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Ancient Olympics in Greek

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 09:12 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 57.6 
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One difference between the ancient and modern Olympic Games is that the ancient games were played within the context of a religious festival.

One of the more intriguing true stories about ancient Greece and the Olympics of ancient Greece would have to be that during the Olympic Games, all fighting stopped. No matter how long or how fierce a battle had raged, every soldier in the battlefield put down his weapons and travelled to Olympia, there they would compete in athletic games designed to honour Zeus and the other Greek gods.   The festival and the games were held in Olympia, a rural sanctuary site in the western Peloponnesus a village in a sacred valley, approximately 500km south west of Mount Olympus. For seven days before and seven days after (and for the period of the Games, of course), no fighting was allowed. It was considered as a highly disrespectful gesture towards the beloved gods of Greece. The many soldiers whom were to compete in the games were also guaranteed safe travel to and from the battlefields to the Olympic Games without fear of being attacked by anyone. An international truce among the Greeks was declared for the month before the Olympics to allow the athletes to reach Olympia safely. The judges had the authority to fine whole cities and ban their athletes from competition for breaking this truce. This happened for several reasons one of the most important being that the Olympic Games were a religious festival. The Greeks considered it their duty to attend, and their duty to their gods was more important than duty to their city-states, where they were fighting the wars for in the first place.                       People who were not Greek could not compete in the Games, but Greek athletes who did compete travelled hundreds of miles, from colonies of the Greek city-states. These colonies were as far away as modern-day Spain, Italy, Libya, Egypt, the Ukraine, and Turkey. Many of the best athletes were soldiers whose commanders...


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