The Olympic Games is perhaps the most well-known global sports event that includes the largest number of participating nations for any sort of worldwide activity. This gargantuan event that hosts a large variety of different sports and activities can trace back its roots to the first Olympiad 776 BC which is where it appears on the Bible Timeline Poster with World History. This is during the time of the reign of the Divided Kingdoms of Israel and Judah.Judah.
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According to any historical records dating back to hundreds of years, the Olympic Games was first held in 776 BC to commemorate Zeus and the other gods of Mount Olympus. Another purpose these games had was to help in solving ongoing conflicts between various city states. It was believed that the Ancient Greeks held the event to be so sacred that no armed man was allowed to set foot on the event grounds. And that all city states entered a temporary truce in the months before and after the Olympics. The event was held every four years during the midsummer full moon. This particular date was chosen so that the sporting events could be held even as night fell.
The years that came in between the Olympic Games were called Olympiads. An Olympiad was named according to the athletes that were victorious in the previous gamed. The first ever Olympiad was named after Coribus of Elis for winning a foot race. Olympiads are often an important chronological marker for historians since any major event during the ancient world was often associated with a specific Olympiad period. Based on this, the first ancient Olympiad was the years 776 to 772 BC. Currently, we count our Olympiads according to the first modern count marked during the 1896 Olympics.
Eligibility for the Games
In the Ancient world, only male Greeks were allowed to compete. Those accused of heinous crimes and sacrilege were prohibited from entering. Honorable play and competition were pivotal during the ancient Olympics, and all competing athletes were to move to Elis or Olympia a month before the official games began. The audience also followed similar rules in eligibility. No one accused of crimes and sacrilege was allowed to watch the games. Furthermore, women were not allowed to watch games involving nude men, and such a privilege was only allowed to the Demeter priestess.
The Evolution of the Games
During the games before the first Olympiad 776 BC, a simple foot race was the only real mark of this unifying event. But as years went on, the Olympic events evolved to incorporate more competitive activities. Generally, the Ancient Olympic Games were divided between physical stadium events, where the participants would compete in the nude, and racing events. The Olympics was normally done in a five-day period.
The first day involved making sacrifices to Zeus and the participants and trainers making a solemn oath to the gods. The second day was marked with chariot races in the early morning and followed by the pentathlon in the stadium. The third day was considered the most solemn day of sacrifice where several bulls were slaughtered at the altar of Zeus. The fourth day involved physical contests in the stadium as well as foot races. This was the last day involving athletic events. The fifth day was the victory banquet when the winners received their awards and a final procession to the altar of Zeus was held. The night would then be filled with feasts and overall revelry.
Though much has changed since the first Olympiad 776 BC, what remains of the Olympic Games is that it still somehow brings together a large host of otherwise bickering nations. Though it is so much larger now than just a few warring Greek city-states, the Olympic Games continue to live on as the prime global sporting event.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Discobolus_Lancelotti_Massimo.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympiad http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeus#In_modern_culture
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