of events same as Olympic games – every 2 years • Equestrian events far more prominent • Contests in music, poetry, drama, art, and boat races

  19. Competition and Controversy • “A native of Lepreus, Antiochus won once at Olympia the pancratium for men, and the pentathlum twice at the Isthmian games and twice at the Nemean. For the Lepreans are not afraid of the Isthmian games as the Eleans themselves are. For example, Hysmon of Elis, whose statue stands near that of Antiochus, competed successfully in the pentathlum both at Olympia and at Nemea, but clearly kept away, just like other Eleans, from the Isthmian games.” (Paus. 6.3.9, W.H.S. Jones, 1918) • “Timon won victories for the pentathlum at all the Greek games except the Isthmian, at which he, like other Eleans, abstained from competing.” (Paus. 6.16.2, W.H.S. Jones, 1918)”

  20. Myth and PropagandaHeracles and the Murder of the Elean Ambassadors • “When the Argives refused them satisfaction, the Eleans as an alternative pressed the Corinthians entirely to exclude the Argive people from the Isthmian games. When they failed in this also, Moline is said to have laid curses on her countrymen, should they refuse to boycott the Isthmian festival. The curses of Moline are respected right down to the present day, and no athlete of Elis is wont to compete in the Isthmian games.” (Paus. 5.2.2. W.H.S. Jones, 1918)

  21. The Nemean Games http://ca.search.yahoo.com/search/images/view?back=http%3A%2F%2Fca.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3Fp%3DMap%2Bof%2BAncient%2BGreece%26ei%3DUTF-8%26fr%3Drogers-web%26fl%3D0%26x%3Dwrt&w=570&h=443&imgurl=www.sikyon.com%2FKorinth%2Fimages%2Fmap2_ellas.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sikyon.com%2FSicyon%2Fsmapold_eg.html&size=69.8kB&name=map2_ellas.jpg&p=Map+of+Ancient+Greece&type=jpeg&no=3&tt=591&oid=91d84ebe0ad37b90&ei=UTF-8

  22. The Mythic Origins of the Nemean GamesFuneral Games for Opheltes Nemea associated with Heracles – slaying of the Nemean Lion Funeral games: Hand out # 3

  23. The Historical Nemean Games • Inaugurated in 573 BCE at Nemea by the city of Argos • Games held every two years at a sanctuary to Zeus and modeled on the Olympic Games • Programme consisted of same events as Olympics (Chariot races?) • 3 Categories: Men, Youths, Boys • Rather artificial creation

  24. www.holylandphotos.org/browse.asp?s=1,4,11,28,129 Nemean Stadium

  25. How Pan-Hellenic Were the Games?Concluding Observations • Games are Pan-Hellenic because they draw competitors from all over the Greek world • All are only open to Greeks • All are legitimized by reference to Hero Cult (i.e. Pelops @ Olympia, Melikertes @ Isthmia, Opheltes @ Nemea, Apollo (?) @ Delphi) • 3 of 4 under the control of specific cities (i.e. Olympia = Elis, Nemea = Argos, Isthmus = Corinth) – Pythian Games alone seem truly Pan-Hellenic • Origins, Control, and Attendance of games periodically contested • Bring honor and prosperity to organizers

  26. Sacred Truce (Arete # 87-89) • Truce – period on either side of festival • Athletes and visitors granted safe passage to and from Olympia (or other Panhellenic events) • Armistice (ekecheiria) • Not a peace (eirene) • Infractions: Battle fought in sanctuary 364 B.C. Xenophon Hellenica 7.4.28-32

  27. Nature of competition • Homeric (Patroclus’ funeral games): competition among equals (aristocrats)– good-natured, fun, characterized by good sportsmanship and fairness; competition for aristocratic arete • Panhellenic: many participants from non-aristocratic backgrounds competed for excellence and recognition

  28. Nature of competition • Formation of polis in archaic age undermined aristocratic predominance • Most aristocrats no longer in public life • physical culture became traditional and important signs of breeding, wealth and social status • Skills no longer proved in battle found place in sporting events, especially in exclusive disciplines like chariot racing. • Love for individual competition and excellence common to all Greeks;

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