Today in the morning session of class we learned about the Ancient Olympic Games. What stood out to us was how different the Ancient Games were from our perception of the modern games. Starting with the Panhellenic Festivals which started around 776 BCE and ended around 460 CE which consisted of four separate games. The Olympic Games were held at Olympia in honor of the God Zeus, the Pythian Games were held at Delphi in honor of Apollo, third were the Isthmian Games which were held at Corinth in honor of Poseidon, and finally the Nemean Games which were held at Nemea in honor of Zeus. The most important of the four games was the Olympic Games which lasted five days. The first day consisted of Oath-taking ceremonies, contests for boys, trumpeters, and heralds. Also, many sacrifices and prayers were offered to Zeus. On the second day of the Games, competitions such as Chariot races, Horse races, and the Pentathlon took place. The third day consisted of the main sacrifices to Zeus, and various foot races. The fourth day competitions were described as the “heavy events” and were the most popular. These events consisted of Wrestling, Boxing, and Pankration. On the fifth and final day, prizes were awarded and banquets with Thanksgiving to Zeus. After learning about what the Ancient Games consisted of, it will be really cool to see in person where these events took place!
-Eric Thorn, Jack Hillesheim, Matt Saemrow