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Some ancient sites worth looking at


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#11 Carnivore

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 11:12 AM

And here are a few photos from Olympia…Olympia was the site of the Olympic games in ancient times Olympic games began in 776 BC in Olympia, Greece, and were celebrated until 393 AD. Unlike the Modern Olympic Games, only free men who spoke Greek were allowed to participate in the Ancient Games. They were to some extent "international", though, in the sense that they included athletes from the various Greek city-states. Additionally, participants eventually came from Greek colonies as well, extending the range of the games to far shores of the Mediterranean and of the Black Sea. In order to be in the games one had to qualify and have one's name written down in the lists. It seems that only young people were allowed to participate, as the Greek writer Plutarch relates that one young man was rejected for seeming too mature, and only after his lover interceded with the king of Sparta, who presumably vouched for his youth, was he permitted to participate. Before being able to participate, every participant had to take an oath in front of the statue of Zeus saying that he had been in training for 10 months. The Olympic games originally contained one event: the Stadion (or "stade") race. The stade race was between 180 and 240 metres in length. The actual length of the race is unknown, since tracks found at archeological sites, as well as literary evidence, provide conflicting answers. Runners had to pass five stakes that divided the lanes: one stake at the start, another at the finish, and three stakes in-between. Since time was not pertinent to winning the Stade race, merely passing the finish stake first was enough to earn the victory. The Diaulos, or 2-stade race, was introduced in 724 BCE, during the 14th Olympic games. The race was approximately 400 metres, and scholars debate whether or not the runners had individual "turning" posts for the return leg of the race, or whether all the runners approached a common post, turned, and then raced back to the starting blocks. The Dolichos was introduced in 720 BCE. Separate accounts of the race present conflicting evidence as to the actual length of the Dolichos. However, the average stated length of the race was approximately 18-24 laps, or about three miles. The event was run similarly to modern marathons- the runners would begin and end their event in the stadium proper, but the race course would wind its way through the Olympic grounds. The course would often flank important shrines and statues in the sanctuary, passing by the Nike statue by the temple of Zeus before returning to the stadium. The last running event added to the Olympic program was the Hoplitodromos, or "Hoplite race," in 520 BCE. The runners would lap the stadium for one mile (1500 metres) in full or partial armour, carrying a shield and additionally equipped either with greaves or a helmet. The event was a practice in displaying military capacities of the various poleis that competed, as armour weighed between 50 and 60 lbs. and emulated speed and stamina needed for warfare. Due to the weight of the armour, it was easy for runners to drop their shields or trip over fallen competitors. In vase painting depicting the event, some runners are shown leaping over fallen shields. Over the years, more events were added: boxing (pygme/pygmachia), wrestling (pale), pankration (regulated full-contact fighting, similar to today's mixed martial arts), chariot racing, several other running events (the diaulos, hippios, dolichos, and hoplitodromos), as well as a pentathlon, consisting of wrestling, stadion, long jump, javelin throw and discus throw (the latter three were not separate events). Boxing became increasingly brutal over the centuries. Initially soft leather covered their fingers but eventually hard leather weighted with metal was sometimes used. In the chariot racing event, it was not the rider but the owner of the chariot and team who was considered to be the competitor, so one man could win more than one of the top spots. The addition of events meant the festival grew from 1 day to 5 days, 3 of which were used for competition. The other 2 days were dedicated to religious rituals. On the final day, there was a banquet for all of the participants, consisting of 100 oxen that had been sacrificed to Zeus on the first day. The winner of an Olympic event was awarded an olive branch, and was often received with much honour throughout Greece and especially in his home town, where he was often granted large sums of money (in Athens, 500 drachma, a small fortune). (See Milo of Croton.) Sculptors would create statues of Olympic victors and poets would sing odes in their praise for money. It is often said that wars were halted during the Games but this is not true; however, athletes, who were often soldiers, were permitted to leave the army to participate in the Games, and were guaranteed safe passage through enemy territory. Participation in the games was limited to male athletes; the only way women were allowed to take part was to enter horses in the equestrian events. In 396 BC and again in 392 BC, the horses of a Spartan princess named Cynisca won her the four-horse race. The athletes usually competed naked, not only as the weather was appropriate but also as the festival was meant to celebrate, in part, the achievements of the human body. Olive oil was occasionally used by the competitors, not only to keep skin smooth but also to provide an appealing look for the participants. Competitors may have worn a kynodesme to restrain the penis. (from Wikipedia)
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#12 Carnivore

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 11:13 AM

The Temple of Zeus was built in the middle of the 5th century BCE, its size, scale and ornamentation is unique

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#13 Carnivore

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 11:14 AM

Next comes the temple of Hera (wife of Zeus)

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  • Temple_of_Hera.JPG

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#14 Carnivore

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 11:15 AM

Palaestra site (where the wrestling matches took place)

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  • Palaestra.JPG

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#15 Carnivore

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 11:17 AM

The original Olympic stadium

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#16 Carnivore

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 11:18 AM

And now some pics of Olympia museum (again not of high quality)

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#17 Carnivore

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 11:21 AM

various sculptures

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#18 Carnivore

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 11:22 AM

Hermes of Praxitelis – a masterpiece Hermes is represented as in the act of carrying the child Dionysus to the nymphs who were charged with his rearing

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#19 Carnivore

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 11:22 AM

Nike of Paeonios

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  • Niki.JPG

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#20 Carnivore

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 11:24 AM

Roman sculptures

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