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Olympia

Olympia, ancient city, important center of the worship of Zeus in ancient Greece, in Elis near the Alpheus (now Alfiós) R. It was the scene of the Olympic games. The great temple of Zeus was especially celebrated for its gold and ivory statue of Zeus by Phidias—one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Excavation, which revealed the great temple, also uncovered the sculpture of Hermes by Praxiteles, several other temples within the sacred enclosure (called the Altis), and the stadium.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Ancient History, Greece


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