Ancient Olympic Games

The Olympics were a celebration of the omnipotent Zeus, the powerful King of the ancient Greek Gods. The ancient Olympics were take place in Greece and start in 776 BC, reaching the zenith of their glory by about 393 AD.

The games of these times were huge events by the standards of the day. The Ancient Olympics started after a night of celebration and feasting, the third day of the Olympics start with the very solemn sacrifice to Zeus. The Ancient Greeks held the Olympics every 4 years. This 4-year period was identified as an "Olympiad" and was used as a reference point for dating events all over Greece.

Ancient Olympic Games Events

At the ancient Olympics, different the present Games, there were very few events. All events were take place at the Olympia Stadium in Greece.

Only men participated in the Ancient Olympics, and they competed in the nude.The Olympic winner got his first awards immediately after the competition. Following the announcement of the victors name by the herald, a Hellanodikis (Greek judge) would put a palm branch in his hands, while the spectators cheered and threw flowers to him. Red ribbons were tied on his head and hands as a sign of victory. The official award ritual would hold on the last day of the Games, at the elevated vestibule of the temple of Zeus. In a noisy voice, the herald would declare the name of the Olympic winner, his father's name, and his homeland.

Then, the Hellanodikis placed the holy olive tree wreath, or kotinos, on the winner's head.

The ancient Olympic sporting events were:
  • Boxing
  • Discus (part of Pentathlon)
  • Equestrian Events
  • Javelin (part of Pentathlon)
  • Jumping
  • Pankration
  • Running
  • Wrestling