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By David C. Young

ISBN-10: 1405111291

ISBN-13: 9781405111294

For greater than a millennium, the traditional Olympics captured the imaginations of the Greeks, till a Christianized Rome terminated the competitions within the fourth century advert. however the Olympic excellent didn't die and this publication is a succinct historical past of the traditional Olympics and their sleek resurgence.

Classics professor David younger, who has researched the topic for over 25 years, finds how the traditional Olympics advanced from modest beginnings right into a grand pageant, attracting hundreds and hundreds of hugely knowledgeable athletes, tens of hundreds of thousands of spectators, and the best artists and poets.

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Like Polites (see chapter 3), instead of pursuing a risky and arduous long-term extension of his career, he decided to diversify even further. Whatever we may think of the combative events and their participants, any man who became a master of all three, then won them all one right after another at one of the Big Four Crown Games, is extraordinary. We should not begrudge him his unique title. Equestrian Events Horse races and chariot races played a featured role in the Olympics and other major ancient athletic festivals.

In the following century, however, the Christian historian Eusebius copied Africanus’ text in a work designed to correlate the various chronologies of the ancient world. This work is preserved, but it lists only the victors in the 200 meters, with occasional comments on other athletes and items. Pausanias says that the program of events at Olympia developed gradually, and gives a timetable, which may or may not go back to Hippias. Whatever the case, many modern students of the games think that it is accurate.

And he may well have used some material that goes back to Hippias of Elis. Hippias was a fifth century bc local historian from Elis who undertook a history of the Olympics, including a catalogue of the victors. Olympic scholars have determined that any later catalogues for the early years must go back to his list. For each Olympiad in his register, he apparently listed each victor for each event that he knew. Of this work nothing survives but a papyrus fragment, which records the victors for a few important decades in the early fifth century.

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