History of Olympic : The Mythological Origin

Ashley | 01 - 24 - 2022
history of olympic mythology

History of Olympic

What is the Olympics’ history? Find surprising information about the first history of Olympic mythology, to straighten out facts we have it all here just for you.   

History of Olympic Mythology 

There are three myths behind the origin of the Olympic games:

  1. Heracles, Zeus’s son, organized the games to entertain his father and other Gods participated occasionally. 
  2. Dactyl Heracles and his four brothers (Thus, the 4-year gap) competed with each other to entertain baby Zeus. Zeus would present the winner with an Olive wreath and crown.
  3. An Oracle revealed that Oenomaus’s King Pisa would die in the hands of his son-in-law. Therefore, he organized a game where he would kill Hippodamia’s potential suitors if he catches up to their chariot. 

A few years down the line, Hippodamia falls in love with Pelops. Pelops was aware that he cannot defeat Pisa because his horses were Poseidon’s gift and possessed supernatural speed. He tricks Pisa by having his charioteer, Myrtilus make wax axle pins for the game. Eventually, the wax melts, Pisa falls to his death and gets killed by his own horses.

When Was the First Ancient Olympics Held?
  • A. 746 BC
  • B. 756 BC
  • C. 766 BC
  • D. 776 BC

Pelops then married Hippodamia, became a great ruler, and organized the Olympics to honor Pisa and purify his sin. 

Facts About the Ancient Olympic Games

The first-ever Olympics was held in honor of Zeus, a Greek God. Though there were fewer games in comparison to the modern Olympics, the Greeks matched it by organizing various other events. 

Games like chariot racing, running, long jump, shot put, pankration, javelin, boxing, and equestrian were hosted. The event included a talent display where individuals would showcase their art, dance, and other extraordinary skills. Politicians made alliances and made major announcements. Priests would sacrifice 100 oxen during the games. 

The first-ever Olympic games were held in 776 BC at Olympia, Greece. The winners were given olive wreaths made out of Olympia’s sacred tree. They were bestowed with glory and fame across the nation. Olympia then became one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. 

The games were played every Olympiad (a unit to measure). The last recorded game was played in 393 AD. The games were stopped during Theodosius Ⅱ’s reign after a Zeus temple caught fire.

Do you know that only freeborn men could participate in the Olympics? While unmarried women could watch the games, married women were not allowed inside. The event was a religious one and participants would be nude when they played. 

Get ready to play a quiz on the history of olympic mythology  now. 

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