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Encyclopedia > Isthmian Games

The Isthmian Games were one of the Panhellenic Games of Ancient Greece, and were held at Corinth every two years.

With the Nemean Games, the Isthmian Games were held both the year before and the year after the Olympic Games, while the Pythian Games were held in the third year of the Olympiad cycle. The Isthmian Games were held in honour of Poseidon, and were said to have originated around 580 BC to celebrate the death of the tyrant Kypselos. Another story states that the Games were founded by Theseus.

The Games of 196 BC were used by Titus Quinctius Flamininus to proclaim the freedom of the Greek states from Macedonian rule. Administration of these Games was undertaken by the city of Sicyon following the Roman destruction of Corinth in 146 BC, until Corinth recovered ownership of these Games at some point between 7 BC and AD 3. The Isthmian Games thereafter flourished until Theodosius I suppressed them as a pagan ritual.

The winners of the Isthmian Games received a wreath of pine.

  Results from FactBites:
Panhellenic Games (319 words)
The Games took place in a four-year cycle known as the Olympiad, which was one of the ways the Greeks measured time.
The Olympic Games were used as a starting point, year one of the cycle; the Nemean and Isthmian Games were both held (in different months) in year two, followed by the Pythian Games in year three, and then the Nemean and Isthmian Games again in year four.
The main events at each of the games were chariot racing, boxing, wrestling, boxing, pankration, stadion and various other foot races, and the pentathlon (made up of wrestling, stadion, long jump, javelin throw, and discus throw).
THE CORINTHIA IN THE ROMAN PERIOD; The Isthmian Games and the sanctuary of Poseidon (5066 words)
The Isthmian Games and the Sanctuary of Poseidon in the Early Empire
Strabo's reference to the sanctuary of Isthmian Poseidon (8.6.22) has been the basis for putting the date of the return of the Isthmian Games to Corinth after his visit and after the composition of Book 8, because he implies that the games were not at that time being held at the sanctuary.
The Caesarean games that were held at the same time as the Isthmian appear to have continued to be held in Corinth until at least the 2nd c.
  More results at FactBites »



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