English 9
8 December 2011
Ancient Olympics

The Greek passion for athleticism is rooted in pride and the idea that fitness is a responsibility in their civilization. Ancient Olympics were the most popular an important form of entertainment and the events contained Pankration, Boxing/Wrestling, and the Pentathlon. Plenty of the events we have now in Modern Olympics came from them making them up.About the OlympicsWhen the Olympics first started they were only one a one day event, in 684 BC the games were extended to be a three day event. Then finally in the 5th century BC they were extended to cover 5 days.From the age of twelve, Greek boys are expected to start training in events that take place in their Ancient games. The Olympics were so big that all wars would stop to allow competitors and spectators to travel home to Olympia. Athletic skill is respected, and Olympian heroes are honored through ought the Greek world. The place where the Olympics took place was Olympia. Olympia would be found in the Northwestern Peloponnese. It is in the sacred wood of Altis, under the Hill of Cronus, named after the father of Zeus. Olympia is a mystical place of mystery, myth, religion, and legend, a perfect place for athletes to compete. The Olympics was such a big thing that it was not all about the competition. Religious festivals and diplomatic gatherings side the sporting events, and the celebration feasts would last for about two weeks. During the Olympics there was a lot of time spent to showing respect to the Gods, religious celebrations and sacrifices would take place on the first day before the games begin.( Hunt, 74)Rules and Tactics in the Games
There were many rules and tactics that came into play in the Ancient Olympics. Athletes compete naked in the Olympics and for this reason woman were not allowed to compete or even attend the games. After the games would be finished each of the winners would get their prize. Prizes that were given in festival games such as the anathematic are financially rewarding. Some competitors seek only the honor of taking part and the glory of winning. Winners are presented with olive, wreath, palm branches, and woolen ribbons. Cheating did sometimes occur during the events, the first ever recorded cheat was in 384 BC when Eupolus bribed the judges. If a city is caught cheating they would be punished by a heavy fine which is used to erect the status of Zeus along the long road of Olympia.( Knopf, 43)
PankrationPankration is a combination of boxing and wrestling and is a very rough sport. Greeks believe that this event was founded by Theseus when he defeated Minotaur in the labyrinth. It was the most dangerous event in the games athletes would often get seriously injured or even killed. Pankration involves a series of fights until that one of the athletes concedes. The only rules in the soldier dominant sport was the there can be no gouging the eyes or biting. Wrestlingand BoxingWrestling was sometimes viewed as a military exercise without weapons. The objective in wrestling is to try and knock your opponent on the ground so that his shoulder touches the ground, while you stay on your feet. The first athlete to do this successfully three times wins the competition. Tripping is allowed, but you are not allowed to punch your opponent. A boxing can go on for several hours and the match can only end when one of the athletes concedes defeat or loses consciousness. Boxers bind their hands with soft ox hide thongs for protection. In both boxing and wrestling athletes are chosen at random so different sized men may fight each other.Pentathlon
Pentathlon was the biggest and most popular event in the Ancient Olympics. The contest consists of five events, the long jump, running, wrestling, discus, and javelin-throwing. This event is designed to find the best all around athlete, and requires a lot of stamina. One of Greek most famous sculptures is of a Pentathlon athlete throwing the discus. The discus was made of stone, iron, bronze, and was shaped like a flying saucer. The Sizes varied, since the sizes of discus depended on the age of the division. The boys’ division would not throw the same size as the men’s division. The javelin was made of wood and was about as tall as a man. The javelin could either have a sharpened end or end with an attached metal point. It had a place for the hurler's fingers attached to its center of gravity; this increased the distance and accuracy of a javelin's flight.
The Olympics helped define who the Greeks were. I believe that the Ancient Olympics helped bring everyone together and enjoy the games. I think that the Olympics helped keep Greece together because it was sort of a stable entertainment that helped create the idea that fitness was a civic responsibility.
Works Cited"The Ancient Olympics."Perseus Digital Library. 124 Eaton Hall, Tufts University, 13 Aug. 2004. Web. 12 Dec. 2011. <>."Ancient Olympic Games - 101 on the Ancient Olympic Games."Ancient / Classical History - Ancient Greece & Rome & Classics Research Guide. The New York Times Company. Web. 12 Dec. 2011."Ancient Olympic Games | History, Mythology, The Athlete, Sport Events."Olympic Games Medals, Results, Sports, Athletes | London 2012 Olympics. Web. 12 Dec. 2011., Norman.Living in Ancient Greece. New York: Facts on File, 2007. Print.Glotz, Gustave, and M. R. Dobie.Ancient Greece at Work; an Economic History of Greece from the Homeric Period to the Roman Conquest,. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1926. Print.