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Pan-Hellenic Games

  • Date Submitted: 12/21/2012 09:15 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 59.3 
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OLYMPIA, CRADLE OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES
The Olympic Games as we know them today have a long history which goes back to ancient times.
Everything started in the Peloponnese, in Greece, some 3 000 years ago.
Sports competitions were organised at Olympia and were named after their location, hence their name of Olympic Games. Nobody knows exactly when they began, but the first written mention of the competitions is dated to 776 BC.
These Games were held at the same place every four years. This four-year period acquired the name Olympiad, and was used as a date system : time was counted in Olympiads, rather than years.

THE PANHELLENIC GAMES
The Games organised at Olympia led to the development of the Panhellenic Games, which also included :
– The Games at Delphi (Pythian Games)
– The Games at Corinth (Isthmian Games)
– The Games at Nemea (Nemean Games)
These Games were special because they brought the Greek world together at a time when Greece was not a single state, but a series of city-states (politically and economically independent communities). From Greece and the colonies (in Italy, North Africa and Asia Minor), people travelled to take part in or attend these Games, inspired by the shared feeling of belonging to the same culture or religion.
It should be noted that the four Panhellenic Games were never held during the same year.
It is difficult to know exactly what gave rise to these Games. Mythology is mixed up with history, and events which happened at the time were often explained as the consequences of divine intervention. This was the case for the Panhellenic Games, for which there are numerous stories attempting to explain their origin.

THE SACRED TRUCE
On the occasion of the four Panhellenic Games, a sacred truce was proclaimed. Messengers (spondorophoroi) went from city to city announcing the date of the competitions. They called for all wars to be halted before, during and after the Games in order to enable the athletes, as well as the...

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