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Classics Sports Second Midterm Notes.docx

Classical Studies
Course Code
CS 2300
David Lamari
Study Guide

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Classics Sports Second Midterm Notes
The Ancient Olympics
Olympic Origin
We don’t know how exactly the Olympics were laid out in 500 or 400 BC
o Look at 120th Olympiad in 300 BC
The Polis of Elis
Nearest community to Olympia, 36 km northwest, but 57 km by road
Pretty much just an athletic town, the towns attitude dominated by the Olympics
o An old gymnasion, where athletes go through all customary training
o Plethrion (100-footer), where Hellanodikai match wrestlers age and ability
o The Square- another gymnasion, practicing wrestling and boxing
One road led to the baths and the other to the Hellanodikaion
o 3rd gymnasion reserved for the epheboi (young men), and also the Bouleuterion
o Agora- marketplace, also used as a hippodrome
Officials and Administrators
Agonothetes (Sponsor)
o Each Olympics was overseen by one or two of these, who paid out of their pockets for the games
o But they were private wealthy citizens who volunteered to pay for these Olympics because they were a
great honour
They would even compete for the honour
o Dikai means judge, Hellano means of the Greeks
Stabilized at 10 of them in 328
o Chose judges from their community, trained 10 months before the Olympics
o They had complete say over who were the winners
o Elis paid for all of their expenses
o Were split into subcommittees: horse races, footraces and heavy
Nomophylakes- Guardians of the Law
o Long term veterans that would train Hellanodikai every Olympics
50-Member Boule (Olympic Council)
o We don’t really know theyre responsibilities, but athletes would appeal to them if they are not happy
with a Hellanodikai judgement
Truce Declared (the Ekecheiria)
At some point well before each Olympics (book says month) there was a truce declared and every Greek had to
acknowledge it
o Once the communities acknowledge they put up these scriptures on stones everywhere
Had the name of region, name of cities within it and 1-3 key people of each city

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These people were the theorodokoi or envoy-recievers and were local reps of the games
o Throughout Greece, no matter what was happening, safe travel is insured
Was broadcast by envoys called theoroi, or spondophoroi (truce-bearers)
Alexanders father, had Alexander and his soldiers peace keep, but they robbed someone and then they got in a
bunch of shit
o So realizing his mistake
Participants Arrive at Elis
o Had to arrive a month before, and go through a custom of some sorts?
Athletes who were late and could not prove illness, pirates or shipwreck were assessed a fine,
and were flogged if wasn’t paid
If you had a strong accent they might become suspicious
o During this month they would you assign you who to work out with
Explains victories without any actual competition
o Macedonian, Alexander a different King tried to enter into the Olympics, and had to prove his ancestry
back to Hercules and the Dorians
o About 85% of Greeks own their own land?
o Swear an oath that they had adhered to 10 months of training
Trial Matches, Some withdrawals
Site Preparation
Originally pasture grounds
o Had to be drained, building repaired and painted, dig and re-roll tracks, white-earth (probably to mark
lanes), but up hysplex II (Philon)
Up until the 3rd century BC, athletes had to go down and help clear and prepare the site preparation
Permanent staff of officials had to take of Olympia through out months
o Many on-call officers like sacrificing priest, flutist, libation pourers and dancers, woodman, butcher, and
They were paid with animal skin and monopoly on firewood for sacrifices
Journey from Elis to Olympia
On August 6th, everyone whos going to Olympia heads out for an overnight trip
o Absolutely everyone, like every single person and thing (oxen), a procession of thousands
Before they left Elis the athletes had to swear and say they were worthy and uphold rules
Sanctuary-sacred area
o Before they entered the sanctuary, on the morning of August 7, Hellonodikai stopped at the spring
Pieria bathed in pigs blood and water that purifies them
The judges for sure, maybe other people as well
Arrival Day
Final Procession to the Bouleuterion (Council Building)
o Everyone whos been marching goes here
Here they make a final Oath in front of Zeus Horkois (Zeus of Oath)
o That they will not be bribed etc.
o Then all the athletes, their immediate family and their trainers all have to take an oath that they wont
do anything evil
After the Oaths are taken the Athletes get assessed again
o Are you Greek, have you been training for 10 months
o Boule assess if their an adult or youth a second-time
People has nightmares about it
o Certification for horses we’re also made
2-extra Olympic Contests
o The herald(keryx) and the trumpeter (salpinktes)
Order of Olympic Events After 472
August 8th Day 1 Parade thru Olympia: Equestrian and Pentathlon

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o Set out from the Prytaneion (sacred flame) including judges and athletes stop at 63 different altars
One of the altars were Zeus Apomyios (Fly Aveter)
Priests and Hellanodikai are clad in purple
Actually more altars, but were not important to ceremony
Stopping at the altar of Zeus and giving up their sacrifices
All the competitors would be heralded
People can still challenge that they have a criminal record or was not Greek
Name, father’s name and native-city
o First Equestrian
1. Tethrippon (Four-horse chariot), 2. Keles (horseback), 3. Synoris (two-horse), 4. Tethrippon
o Then Pentathlon
o Evidence that day ended with sacrifices at Pelops shrine
o Night was night of fullmoon PANSELINOS, A religious high point of the games
Most of the ashe comes from this day on this altar
August 9th, Day 2
o Parade and Sacrifice
A big festival hostes by ambassadors of city states
Sacrifice of hundred oxen to Zeus, their thighs burned and the rest eaten
o Boys Events? Paides
Were separate from men, so must be on this day, but Miller suspects the morning of next day
because everyone is stuffed from feast
August 10th, Day 3 Footraces and Full Contact Events
o Footraces
Dolichos to warm people up, then stadion in two heats 44 people, then diaulos
o Pale, Pyx, then Pankration, then Hoplitodromos
Pairing was probably done this day
A mastigophoros was a slave whip-bearer who would make sure athlete didn’t turn over
his bean till every drew
You could ask to change the order for a little bit of rest
Often juggled to accommodate favoured athletes
o One wrestling favourite was so unpopular, that the event was cancelled
August 11th, Day 4 Awards and Banquets
o In the morning a traditional presentation of the crowned olives
Must be cut with a golden sickle by a boy whos parents are both still living
The crowns are placed on gold ivory table in temple of hera, made by Kolotes
o All the athletes and officials were invited to Banquet later in the Prytaneion
Nature of Prizes
o Olive crown, as well as a ribbon (tainia) and palm branch [ klados phoinikos] (symbol of honour)
o A victory lap (periageirmos) cause youre a boss
o Fans would shower flowers and ribbons, a tradition known as the phyllobolia
Akousilaos and Damagetos (boxing and pankration) picked up their father, Diagoras on their
shoulders and they carried him around
Everyone shouts die now youll never be happier
o From your own cities you might get a lot more
Known as an eiselasis, triumphal entry into the city, free meal a day for the rest of their lives,
and statues
The Money Games
Stephantic VS Chrematitic
Lesser games were either sponsored by sanctuary or a city-state, but both were chrematitic
o Chremata- word for money
Prizes were either cash, or something that could be converted in cash
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