Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
ALTIS 47.55%
The sacred grove near Olympia (q.v.), in which the Olympic Games were celebrated. (See OLYMPIA.)
The chief national festival of the Greeks, which was celebrated in honour of Zeus at Olympia, in the Peloponnesian district Pisatis, belonging to the Eleans, at the point where the Cladeus runs into the Alpheus. The institution of this ancient festival is sometimes referred to Pisus, the mythical founder of the city Pisa, which was afterwards destroyed by the Eleans, and before whose gates lay the sanctuary of Zeus; sometimes to Pelops, in whose honour funeral games were held at this point on the banks of the Alpheus. These were restored, it is said, by Heracles, who instituted the regular order of the festival. This opinion did not become current until the Dorian States, established after the immigration of the Heraclidae into the Peloponnesus, had been admitted to a share in the festival, which was originally frequented only by the Pisatans and their immediate neighbours. This admission dates from Lycurgus of Sparta and Iphitus of Elis, who, at the direction of the Delphic oracle, restored the festival of Zeus, now fallen into oblivion, and established the sacred Truce of God (see EKECHEIRIA), which insured a safe conduct at the time of the festival for all strangers resorting thither, even through hostile territory. In course of time the membership extended itself further, over all the Hellenic states in and out of Greece; and the festival was not only visited by private individuals, but also received sacred envoys from the several states. Through all the assaults of time it lasted on, even during the Roman rule, and was not abolished until 394 A.D., under the reign of Theodosius. From the time of the above-mentioned restoration by Iphitus and Lycurgus it was a quinquennial celebration; that is, it was held once in every four years, in midsummer (July to August), about the beginning or end of the Greek year. A regular and continuous list of the victors was kept from 776, when Corcebus won the race in the stadium, and with this year begins the Olympiad reckoning prevalent among the historians from the time of Timaeus. The duration of the festival was in course of time extended to at least five days. The place where the festival was celebrated was the Altis (see Plan), a sacred precinct at the foot of the hill of Cronus (Kronos), 403 feet high. The precinct, which was about 750 feet long by 570 feet broad, was surrounded by a wall ascribed to Heracles, having entrances at the N.W. and S.W. The centre, both by position and by religious association, was formed by the great sacrificial altar of Zeus, which rose on an elliptical base 128 feet in circumference to a height of 32 feet, and was composed of the ashes of the victims mingled with the water of the Alpheus. Round it were grouped the four most important sanctuaries, the temples of Zeus, Hera (Heraion), the Mother of the Gods (Metroon), and the holy inclosure of Pelops (Pelopion), besides a multitude of altars consecrated some to gods and some to heroes, and a countless host of dedicatory offerings and statues of every kind, among them, south-east of the temple of Zeus, the Nice of Paeonius (q.v.). The temple of Zeus, which was begun about 572 B.C. by the Elean Libo, was not completed in its main outline until about 450. It was a Doric hypaethral building (i.e. it had no roof over the cella, or temple proper); it was also peripteral (i.e. it was surrounded by a single row of columns). It was built of the local conchyliferous, limestone [called poros by Pausanias, v 10 § 2]. In its more finished parts it was overlaid with fine stucco, giving the appearance of marble, and was also richly decorated with colour. It was 210 feet in length, 91 in breadth, and 65 in height. The outer hall had 6 columns along its breadth and 13 along its length (each 34 feet high), while the inner hall had a double row of 7 columns. The eastern pediment was occupied by a representation of the contest between Pelops and OEnomans, with Zeus as the contre (fig. 1); the western, by one of the battle between the Centaurs and Lapithae, with Apollo as centre (fig. 2). The former was designed by the already-mentioned Paeonius; the latter, by Alcamenes of Athens. The accompanying cuts indicate the figures belonging to the two pediments, so far as their fragmentary portions were recovered in the excavations begun by the Germans in 1875. [While the outer metopes beneath these pediments had no ornament except a large plain boss on each, twelve other metopes sculptured with reliefs used to adorn the outer walls at each end of the cella or temple proper, six over the door of the pronaos, and six over that of the opisthodomos. All of these have been discovered: four by the French in 1829, and eight by Germans in 1875-9. Their subjects are the labours of Heracles. The best preserved of the series, and one of them which, as compared with the rest, is apparently the work of a mature and well-trained school of sculpture, is that representing Heracles bearing the heavens. Atlas stands by, offering to Heracles the apples of the Hesperidess, and on the other side one of the daughters of Atlas is touching the hero's burden with her