Olympia Timeline

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  • c. 1900 BCE
    First evidence of settlement at Olympia.
  • 776 BCE
    First athletic games in honour of Zeus are held at Olympia with one event, the stadion foot race.
  • 724 BCE
    The diaulos foot-race (two lengths of the stadium) is added to the schedule of the Olympic Games.
  • 720 BCE
    The dolichos foot-race is added to the schedule of the Olympic Games and is won by Akanthos of Sparta.
  • 720 BCE
    Orsippos is the first athlete to discard his loincloth at the Olympic Games, establishing the convention for athletes to compete naked.
  • 708 BCE
    Wrestling and the pentathlon are added to the schedule of the Olympic Games.
  • 688 BCE
    Boxing is added to the schedule of the Olympic Games.
  • 680 BCE
    Chariot races are added to the schedule of the Olympic Games which are extended to two days for the first time.
  • 680 BCE
    The tethrippon (four-horse chariot race) is added to the schedule of the Olympic Games.
  • 650 BCE - 600 BCE
    Heraion, temple dedicated to Hera built at Olympia.
  • 648 BCE
    The Pankration (a mix of wrestling and boxing) is added to the schedule of the Olympic Games.
  • 632 BCE
    Events for boys are added to the schedule of the Olympic Games which are extended to three days for the first time.
  • 532 BCE
    Milon of Kroton wins the first of five consecutive wrestling competitions at the Olympic Games.
  • 521 BCE
    Phanas of Pellene wins the stadion, diaulos and race in armour in the same Olympic Games.
  • 520 BCE
    The hoplitodromos (a foot-race in hoplite armour is added to the schedule of the Olympic Games.
  • 488 BCE
    Kroton of Magna Graecia wins the first of three consecutive stadion races in the Olympic Games.
  • 488 BCE
    Runner Astylos of Kroton wins the first of his six victories over three Olympic Games.
  • c. 460 BCE - 457 BCE
    Temple of Zeus is built at Olympia with a statue of Apollo dominating the west pediment and containing the cult statue of Zeus by Phidias.
  • c. 460 BCE
    The west pediment of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia is decorated with a Centauromachy of centaurs fighting Lapiths at the wedding of Peirithoos.
  • c. 457 BCE
    Metopes on the Temple of Zeus at Olympia depict the twelve labours of Hercules.
  • c. 430 BCE
    The cult statue of Zeus by Phidias is dedicated in the Temple of Zeus, Olympia. It is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
  • 424 BCE - 420 BCE
    The Nike of Paionios is erected at Olympia to commemorate the Messenian and Naupaktian victory over Sparta at the battle of Sphakteria.
  • 420 BCE
    Sparta is excluded from the Olympic Games for breaking the ekecheiria or sacred truce.
  • 416 BCE
    Alcibiades wins three chariot races at the Olympic Games.
  • 408 BCE
    The synoris (two-horse chariot race) was added to the schedule of the Olympic Games.
  • 396 BCE
    Competitions for heralds and trumpeters were added to the schedule of the Olympic Games.
  • 392 BCE
    The horse owner Kyniska becomes the first woman to win a victor's crown at the Olympic Games.
  • 356 BCE
    Philip II of Macedon wins the horse race at the Olympic Games.
  • 352 BCE
    Philip II of Macedon wins the chariot race at the Olympic Games and retains the crown in 348 BCE.
  • c. 338 BCE
    Philippeion built at Olympia by Philip II of Macedonia.
  • 328 BCE
    Herodoros of Megara wins the first of ten consecutive trumpet competitions at the Olympic Games.
  • 164 BCE
    Leonidas of Rhodes wins the first of his 12 Olympic crowns in runnning events in four successive Olymic Games.
  • 72 BCE
    Gaius becomes the first Roman victor at the Olympic Games.
  • 17 CE
    Roman emperor Tiberius is victorious at the Olympic Games.
  • c. 67 CE
    Emperor Nero competes at the panhellenic Games of Olympia and Delphi.
  • 81 CE
    Hermogenes of Xanthos wins the first of his 8 Olympic running crowns over three consecutive Olympic Games.
  • 150 CE
    Nymphaion fountain of Herodes Atticus built at Olympia.
  • 261 CE
    The list of victors running back to 776 BCE ends for the Olympic Games.
  • 393 CE
    Roman Emperor Theodosius definitively ends all pagan Games in Greece.
  • 426 CE
    Emperor Theodosios II orders the destruction of Olympia.
  • 522 CE - 551 CE
    Earthquakes destroy many of the buildings at Olympia.