What was the olympic games like in Ancient Greece?

For school we have to write an essay, and one of the topic's is Olympic Games in Ancient Greece.I was wondering if someone could please give me some information about the games, such as:-Where were they held?-What was the area like where the games were played?-Why was it originally to honour the Greek god Zeus?-What was the penalty if you cheated?-How long did the games usually go for?I dont need these all answered, but if someone had a fair idea, your help would be much appreciated. I'm using a school computer right now, and not many sites are open for me to research until i am able to use my computer at home.Thanks :]

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2 Answers to “What was the olympic games like in Ancient Greece?”

  1. adult says:

    The first was a chariot race where Hercules rode the Aegean Horses. In front of Zeus.

  2. reindicate says:

    The Olympic Games (Ancient Greek: τὰ Ολύμπια – ta Olympia; Modern Greek: Ὀλυμπιακοὶ Ἀγῶνες (Katharevousa), Ολυμπιακοί Αγώνες (Dimotiki) – Olympiakoi Agones) were a series of athletic competitions held for representatives of various city-states of Ancient Greece. Records indicate that they began in 776 BC in Olympia, Greece. They were celebrated until 393 AD. when an earthquake destroyed Olympia[1] The Games were usually held every four years, or olympiad, as the unit of time came to be known. During a celebration of the Games, an Olympic Truce was enacted to enable athletes to travel from their countries to Olympia in safety. The prizes for the victors were laurel wreaths, palm branches, sometimes even food for life. The ancient Olympics were rather different from the modern Games. There were fewer events, and only free men who spoke Greek could compete (even though a woman is also mentioned as a winner). Athletes from any country or city (famous athletes from as far as Rome and Armenia are mentioned) were allowed to participate. The Games were always held at Olympia instead of moving around to different places at each separate Olympic event as is the case for modern Olympics.[2]Contents [hide]1 Origins 2 History 3 Olympic truce 4 Events 5 Famous athletes 6 Festivals in other places 7 See also 8 Notes 9 References 10 External links [edit] OriginsThe origins of the Ancient Olympic Games are unknown, but legends and myths have survived. One myth about the festival at Olympia involved Pelops, king of Olympia and eponymous hero of the Peloponnesus, to whom offerings were made during the Games. The Christian writer Clement of Alexandria asserted, “[The] Olympian games are nothing else than the funeral sacrifices of Pelops.”[3] That myth tells of how Pelops overcame the king and won the hand of his daughter Hippodamia so that he could become king, with the help of Poseidon, his old lover. This is a myth linked to the later fall of the house of Atreus and the sufferings of Oedipus. Another myth tells of the hero Hercules, or Herakles, who won a race at Olympia and then decreed that the race should be re-enacted every four years. Yet another myth claims that Zeus initiated the festival after his defeat of his predecessor, the Titan Cronus. Some people state that the Greeks believed that the gods enjoyed watching sporting events. These games also served as a way to ready men for battle with skills like running, wrestling, throwing the javelin for accuracy, and throwing the discus for distance.Another myth tells of King Iphitos of Elis, who consulted Pythia, the Oracle at Delphi, to find a way to save his people from war in the ninth century BC. This was the most respected temple in Greece, a religious center originally founded for the worship of Python. The prophetess advised him to organize games in honour of the deities. The Spartan adversary of Iphitos then decided to stop fighting during these games. They were called Olympic Games, after the sanctuary of Olympia where they were held. Had they been named after Mount Olympus, the mountain on which the Greek deities were said to live, they would have been called Olympian games rather than Olympic. The Classical era story is that Heracles celebrated cleaning the Augean Stables by building Olympia with help from Athena.[edit] HistoryThe games were held to be one of the two central rituals in Ancient Greece, the other being the much older religious festival, the Eleusinian Mysteries.[4]The games started in Olympia, Greece, in a sanctuary site for the Greek deities near the towns of Elis and Pisa (both in Elis on the peninsula of Peloponnesos). The first Games began as an annual foot race of young women in competition for the position of the priestess for the goddess, Hera [5] and a second race was instituted for a consort for the priestess who would participate in the religious traditions at the temple.[6]The Heraea Games, the first recorded competition for women in the Olympic Stadium, were held as early as the sixth century BC. It originally consisted of foot races only, as did the competition for males. Some texts, including Pausanias’s Description of Greece, c. AD 175, state that Hippodameia gathered a group known as the “Sixteen Women” and made them administrators of the Heraea Games, out of gratitude for her marriage to Pelops. Other texts related to the Elis and Pisa conflict indicate that the “Sixteen Women” were peacemakers from Pisa and Elis and, because of their political competence, became administrators of the Heraea Games.Being the consort of Hera in Classical Greek mythology, Zeus was the father of the deities in the pantheon of that era. The Sanctuary of Zeus in Olympia housed a 13-metre-high statue in ivory and gold of Zeus that had been sculpted by Phidias circa 445 BC. This statue was one of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World. By the time of the Classical Greek culture, in the fifth and four