arm, as though endeavouring to aid him in sustaining it (fig. 3).] In the chamber at the western end of the cella stood the greatest work of Greek art, wrought in gold and ivory by Phidias (q.v.). Outside the sacred inclosure, though still in direct connexion with it, were, to the west, the Gymnasium, and to the east the Hippodrome and the Stadium. [The Hippodrome has been washed away by the encroachments of the Alpheus. The Stadium, which was 600 Olympic feet in length, has been excavated to an extent sufficient to determine the length of the single course, between the starting-place and the goal, to be 192·27 metres-630·81845073 English feet. The Olympic foot therefore measured ·3204 of a metre-1·05120036 feet. The parallel grooves in the slabs of stone at each end of the Stadium still show the spot where the feet of the competitors in the footrace were planted at the moment immediately preceding the start. There is room for 20 at either end, separated from one another by posts at intervals of four Olympic feet from one another (fig. 4).] The festival consisted of two parts: (1) the presentation of offerings, chiefly of course to Zeus, but also to the other gods and heroes, on the part of the Eleans, the sacred embassies and other visitors to the feast; and (2) the contests. In the first Olympiad the contest consisted of a simple match in the Stadium (race-course) which had a length of a trifle more than 210 yards. The runners ran in heats of four, and then the winners in each beat competed together, the first in the final heat being proclaimed victor. About 724 B.C. the double; course (diaulos) was introduced, in which the runners had to make a circuit of the goal and return to the starting-point; about 720 came the dolichos or long race, where the distance of the stadium had to be covered either 6, 7, 8, 12, 20, or 29 times [Scholiast on Soph., Electra 691]; in 708, the pentathlon, or five-fold contest, consisting of leaping, running, quoit (diskos and spear-throwing, and wrestling (the last being also practised by itself); in 688, boxing. In 680 chariot-racing on the Hippodrome was introduced, and, though this was twice as long as the Stadium, it had to be traversed from eight to twelve times in both directions (at first with four horses, after 500 with mules, and after 408 with two horses). From 648 there were races, in which the horsemen, towards the end of the race, bad to leap from their horses and run beside them with the bridle in their hands. With the same year began the practice of the pancration (a combination of wrestling and boxing); with 520, the race in armour, with helmet, greaves and shield, though afterwards the shield alone was carried. Competitions between heralds and trumpeters also found a place here. Originally it was only men who took part in the contests; bat after 632, boys also shared in them. The contests were open only to freemen of pure Hellenic descent, provided that no personal disgrace had in any way attached to them; but, after the Romans came into closer relationship with Greece, they were opened to them also, and indeed (as is well known) the Romans were not officially considered barbarians. Even to barbarians however, and to slaves, permission was given to view them, while it was refused to all married women [Pausanias, vi 20, § 9], or more probably all women whatsoever, except the priestess of Demeter, who even received a place of honour among the spectators. Those who took part in the competitions had to take a solemn oath at the altar of Zeus to the effect that they had spent at least ten months in preparation for the games, and that they would not resort to any unfair trick in the course of their contest: this oath was taken for boy competitors by an older relative. Special practice for thirty days at Elis was also usual, but probably only for those who were coming forward for the first time. The duties of heralds and judges were discharged by the Hellanodici, appointed by popular election from among the Eleans themselves. Their number rose in course of time from 1 to 2, 9, 10, and 12, but after 348 it was always 10. Distinguished by purple robes, wreaths of bay-leaves, and a seat of honour opposite the Stadium, they kept guard over the strict observance of all the minute regulations for the contests, and in general maintained order. In these duties they were supported by a numbpr of attendants provided with staves. Transgressions of the laws of the games, and unfairness on the part of competitors, were punished by forfeiture of the prize or by fines of money, which went to the revenue of the temple. Out of the money from penalties of this kind, a whole row of bronze images of Zeus (called zanes) was erected in front of the eleven treasure-houses along the eastern end of the northern wall of the Altis. The games were opened with the sound of trumpets and the proclamation of heralds, the marshalling of the various competitors in the Stadium, accompanied by the announcement of their name and country by the herald, and the appointment by lot of the pairs of combatants. The victors in the several pairs of competitors had then apparently to contend in couples with each other until one couple alone remained, and the winner in this was declared victor. If the number of