The Olympic Games prompted the autonomous cities to work together for a noble cause and to finally
enjoy Hellenic unity, while the spirit of the Games spread quickly until the era of the Roman Empire.
This was an era during which athletics started to have a different meaning. The spirit of the Games
in Roman society was opposite to the selfless, amateurish spirit of the Olympic Games. The one-on-one
fights of gladiators were established for their cruelty while the Olympic games lost their initial
glamour in an era that the athletic competition became a battle for the athlete’s own life.
The Christian church of the first centuries, unable to realize the difference between benefits
of the classic athletics of ancient Greece and the barbaric roman fights, succeeded in ending
the Games in 393 AD, regarding them as products of Paganistic ideals. Emperor Theodosius the 1st
abolished the Games to gain absolution from Ambrose for the massacre in Thessalonica.
The most famous cult Statue of Zeus, made by the famous sculptor Phidias, which was one of the
Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was relocated from Olympia to Constantinople to be burnt.
In 426 AD, Emperor Theodosius 2nd ordered the burning of the temple of Zeus in Olympia.
The last Olympics with 18 games were held in 393 AD. A total of 291 Olympic Games
took place since their beginning in 776 BC.