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Religion and Death
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Real Story of the Ancient Olympic Games
Greek athletes were closely associated with religion and trained in order
to please a god or goddess in a competition. Competitive events were generally
staged in the stadion, a facility that provided both space for the competitions
and an area for spectators. The standard athletic events for men were made
up of track and field competitions plus boxing and wrestling. Some festivals
included specialized races in which the contestants either wore armor or carried
torches. Boxing and wrestling events were also traditional.
Attic Black Figure Lekythos
ca. 550 BC
Near the Dolphin Group
Two racing runners. They are likely to be competing in either the stadion
event, which was a sprint 600 feet long, or the diaulos, which was twice
that length. The runners are flanked by either judges or spectators.
H. 29.2; Dia. 17.0 cm. Photo by Maria Daniels for the Perseus Project.
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