combatants had been uneven, so that one of them had remained without an opponent, he had finally to meet this rival. The contests were accompanied by the music of flutes. The name of the victor (and one, whom no adversary had come forward to meet, counted for victor), as well as his home, were proclaimed aloud by the herald, and a palm-branch presented to him by the Hellanodici. The actual prize he only received at the general and solemn distribution on the last day of the festival. This was originally some article of value, but, at the command of the Delphic oracle, this custom was dropped, and the victors were graced by a wreath of the leaves of the sacred wild olive, said to have been originally planted by Heracles, which had been cut with a golden knife by a boy of noble family with both parents living. After about 540 the victors also possessed the right to put up statues of themselves in the Altis. The festival ended with a sacrifice made by the victors wearing their crowns at the six double altars of the hill of Cronus, and with a banquet in the Prytaneum of the Altis. Brilliant distinctions awaited the victor on his return home, for his victory was deemed to have reflected honour on his native land at large. He made his entry, clad in purple, upon a chariot drawn by four white horses, amidst the joyous shouts of all the people, and then rode amid an exultant escort to the temple of the highest god, and there deposited his wreath as a votive offering. During the ride, as also at the banquet which followed thereupon, the song of victory, often composed by the most celebrated poets, was chanted by choral bands. There was no lack of other rewards: at Athens the Olympian victor received 500 drachmae, the right to a place of honour at all public games, and board in the Prytaneum for the rest of his life. The opportunity afforded by the assembling of so vast a crowd from all parts of Greece at Olympia was utilized, from about the middle of the 5th century before Christ, by authors, orators, poets, and artists, to make themselves known in the widest circles by the recital or exhibition of their works. When the compliment of a crown was offered by one state to another, the distinction was made generally known by being proclaimed by the heralds at the Olympian Games. <picture> <multi n="1">
The name of Circus was given at Rome par excellence to the Circus Maximus>. This was a recreation ground laid out by king Tarquinius Priscus in the valley between the Palatine and Aventine hills, south of the Capitol. Its centre was marked by the altar of Consus. A second circus, called the Circus Flaminius , was built by the censor C. Flaminius on the Campus Martius in 220 B.C. Several more were built during the imperial period, some of which can still be recognised in their ruined state. Such is the Circus of Maxentius, erroneously called Circo di Caracalla (fig. 1). Similar racecourses existed in many other cities of the empire, e.g., that still remaining amid the ruins of the town of Bovillae. The length ofthe Circus Maximus, as enlarged by Caesar, was some 1,800 feet, its breadth some 350. The seats, which rose in a series of terraces, rested on a substructure consisting of three stories of arched vaults. The lower seats were of stone, the upper of wood. Round the out side of the circus ran a building, containing booths and seats, as well as the entrances to the seats, the number of which amounted, in Caesar's time, to 150,000, and in the 4th century, after the building had been repeatedly enlarged, to 385,000. The podium, or lowest row of seats running immediately above the race-course, was protected from the wild animals by a railing and a trench (euripus) ten feet in width and depth. This trench was, however, filled up at the command of Nero. The end of the circus, at which were the gate of entrance and the partitions in which the chariots stood, was flanked by two towers (oppida) occupied by bands of music.Between these was the loggia of the presiding magistrate. The opposite end of the building was semicircular, and had a gate called the porta triumphalis, which seems to have been used only on extraordinary occasions. The senators and e quites had separate places allotted them, as in the theatre. The seats assigned to the common people were divided according to tribes, and the sexes were not separated. The eight or twelve openings (carceres ) from which the chariots issued lay, as we have already mentioned, at both sides of the entrance, and were closed with bars. They were arranged in slanting lines, so that the distance from the carceres to the startingpoint was equalized for all. The startingpoint was marked by three conical pillars (metae), standing on a substructure. Three other similar metae, corresponding to them, stood at the other or semicircular end of the circus. Between the two points where the metae stood was built a low wall (spina), extending through the whole length of the course. On this there used to stand the mast of a ship, which, after Augustus' time, gave place to an obelisk. The spina was adorned with pillars, little shrines, and statues of the gods, especially of Victory. A second and loftier obelisk was added by Constantine. The obelisk of Augustus now stands in the Piazza del Popolo, that