Origin and History of the Ancient Olympic Games

Video

Kelly Macquire
by
published on 16 January 2022

The Olympic Games as we know them today began in April of 1896 in Athens, where the city welcomed 13 nations to compete, but this video is going way back to the year 776 BCE and it's going to explore the origin and history of the Ancient Olympic Games. In the year 776 BCE, the first Olympic Games were held at the sacred site of Olympia in the western Peloponnese, in honour of the king of the gods, Zeus. The games were held every four years (much like they are now), until 393 CE when they were ended by Emperor Theodosios I who decreed that all cult practices (including the Olympic Games), be stopped.

The very first Olympics in 776 BCE was held on the first full moon after the summer solstice, so in the middle of July sometime, and at the beginning, there was only one event, the stadion foot race. The very first victor was Koroibos of Elis, and every victor was recorded from Koroibos onwards, and each Olympiad (which is the four year period associated with each Olympic game), was named after the victor.

The games were started with a procession that began at the town of Ellis and concluded at Olympia. The procession was led by the judges or Hellanodikai, and when the athletes and officials were all at the site, they swore an oath to follow the rules and to compete with honour and respect. 100 oxen were sacrificed to Zeus at his altar, known as the hecatomb, and this was the most important religious ceremony which would be observed after the sporting events were over.

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— CHAPTERS —
0:00​ Introduction
0:52 Introduction to the Olympic Games
2:27 The Beginning of the Ancient Olympics
5:25 Athletes and Events of the Ancient Olympic Games
8:05 Rules of the Ancient Olympics
9:34 Prizes for the Event Winners
12:33 Outro

— WANT TO KNOW MORE? —
Ancient Olympic Games https://www.worldhistory.org/Olympic_Games/
Pherenike the Female Olympic Trainer https://www.worldhistory.org/article/72/pherenike-the-female-olympic-trainer/
Olympia https://www.worldhistory.org/Olympia/
Pankration https://www.worldhistory.org/pankration/
Stadium https://www.worldhistory.org/Stadium/
Ancient Greek Inventions https://www.worldhistory.org/article/1165/ancient-greek-inventions/

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Ancient Medicine, Healing and Physicians in Antiquity https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-_ekcDfdDs

— ATTRIBUTIONS —
You can find all attribution and credits for images, animations, graphics and music here - https://worldhistory.typehut.com/origin-and-history-of-the-ancient-olympic-games-images-and-attributions-7576

The music used in this recording is the intellectual copyright of Michael Levy, a prolific composer for the recreated lyres of antiquity, and used with the creator's permission. Michael Levy's music is available to stream at all the major digital music platforms. Find out more on:
https://www.ancientlyre.com
https://open.spotify.com/artist/7Dx2vFEg8DmOJ5YCRm4A5v?si=emacIH9CRieFNGXRUyJ9
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ1X6F7lGMEadnNETSzTv8A

— THUMBNAIL IMAGE —
https://member.worldhistory.org/image/3254/greek-wrestlers/
Mark Cartwright
CC BY NC SA 4.0 - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/deed.en

https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/254861?searchField=All&sortBy=Relevance&ao=on&showOnly=openAccess&ft=panathenaic&offset=0&rpp=20&pos=17
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
CC0 - The Met Open Access - https://www.metmuseum.org/about-the-met/policies-and-documents/open-access

World History Encyclopedia
www.worldhistory.org

#ancientolympics #ancientolympicgames #greekolympics

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About the Author

Kelly Macquire
Kelly is a graduate from Monash University who has completed her BA (Honours) in Ancient History and Archaeology, focussing on iconography and status in Pylos burials. She has a passion for mythology and the Aegean Bronze Age.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Macquire, K. (2022, January 16). Origin and History of the Ancient Olympic Games. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.worldhistory.org/video/2698/origin-and-history-of-the-ancient-olympic-games/

Chicago Style

Macquire, Kelly. "Origin and History of the Ancient Olympic Games." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified January 16, 2022. https://www.worldhistory.org/video/2698/origin-and-history-of-the-ancient-olympic-games/.

MLA Style

Macquire, Kelly. "Origin and History of the Ancient Olympic Games." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 16 Jan 2022. Web. 27 Nov 2022.

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