The initial form of the Olympic Games

The initial form of the Olympic Games

According to tradition, the games began in 776 B.C. The Olympics existed before this date, though, leading many people to believe that the chariot races that were held many years earlier in honor of the Olympian hero Pelops who was worshiped there even before Zeus.

In 776 B.C. King Iphitos of Elis, foreseeing the dynamics of the games, accomplished treaties with Sparta and Pisa. This created the foundation of the Pan-Hellenic "sacred ekecheiria", or truce. During the gaming activities, the Olympic truce was abided by the entire ancient Hellenic world, while spondofori (messengers) traveled to all the Greek cities to invite citizens and athletes to the Games.

During the same year, the stadium was built in Olympia (Peloponnese). This stadium was reconstructed in mid 5th Century B.C. and again in mid 4th Century B.C. The games were held every four years and the time spanning between two Olympic Festivals was called an Olympiad. The same term was used to denote the days of the Festival itself.


History of Olympic Games (Introduction)
The initial form of the Olympic Games
The athletic events
The evolution of the Olympic Games
The days of the Olympic Games
Some other versions about the origins of the Games
The Polynikes (multi-winners)
The meaning of the Olympic Games for Greece
The modern Olympic Games


▶︎ History of the Olympic Games
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