of Constantine on the square in front of the Lateran. There was also an elevated substructure, supporting seven sculptured dolphins spouting water, and a pedestal with seven egg-shaped objects upon it, the use of which will be explained below. The games were generally opened by a solemn procession from the Capitol through the forum to the circus, and through the whole length of the circus round the spina. At the head of the procession came to giver of the games, sitting on a car of triumph in triumphal costume. He was followed by the images of the gods borne on litters or carriages, and escorted by the collegia and priestly corporations. In the imperial age the procession included the images of the deceased emperors and empresses, to whom divine honours were paid. The procession moved through the entrance, while the crowd rose up, cheered, and clapped their hands. The president dropped a white handkerchief into the arena, and the race began. Four, sometimes as many as six, chariots drove out from behind the barriers at the right hand of the spina. Then they rushed along the spina as far as the further posts, rounded these, and drove back down the left side to the starting-posts. They made the circuit seven times, and finally drove off the course through the barriers on the left of the spina. Seven circuits constituted one heat, or missus. A chalk line was drawn across the ground near the entrance, and the victory was adjudged to the driver who first crossed it. During the republican period the number of missus or heats amounted to ten or twelve, and after the time of Caligula to twenty-four, taking up the whole day. To keep the spectators constantly informed how many of the seven heats had been run, one of the egg-shaped signals, mentioned above, was taken down after each heat, and probably also one of the dolphins was turned round. The chariots had two wheels, were very small and light, and were open behind. The team usually consisted either of two (bigae) or of four horses ( quadrigoe). In the latter case the two middle horses only were yoked together. The driver (auriga or agitator, fig. 2) stood in his chariot, dressed in a sleeveless tunic strapped round the upper part of his body, a helmet-shaped cap on his head, a whip in his hand, and a knife with a semi-circular blade in his girdle, to cut the reins with in case of need, for the reins were usually attached to his girdle. The main danger lay in turning round the pillars. To come into collision with them was fatal, not only to the driver himself, but to the driver immediately behind him. The chariots, and probably also the tunics and equipments of the drivers, were decked with the colours of the different factions, as they were called. Of these there were originally only two, the White and the Red. At the beginning of the imperial period we hear of two more, the Green and the Blue. Two more, Gold and Purple, were introduced by Domitian, but probably dropped out of use after his death. Towards the end of the 3rd century A.D. the White faction joined with the Green, and the Red with the Blue. Accordingly in the late Roman and Byzantine period we generally hear only of Blue and Green. It was the party feeling thus engendered which was the mainspring of the passionate interest, often amounting almost to madness, which the people took in the games of the circus. The necessary attendants, the horses, and the general equipment of the games were provided, at the cost of the giver, by special Companies, with one or more directors at their head. These companies were distinguished by adopting the different colours of the factions. The drivers were mostly slaves, or persons of low position. The calling was looked down upon; but at the same time a driver of exceptional skill would be extraordinarily popular. The victors, besides their palms and crowns, often received considerable sums of money; and thus it would often happen that a driver would rise to the position of a contractor, or become director of a company of contractors. Numerous monuments survive to commemorate their victories. Sometimes, indeed, a Celebrated horse would have a monument put up to him. A contest of riders, each with two horses, was often added to the chariot-races. These riders were called desultores, because they jumped from one horse to another while going at full gallop. The circus was also used for boxing-matches, wrestlingmatches, and foot-racing; but during the imperial period separate buildings were usually appropriated to these amusements. Gladiatorial contests, and wild-beast hunts, were originally held in the circus, even after the building of the amphitheatre. Besides these games, the circus was sometimes used for military reviews. The cavalry manaeuvres, for instance, of the six divisions of the knights ( ludi sevirales), with their six leaders (Seviri), and an imperial prince as princeps iuventutis at their head, would occasionally be held there. Under the emperors of the Julian dynasty a favourite pastime was the Troia or ludus Troite . This consisted in a number of manceuvres performed by boys belonging to senatorial and other respectable families. They rode on horseback in light armour in separate divisions, and were practised for the purpose by special trainers.
