Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Tuesday, May 30, 2017 03:05:07 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

The ancient Olympics

By
25th-Dec-2016       Readers ( 250 )   0 Comments
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all (0) »

Valerie Baadh :
The Olympic Games are coming up, and much of the world will be enjoying the performances of the very best athletes of today. However, the ancient origins of this modern day event are probably not on your family's radar. Sure, you know that there were olive wreaths involved, but how much can you share with your child about the Ancient Olympics? Incorporate some learning into the action and excitement by sharing the history of the Olympics with your child. Here's a cheat sheet about the ancient tournament that's sure to surprise your young learner!
History The Ancient Olympics lasted about 1,000 years-from 776 BC to AD 395, although the site of the official Games in Olympia had been a sacred place for prayers and festivals for years beforehand. The village of Olympia may seem remote today, but in ancient times it was easily accessible from the sea through rivers and other inland routes. From simple altars of offerings, the site grew to include giant temples, halls, a stadium, swimming pool, and numerous statues-including one of the seven wonders of the world: a gold and ivory statue of the god, Zeus.
The first Olympic Games were religious festivals, held amidst a time of truce in a war-torn land to honor Zeus with festivities and demonstrations of skill in athletics and music. In ancient days, Greece was not its own nation but a collection of city-states often in conflict -if not full out war - with each other and neighboring nations. According to tradition, King Iphitos of Elis, near Olympia, sent a messenger to run the great distance to the oracle at Delphi to ask how to end the destructive wars and disease that were plaguing his people. Her answer was to reinstate a games festival at Olympia, and to declare a truce of all conflicts so that athletes, judges, and viewers could travel safely to and from the games. This truce was extended to three full months every four years to accommodate all those traveling by land and sea to Olympia.
The word "athlete" comes from the Greek, and means "one who competes for a prize". While some ancient tournaments awarded the winners with shields, woolen cloaks, or olive oil, the oracle at Delphi advised that the winners at Olympia should receive a simple wreath of leaves from the olive trees growing nearby.
The Athletes The ancient Games at Olympia were contests for Greek-speaking men only, and they practiced and competed in the nude. Some say this was to be sure that women did not sneak into the Games as athletes or viewers, and others say this was adopted from the Spartan tradition. In fact, women had their own athletic competitions in ancient Greece, called the Heraia. At Olympia, the Heraia was held every four years to honor the goddess Hera with foot-races as well as prayers, offerings and festivities.
The ten months prior to the Games was a period of intense practice for ancient athletes first in their home city-states, and the last month at a training site in Elis, about 40 miles from Olympia. A strict regime of training and diet was imposed under the supervision of each athlete's own trainer as well as the officials. Two days before the Games, a parade of judges, athletes, trainers, horses, chariots, owners and jockeys traveled the long distance on the Sacred Road to Olympia.
The Games The festivities and events in Olympia were quite different from those that take place today. At first there was only a foot race, but over the years new events were added, often accompanied by music from flutes or drums. The first day's contest included heralding and trumpeting, along with boys' races. Public and private prayers were offered at ceremonies at the altars and statues of Zeus, and speeches, poetry, and music were presented. The morning of the second day began with the dramatic and exciting horse-drawn chariot races, and in the afternoon, the ancient pentathlon (javelin, discus, wrestling, running and jumping) contests were held, followed by much feasting and revelry. The next days' events included running races, boxing, and wrestling, and ended with a race-in-armor. Finally, the victors were crowned with wreaths of wild olive leaves at the Temple of Zeus and the celebrations continued long into the night. Afterwards, the participants traveled back to their home city-states within the safety of the continuing time of truce.
After 1,000 years, a string of natural disasters struck Olympia, and the ancient Games came to an end. Nearby rivers flooded the site, and a series of earthquakes destroyed the sanctuary. The rubble completely obliterated the remains, which were only discovered late in the 18th century and excavated 100 years later. Today, visitors to Olympia can tour the ancient site and even go through the tunnel to the ancient stadium just as the ancient athletes did so many years ago.
Today, the Olympic Games begin with a huge spectacle of music, movement, lights and fireworks. The Olympic Games take place every two years, alternating between winter and summer athletic events.
While our modern games are very different from those of ancient times, some things haven't changed. The world still suffers from regional conflicts. The Olympic Truce is still alive today, in concept. For this year's Olympics, the United Nations has unanimously asked the world to once again acknowledge the Olympic truce, guaranteeing safety and protection to the athletes and observers of the Olympic Games.

