• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'How do the Ancient Olympic Games differ from the Modern Olympic Games? Which do you think is more impressive?'

Extracts from this document...


'How do the Ancient Olympic Games differ from the Modern Olympic Games? Which do you think is more impressive?' The main difference between the Ancient and Modern Olympics is that the former were religious and the latter were secular. This difference underlies almost every facet of the games. For the Greeks the Olympics, as everything else, were religious. "Almost every activity in the Greek world had its spiritual dimension" 1. There is in fact no ancient Greek word for religion. The Ancient Olympic Games were first and foremost a festival for Zeus. The games at Olympia were a small part of a larger religious festival, much like the dramatic competitions at the Great Dionsyia. An individual athlete might well compete on only one day of the five. The whole festival was steeped in religious ritual and myth. These included the procession along the sacred way, the funeral rites of the hero Pelops and the sacrifices to Zeus. The site of Olypmia was Zeus' sacred citadel, and Herakles had decided the length of the stadium. ...read more.


There was no second place, no weight categories and no records. The judges impartiality (reputedly extremely good) was bound by the Olympic oath which was sworn before the statue of Zeus Horkios, the most ferocious of Zeus' forms. For us the Games are social, economic and cultural events. The Sydney Olympics cost around �1.2 billion pounds, but this was almost certainly made up in ticket sales, Television rights and sponsorship deals. Hosting the Olympics is also a chance for countries to exhibit themselves, most famously in the 1936 Munich Olympics. After the most recent commonwealth games Manchester's performance was seen by many as an indicator of a revival of the north. By contrast the Ancient Olympic games were static, and local wealthy men supported them. The only financial reward for Olympia were gifts for the temple. The Modern Olympic Games are primarily a cultural event. As such they represent many of the values of the international community. They are inclusive and tolerant. ...read more.


thing that the Greeks agreed on: religion. I also prefer the purer form of the events in the Ancient Games. With no weight categories, no 2nd place and no records, competition at the Ancient Olympics must have been all the more committed. The events themselves were also simpler. The pankration, with fights until submission is far more accessible than Olympic Judo, with its array of confusing Japanese terms. But most of all the Ancient Olympics were more personal. In the modern Olympics our athletes compete thousands of miles away from home, often in the middle of the night, in a strange country. In the Olympic games people from all over the Greek world came together in a celebration and confirmation of their distinct identity. The victors were raised to levels far above those of modern competitors: the would give their name to the games, they would have songs composed to them, statues put up, coins struck and they would gain influence and prestige in society almost unimaginable to modern athletes. 1 Charles Freeman, "Egypt, Greece and Rome : Civilisations of the Ancient Mediterranean" 2 Pythian VIII W. Guast, 5AMS/JT. Classical Civilisation(AJJ). 24/11/02. - 1 - - 1 - ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Classics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Classics essays

  1. How far is it possible to explain the differences between the Parthenon and the ...

    A source says that 'the statue of Zeus at Olympia was an ideal representation of the high Classical style of art, and a significant reminder of the strength of Greek religion'. The seated statue occupied the whole width of the aisle of the temple that was built to house it, and was 40 feet (12m)

  2. Iliad - In the modern world, people, as a society, have always given themselves ...

    �(Then sighing heavily)� my dear companion has perished, Patroklos, whom I loved beyond all other companions, as well as my own life�Thetis spoke to him, letting tears fall� (377, Iliad, 18.78). It can be sensed that, although in deep mourning for his lost friend, Achilles is just as well upset because he sensed a slight degree of failure.

  1. To determine the indicator range of some acid-base indicators

    + log [ In- (aq)]/ [HIn (aq)] The ratio of [ In- (aq)]/ [HIn (aq)] determined the color of the solution. When [ In- (aq)]/ [HIn (aq)] < 1/10, color of [HIn (aq)] is observed and there is no apparent change of color.

  2. Euripides was accused by his contempories of being a woman hater. Why do you ...

    Clytemnestra is loyal to Aegisthus even though they are not married. Electra is shown to be a whiney girl who wants people to see her humility. She has gone from a life of nobility, the daughter of the heroic Agamemnon, to the wife of a peasant.

  1. Describe the main temples on the Altis. Which in your opinion is the most ...

    This is not nearly as impressive as the temple of Zeus also a peripteral temple, sizing at (27.68 x 64.12 m; 6 x 13 columns). The Heraion creates great excitement for me as its shows a clear translation of wood to stone within temple architecture.

  2. Homers influence has inspired many authors and changed daily life for ancient and modern ...

    Both the Iliad and the Odyssey were written in an Illionic dialect (Ancient History). He wrote in a dactylic hexameter, a meter of six feet long containing one long syllable and either two long syllables or two short syllables, which suggest that they were, performed orally (Ancient History).

  1. Is Aeneas pious, and would the Romans of Augustan Rome have thought him to ...

    Aeneas? piety is often defined by how he demonstrates stoicism, and he does so throughout the poem. Stoics believed that the notion of fate must be respected and that no mortal man could, or should interfere with fate, as it is an inevitable force.

  2. Overview of Ancient Greece

    of the palaces; but the palaces were rebuilt soon afterwards and the Minoan civilization continued to flourish. Not everyone was as lucky as others to live in the palaces but whoever didn?t, then lived in small farmhouses. A new disaster hit Crete around 1450 BC, causing large-scale destruction to the

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work