One of the four great national festivals of the Greeks, held on the Isthmus of Corinth, in a grove of pine trees sacred to Poseidon, near the shrines of the Isthmian Poseidon and of Melicertes. From B.C. 589, they were held in the first month of spring, in the second and fourth years of each Olympiad. According to legend, the Isthmian Games were originally funeral games in memory of Melicertes (q.v.); another tradition relates that they were established by Theseus either in honour of Poseidon, or in commemoration of his victory over Sciron and Sinis. In any case, the Athenians were specially interested in the festival from the earliest times. It was alleged that, from the days of Theseus downwards, they had what was called the proedria, the right of occupying the most prominent seats at the games, and, in accordance with a law attributed to Solon, they presented to those of their citizens who were victors in the contests a reward amounting to 100 drachmoe. [The only occasion when Socrates was absent from Athens, except with the army, was to attend this festival.] The inhabitants of Elis were completely excluded from the games, being debarred from either sending competitors or festal envoys. The Corinthians had the presidency, which was transferred to the Sicyonians after the destruction of Corinth (B.C. 146), but at the rebuilding of Corinth (B.C. 46) it was restored to that city. The contests included gymnastic exercises, horse-races, and competitions in music. The two former differed in no essential way from the Olympian Games (q.v.); in the third, besides musicians, poets of either sex contended for the prize. Besides the customary palm, the prize in Pindar's time consisted of a wreath of dry selinon [often translated "parsley," but more probably identical with the "wild celery," apium graveolens. The selinon was a symbol of funeral games], After the destruction of Corinth, a crown of pine leaves was substituted for it. The games long continued to be held, even under the Roman Empire. [Cp. Plutarch, Timoleon, 26, and Sympos. v 3, 1-3.]
GAMES 39.40%
(1) Public. Among the Romans public games were intimately connected with religious worship. (For the public games of the Greeks, see ISTHMIAN, NEMEAN, OLYMPIAN, PYTHIAN GAMES.) The Roman ludi, originally races, appear first in the worship of Mars and Consus, the tutelary deities of horses and mules. But it was also a very ancient custom to celebrate ludi votivi, or games vowed on special occasions, particularly in time of war. Such games were usually vowed to Jupiter, the greatest deity of the Romans. These exceptional celebrations were so often repeated that they at length passed into regular annual festivals (ludi stati). The number of these games gradually increased, and so did their duration. At the end of the republican period there were seven sets of games, which occupied 65 days; in the middle of the 2nd century A.D. 135 days were given up to them, and in 354 A.D. as many as 176. In old times the games only lasted part of the day; but they gradually began to take up the whole day from early morning onwards. At a later period they went on in many cases into the night, requiring artificial illumination. The Roman ritual was very strict, and it happened pretty often that in consequence of some accidental interruption or trivial oversight, an instauratio or repetition of the spoiled day, if not of the whole festival, would be ordered, lest the gods should have any cause for anger. The different collegia of the priests were responsible for superintending the games, prescribed in honour of their respective divinities. But in the case of festivities vowed by the State, this duty fell to the high magistrates; at first to the consuls, afterwards (and almost exclusively) to the aediles, and after Augustus to the praetors. The expenses were provided for by a certain sum of money paid over from the public treasury to the giver of italics>the games. For the Ludi Romani, the greatest of all the festivals, this sum amounted, during the period preceding the Punic wars, to about £1,800. After this period it reached some £3,000, and by 51 A.D. had risen to £8,750. At the same time the givers of the games had to make larger supplementary contributious. The demands of the public were so extravagant that in course of time the amount of this private expenditure increased enormously, especially in the last century B.C. Augustus, indeed, tried to check it; but he was obliged to allow his praetors to spend three times as much on the games as was paid for the public treasury. Under the Empire many enactments were issued to restrict the expenditure on the games by law, but no permanent effect was produced. Even after the 4th century A.D. the expense rose to as large a sum as from £50,000 to £150,000. The oldest games were those of the circus, consisting mainly of horse-races and chariot-races, with gymnastic contests, to which others were added in course of time. (See CIRCUS.) After 364 B.C. dramatic representations were introduced from Etruria. These were in 240 B.C., and onwards, exchanged for regular theatrical performances (See LIVIUS ANDRONIOUS). Contests of gladiators, also from Etruria, were