0 Comments. Share your thoughts also.
Write a comment
Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Too profligate and too wasteful a govt is too much of a burden


BANGLADESH Economic Association (BEA) has suggested, more reasonably that the government should more rely on income tax instead of entirely focusing on Value Added Tax (VAT) which the Finance Minister has vowed to fix at 15 percent from July 1 under the new VAT Law. The government has been realizing ...

Sports »

Kevin Kisner kisses the championship trophy after winning the Dean & DeLuca Invitational golf tournament at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday.


City »

DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Miah speaking at a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club on Monday marking World Tobacco Free Day.


Entertainment »

Orsha, Nawsheen under Selim`s direction


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :It is really difficult to identify Shahiduzzaman Selim while first looking in role of Bonduk Habib in the shooting spot. It was really tough to identify on the spot with that make-up. To act in that role, Selim took that type of get-up. He has taken this ...

Entertainment »

The Square wins the Palme d’Or, Sofia Coppola becomes second woman ever to win Best Director prize


Entertainment Desk :After being snubbed by the Academy in 2015 when his lauded (and Un Certain Regard-winning) Force Majeure did not make the nominees list in the Foreign Language Oscar category, Ruben Ostlund just walked away with the Cannes Film Festival's highest honor. His The Square, an art world satire ...

International »

Following Trump`s trip, Merkel says Europe can`t rely on US anymore


The Washington Post :German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday declared a new chapter in U.S.-European relations after contentious meetings with President Trump last week, saying that Europe "really must take our fate into our own hands."It was the toughest review yet of Trump's trip to Europe, which inflamed tensions rather ...

International »

Macron hosts Putin in latest diplomatic test


AFP, Paris :France's new President Emmanuel Macron was to host Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Monday in the latest test of his diplomatic mettle after vowing firm stands on Ukraine and Syria."It is essential to talk to Russia because there are many international issues that will not be resolved without ...

Editorial »

Transparency over WASA project


THE Asian Development Bank is reportedly bringing pressure on the government to award two contracts to a bidder without competitive bidding to supply 500 million litres of treated water to Dhaka Water Supply Authority (WASA) from River Meghna, as per a New Age report on Sunday. But what is noticeable ...

Football »

Wenger collects record 7th FA Cup unclear on Arsenal future


AP, London :Removing the record seventh FA Cup winner's medal from his pocket, Arsene Wenger was gratified and yet apprehensive."For once I have kept my medal," said the Arsenal manager, who usually gives them away to staff members. "So that means it's a special night for me."And maybe his last ...

Entertainment »

Ariana Grande will return to Manchester for fundraising concert


Undeterred by the severe terror threat and the traumatic attack after her concert, Ariana Grande is all set to return to Manchester. The 23-year-old-singer promised her fans that she will return to Manchester to have a benefit concert to raise money for the victims and their family. The Side to ...

City »

BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia along with others offering Munajat at an Iftar Mahfil organised for Ulema-Mashaekh and orphans at the Ladies Club in the city on Sunday, the first day of holy Ramzan.


International »

Trump ends nine-day overseas trip with a flourish as trouble looms at home


Reuters, Washington :With trouble facing him back home, US President Donald Trump ended his nine-day overseas journey in dramatic fashion on Saturday, addressing US troops at a campaign-style rally.Trump flipped traditional US foreign policy upside down on his tour through the Middle East and Europe, coddling Middle Eastern leaders with ...

International »

May's Conservatives maintain 14-point lead over Labour: Poll


Reuters, London :British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party has a 14 percentage point lead over the main opposition Labour Party ahead of a June 8 election, according to an ICM opinion poll published in the Sun newspaper on Sunday.The poll put the Conservatives on 46 percent and Labour on ...

Editorial »

Holy Ramzan is not for greedy business


THE Holy month of Ramzan starts from today with a surge in the pieces of essentials in the kitchen market to a new height. The government leaders said the market has enough supply and it is true because traders have imported essentials in huge quantity in the past months anticipating ...

Back Page »

Holy Ramzanul Mubarak


Abdul Muqit Chowdhury :Holy Ramzan, the ninth month of the  Arabic year and the best period for virtuous deeds, starts today with great inspiration and religious fervour. This month is unique, to have Revelation of the Holy Quran-the universal and eternal message for guidance of mankind. The Muslims are fortunate ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news