Saturday, May 25, 2019

HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF SPORTS IN GREECE



The Minoan art of Bronze Age Crete depict ritual sporting events - thus a fresco dating to 1500 BCE records gymnastics in the form of religious bull-leaping and possibly bullfighting. The origins of Greek sporting festivals may date to funeral games of the Mycenean period, between 1600 BCE and c. 1100 BCE.[18] The Iliad includes extensive descriptions of funeral games held in honour of deceased warriors, such as those held for Patroclus by Achilles. Engaging in sport is described as the occupation of the noble and wealthy, who have no need to do manual labour themselves. In the Odyssey, king Odysseus of Ithaca proves his royal status to king Alkinoƶs of the Phaiakes by showing his proficiency in throwing the javelin.
It was predictably[why?] in Greece that sports were first instituted formally, with the first Olympic Games recorded in 776 BCE in Olympia, where they were celebrated until 393 CE. These games took place every four years, or Olympiad, which became a unit of time in historical chronologies. Initially a single sprinting event, the Olympics gradually expanded to include several footraces, run in the nude or in armor, boxing, wrestling, pankration, chariot racing, long jump, javelin throw, and discus throw.[citation needed] During the celebration of the games, an Olympic Truce was enacted[by whom?] so that athletes could travel from their countries to the games in safety. The prizes for the victors were wreaths of laurel leaves. Other important sporting events in ancient Greece included the Isthmian games, the Nemean Games, and the Pythian Games. Together with the Olympics, these were the most prestigious games, and formed the Panhellenic Games. Some games, e.g. the Panathenaia of Athens, included musical, reading and other non-athletic contests in addition to regular sports-events. The Heraean Games, held in Olympia as early as the 6th century BCE, were the first recorded sporting competition for women.
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