The Influence Of Ancient Greek Olympic Games

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When the Greek competed in the Olympics games they did so for honor, religion, and bluster their cities, witch can be clearly reflected form the poems of that time. The Olympics become such a big part of the region that it began to influence Greek society as a whole. What we must look at is what role did the Olympic games play in Greek society.

Our modern Olympics are a fair mirror to ancient Greek games when compared to sports and medals, but what we can never match is the affect the games had on everyday society and the lives of the common and upper class people in city’s sates. These games become incredible important to the city-states because they brought the Greek world together and Greece became one and not the separate city sates. The Olympics games become a mecca of Greek society every four years where hundreds of Greeks would travel thousands of miles to watch these games. Having a colossal Olympic event in your biggest and most important city makes Athena’s the unofficial capital of these city-states. Which is very important when it comes to political debates.
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At the start when the Greeks compete in these games they did so for the glory of the gods not for selfish gains. We can see more of this in Rome with the gladiators and how it was more for the audience and coin and not so much religious influence. Although poems where written from artist like Pindar the early games where not center around accolades, but more around the victors glory they received from the gods. (1) Even dying in the games was considering a good thing as long as it was a just death. Much like battle if an athlete was defeated to the point of death he would be declared victor.

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