fashionable after 264 B.C. But these were only exhibited, during the republican period, at funeral games, private and other entertainments (see GLADIATORES). The following regular festivities were introduced in the republican period, and continued in existence until the latest times: (1) The Ludi Romani. These were the oldest games of all, and were, in strictness, celebrated in honour of Jupiter by victorious generals at their triumphs; hence it was that they included, as a special feature, a procession (pompa) from the Capitol to the Circus; a part of the performance which seems afterwards to have been embodied in the other games of the circus. Originally they lasted only one day; but in course of time they absorbed more and more time, till in the Ciceronian age they went on for fifteen (September 4-19). After the death of Caesar another day was added in his honour. After the introduction of theatrical performances, several days were taken up with them. The curule aediles were, in the republican period, responsible for the management. (2) Ludi plebei. These originally lasted one day, but afterwards fourteen, November 4-17. They were given in the Circus Flaminius under the direction of the plebeian aediles, and early included dramatic entertainments. (3) Ludi Cereales, given under the direction of the plebeian aediles in honour of Ceres, the tutelary goddess of the plebs. The date was originally April 19, afterwards April 12-19. (4) Ludi Apollinares, or in honour of Apollo. These were introduced during the Second Punic War, and celebrated originally on July 13, continuing afterwards from July 6-13. On the last day only were there any performances in the circus; the rest of the festival was given up to the drama. These were the only games for which, in the republican period, the praetor was responsible. (5) Ludi Megalenses, in honour of the Magna Mater, introduced 204 B.C. and held at first on April 4, afterwards from April 4-10. (See RHEA .) They included performances both in the theatre and in the circus. They were under the management of the curule aediles, and the same remark applies to (6) the Ludi Florales, from April 28 to May 3. (See FLORA.) During the imperial period the number of permanent festivals was largely increased. The birthday of Augustus, for instance (September 23), was regularly celebrated with ludi circenses, and the ludi Augustales (October 3-12) were instituted in honour of his memory. Side by side with the public games, private performances were often given by societies, families, and individuals on special occasions, such as those of births, marriages, or funerals. Sometimes the object would be merely to please the public: sometimes to raise money. The giver of the entertainment had, like the superintendent of the public games, the privilege of lictors and the toga proetexta. Charges for admission were made or not according to the occasion. But the admission to the public games was free, it being always understood that special seats were reserved for the magistrates, priests, senators, equites, and particular families and individuals. (See AMPHITHEATRE, CIRCUS, GLADIATORES, SEA-FIGHTS, THEATRE, WILD BEASTS.) Of social games the ancients, and especially the Greeks, had plenty. The cottabus, so popular at Greek banquets, the games of ball, of which both Greeks and Romans were fond, and the games with dice, are described in separate articles. A game of draughts (petteia) appears as early as Homer, and was said to have been the invention of Palamedes. But we have no knowledge of its nature and rules, and have very scanty information about the similar games played in later times. The "game of cities" seems to have resembled our chess or draughts. The board was divided into spaces, and movements made upon it with stones; the object being to get your opponent into check. The Romans had several games of the sort, among which the ludus latrunculorum, or game at soldiers, is to a certain extent known. This was a game of siege. The men (calculi) were divided into privates (mandroe) and officers (latrones), and the object was to take or to get your adversary's stones in check. In the ludus duodecim scriptorum, or game of 12 lines, dice were used. The dice-board was divided into 24 spaces by 12 parallel lines intersected by a line at right angles. Each side had 15 men, one set being black and the other white. Before each move the dice were thrown, and the move determined by the number which turned up. A very favourite game was Odd and Even (Gk. artiasmos, Lat. ludere par impar). You held out so many fingers, and put so many coins, pebbles, or nuts in your hand, and made your adversary guess whether the number was odd or even. The Roman children, and indeed their elders, were very fond of various games with nuts.
CORYCUS 33.99%
URANIA 33.48%
A Greek game at ball (q.v.).
TRIGON 33.32%
A kind of game with a ball. (See BALL, GAMES OF).
A kind of Greek game of ball (q.v.)
Greek, see WARFARE. Roman, see LEGION. For the game of "soldiers" (ludus latrunculorum), see GAMES.
A chariot drawn by four horses, used in battle and in athletic games. (See CIRCUS, GAMES OF.) The cut represents a quadriga with weapons as the prize of victory.
