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Encyclopedia > Panhellenic Games

Panhellenic Games is the collective term for four separate sports festivals held in ancient Greece.


The four Games were:

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 cycle then repeated itself with the Olympic Games. They were structured this way so that individual athletes could participate in all of the games.


Participants could come from all over the Greek world, including the various Greek colonies from Asia Minor to Spain. However, participants probably had to be fairly wealthy in order to pay for training, transportation, lodging, and other expenses. Neither women nor non-Greeks were allowed to participate, except for very occasional exceptions such as Nero.


The main events at each of the games were chariot racing, wrestling, boxing, pankration, stadion and various other foot races, and the pentathlon (made up of wrestling, stadion, long jump, javelin throw, and discus throw). Except for the chariot race, all the events were performed in the nude.


The written history of the Olympic Games dates to 776 BC, but their actual founding was centuries earlier. The other three games were founded in the 6th century BC.


See also:


  Results from FactBites:
 
Isthmian Games - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (199 words)
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.
The Games of 196 BC were used by Titus Quinctius Flamininus to proclaim the freedom of the Greek states from Macedonian rule.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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