Located in the western Peloponnese, Olympia was an ancient Greek sanctuary site dedicated to the worship of Zeus, in whose honour Pan-Hellenic Games were held every four years from 776 BCE to 393 CE. First inhabited in the second millennium BCE, the first archaeological record of dwellings dates from 1900 to 1600 BCE. The Kronion hill at the site was perhaps... [continue reading]
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A bronze sheet griffin, perhaps once covering a wooden metope (630-620 BCE), Olympia, Olympia Archaeological Museum.
The Gymnasion was built in the second century BCE and was used as a training ground for the javelin, discus and running athletes.
The Archaic temple of Hera in Olympia (7th century BCE).
Metope from the east side of the temple of Zeus, Olympia. Here Hercules holds the Earth on his shoulders with the aid of Athena, on the right Atlas gives the Apples of the Hesperides. (470-460 BCE) Olympia Archaeological Museum.
Metope from the west side of the Temple of Zeus, Olympia. Here Hercules tames the Cretan Bull. (470-460 BCE) Olympia Archaeological Museum.
The Hermes of Praxiteles, from the temple of Hera, Olympia (340-330 BCE). The infant is Dionysos. Olympia Archaeological Museum.
published on 26 April 2012
Map of the main religious sanctuaries of classical Greece. The following gods' sanctuaries are marked in colour: Aphrodite, Apollo, Artemis, Asclepius, Athena, Dionysius, Demeter, Hera, Poseidon, Zeus.
Marble statue of Nike, Olympia. Dedicated to Zeus by the Messenians and Naupaktians after their victory over Sparta in 424 BCE. Sculpted by Paionios of Mende. (Olympia Archeaological Museum, Greece).
James Blake Wiener
published on 20 February 2012
We have the unfortunate news of reporting a robbery of precious items from the Museum of the History of the Olympic Games, in Olympia, Greece. The BBC is reporting that around seventy items were stolen and that the museum has been significantly damaged. The news prompted the resignation of Greece's Minister of Cultural Affairs, Pavlos Geroulanos, but did... [continue reading]
The ancient Olympic Games were a sporting event held every four years at the sacred site of Olympia, in the western Peloponnese, in honour of Zeus, the supreme god of Greek religion. Involving participants and spectators from all over Greece and even beyond, the Games were the most important cultural event in ancient Greece and were held from 776... [continue reading]