A period of four years from one celebration of the Olympian games (see OLYMPIAN GAMES) to another. The Olympiads were counted from the victory of Corcebus (776 B.C.); the last, the 283rd, ended 394 A.D., with the abolition of the Olympian games. This method of reckoning never passed into everyday life, but is of importance, inasmuch as, through the historian Timaeus, about 240 B.C., it became the one generally used by the Greek historians.
PYTHIA 22.14%
The Pythian games. Next to the Olympic games, the most important of the four Greek national festivals. From 586 B.C. they were held on the Crissaean plain below Delphi. They took place once in four years, in the third year of each Olympiad, in the Delphic month Bucatius (the middle of August). Before this time (586 B.C.) there used to take place at Delphi itself, once in eight years, a great festival in honour of Apollo, in which the minstrels vied with one another in singing, to the accompaniment of the cithara, a paean in praise of the god, under the direction of the Delphic priests. After the first Sacred War, when the Crissaean plain became the property of the priesthood, the Amphictyons introduced festivals once in four years, at which gymnastic contests and foot-races took place, as well as the customary musical contest. This contest also was further developed. Besides minstrels who sang with the cithara, players on the flute, and singers to accompaniment of the flute, took part in it (the last-named, however, for a short time only). The gymnastic and athletic contests, which were nearly the same as those held at Olympia, yielded in significance to the musical ceremonies, and of these the Pythian nomos was the most important. It was a composition for the flute, worked out on a prescribed scheme, and celebrating the battle of Apollo with the dragon Python, and his triumph. At first the prize for the victor was of some substantial value, but at the second festival it took the form of a wreath from the sacred bay tree in the Vale of Tempe. The victor also received, as in the other contests, a palm-branch. The judges were chosen by the Amphictyons. The Pythian, like the Olympic games, were probably not discontinued till about 394 A.D.
A Greek game very popular at drinking bouts. The player lay on the couch, and in that position tried to throw a few drops of wine in as high a curve as possible, at a mark, without spilling any of the wine. The mark was called kottabeion, and was a bronze goblet or saucer, and it was a point to make a noise when hitting it. On the kottabeion was fastened a little image or a bust of Hermes, which as called Manes, and which the player had to bit first with the wine. The wine was supposed to make a sound both in hitting the figure and in falling afterwards into the saucer. This of course greatly increased the difficulty of the game. There was another form of the game in which the point was to make the wine hit the saucer while swimming in a large vessel of water, and sink it. The game was played in a round chamber made for the purpose. The form of the room was circular, to give every player an equal chance of hitting the mark, which was placed in the centre. The victor generally received a prize agreed upon beforehand. The players also used the game to discover their chances of success in love. They uttered the name of their beloved while throwing the wine. A successful throv gave a good omen, an unsuccessful one a bad omen. A good player leaned upon his left elbow, remained quite quiet, and only used his right hand to throw with. The game came originally from Sicily, but became popular through the whole of Greece, and specially at Athens, where to play well was a mark of good breeding. It did not go out of fashion till the 4th century after Christ. [The cut represents one of the several methods of playing the game.]
A prize hymn sung by the chorus in honour of the victors at the great national games.
TENSA 17.99%
The chariot used for processions, or for the gods at the Circensian games. (See CHARIOTS.)
The "Secular Games" arose from some gentile sacrifices of the Valerian family, which were offered to the gods beneath the earth at the Terentum (or Tarentum), a spot in the Campus Martius where a volcanic fire smouldered. The first celebration of the Ludi Terentini of which there is actual evidence took place 249 B.C., by the direction of the Sibylline books, in honour of Dis and Proserpine. Owing to the vow then made, to repeat them at the beginning of every saeculum, or period of one hundred years, they were called the "Secular Games." Like all cults prescribed by the Sibylline books, they are of non-Roman origin, being, in fact, borrowed from the Etruscans, who at the conclusion of a mean period of 100 years, reckoned according to the longest human life in a generation, used to present an expiatory offering on behalf of the new generation to the gods beneath the earth. The games seem to have been next held, not in 149, but in 146; the one following was omitted on account of the Civil Wars, and the games were not held again until the time of Augustus, in 17 B.C. [It was for this occasion that Horace wrote his Carmen Saeculare.] The date was fixed by a reckoning different from that hitherto followed, by taking 110 years as the normal standard of the saeculum. In later times sometimes the new reckoning was adopted, sometimes the old; as early as Claudius we have a return to the old, and in 47 A.D. that emperor celebrated with secular games the 800th year of Rome. Similarly the years 900 and 1000 of the city were celebrated. The ritual order of the games, which Augustus only altered by the introduction of Apollo, Diana, and Latona among the deities worshipped, was as follows: At the beginning of the season of harvest, heralds invited the people to the festival, which none had ever seen, nor would see again; and the commission of fifteen, which was charged with the due celebration of all festivals enjoined by the Sibylline books, distributed the means of expiation, consisting of torches, sulphur, and pitch, to all free persons on the Capitol and in the Palatine temple of Apollo. At the same time in the temple of the Capitoline Jupiter, in that of the Palatine Apollo, and in that of Diana on the Aventine, wheat, barley, and beans were handed to the people for an offering of firstfruits. At the feast proper, which lasted three days and three nights, the emperor upon the first night sacrificed to the Parcae three rams, which were completely burnt up, upon three altars at the Terentum. This was accompanied by the burning of torches and the chanting of a hymn. At the same place, and on the same or the following day, a black hog and a young pig were offered to Tellus, and dark-coloured victims to Dis and Proserpine. On the first day white bulls were sacrificed to Jupiter, and a white cow to Juno on the Capitol, after which scenic games were held in honour of Apollo. On the second day the matrons prayed to Juno on the Capitol; on the third, a sacrifice of white oxen took place in the Palatine temple of Apollo, while twenty-seven boys and the same number of maidens sang the carmen saeculare in Greek and in Latin.
BALL 16.31%
Games of ball were among the commonest and most popular forms of exercise in antiquity, among the young and old alike. Playing went on in public places, such as the Campus Martius at Rome; and in gymnasia and thermoe a room (sphoeristerium, from the Greek sphaira, a ball) was set apart for the purpose, in which a professional attended to give instruction in the art (sphairistike). During the imperial period country-houses often had a sphoeristerium attached to them. The balls (Lat. piloe) were made of hair, feathers, or fig-seeds, covered with leather or many-coloured cloth. The largest (as, for instance, the Roman follis) were filled with air. At this time there were five sorts of ball: the small, the middlesized, the large, the very large, and the inflated ball. In throwing the little ball the rule was that the arm should not rise above the shoulder. There were games for one, two, three, or a larger number of players. In many of these several small balls were used at once. Two of the games with the little ball may be mentioned, called by the Greeks Urania and Aporraxis. In the urania ("sky-high") the player threw the ball as high as possible, to be caught either by himself or his antagonist. In the aporraxis ("bounce-ball") the ball was thrown obliquely to the ground, and its several rebounds were scored up until another player caught it with the flat of his hand and threw it back. In another form of the game the point was to keep tossing the ball up, as long as possible, with the open hand. A very favourite game at Rome was the trigon ("three-corner"), which required special dexterity with the left hand. The game of episkyros, at first peculiar to Sparta, was played by a large number. It took its name from the line (skyron) which separated the two sides. On this line the player took his stand to throw the ball; another line, behind the players, marked the point beyond which you might not go back in catching it. If you failed to catch the ball when standing within this line, you lost the game. Another game played by a large number was the harpastum (Latin) or phaininda (Greek). In this the player made as though he were going to send the ball to a particular man on the other side, and then suddenly threw it in another direction. The korykos was not so much a game as a trial of strength. The korykos was a large leather bag filled with flour, sand, or fig-seeds. It hung from the ceiling so as to reach to about the middle of the player's body. His business was to keep the bag in increasingly violent motion, beating it back with breast and hands.
In Greek mythology, the beautiful son of Aethlios (or, according to another story, Zeus and Calyce), daughter of Aeolus, king of Elis, father of Epeus, Aetolus, and Paeon, the first of whom won the government of the country by conquering in a race which his father had set on foot. He was loved by Selene, the goddess of the moon, by whom he had fifty daughters. They were supposed to symbolize the fifty lunar months which intervened between the Olympic games. His grave was at Olympia. Another story made him a shepherd or hunter on Mount Latmos in Caria. Zeus bestowed on him eternal youth and eternal life in the form of unbroken slumber. Selene descended every night from heaven to visit and embrace the beautiful sleeper in his grotto.
Type: Standard
gutter splint
gutter splint
gutter splint