Quiz: The Ancient Olympics
In the earliest Olympic games, athletes competed wearing . . .
- Initially athletes competed wearing loinclothes. When the long run was added to the games in 720 B.C., 56 years after the first recorded Olympics, the loincloth was abandoned and athletes began competing naked.
Which of the following was not an Olympic event?
- Boy's boxing and wrestling was added to the Olympics in 632 B.C. and the armored foot race debuted in 580 B.C..
Athletes sought to bring glory and honor not only to themselves but to . . .
- The Olympics were very nationalistic in character. Cities and towns erected statues in honor of their local champions and victory in the games was often honored more than victory on the battlefield.
What is the long-distance race known as the marathon named for?
- The Greek god of messengers is Hermes. Dikon was actually from Caulonia, but he was bribed by Syracuse to claim he was born there. In 490 B.C., an outnumbered Athenian army met Persian invaders at the village of Marathon, just north of Athens. An Athenian runner, Pheidippides, was dispatched to Sparta to seek aid. Although the Spartans didn't arrive in time, the Athenians managed to win. Pheidippides then ran to Athens to proclaim the victory. After running 150 miles in two days, he collapsed and died.
The Olympics were held in honor of this Greek god:
- Both Apollo and Hera were also honored with athletic games—the Pythia and the Herae, respectively.
Olympia, site of the games, was also home to one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Which wonder was it?
What is an olympiad?
- An olympiad is a four-year period that begins with the Olympic games.
Which of the following groups could neither watch nor particpate in the Olympics?
- Married women were not allowed to attend the games under penalty of death. However, a woman named Callipateira wanted to see her son compete and disguised herself as a male trainer. Her gender was discovered as she cheered her son on. Fortunately her family had influence and she was spared punishment. Thereafter, however, all trainers were required to strip before entering the stadium.
What were winners of Olympic events crowned with?
- The chaplet of wild olive was plaited from a branch of a tree, the Olive of Kallistephanos (beautiful crown), which grew near the temple of Zeus. Unofficially, Olympic winners got more than a crown of leaves. They often received lavish gifts from their cities and medals and poems were commissioned to celebrate their victories.
To be eligible to compete in the games athletes had to: