Short information about the Olympic Games in Ancient Times

That institution was formed during the eighth century B.C. in ancient Greece under the following circumstances :
The district of Elis in NW Peloponnesus- where there was the temple of Zeus in Olympia - was in the middle of continuing war between the inhabitants of Elis and other neighbouring districts. Similar conditions predominated in the rest of Peloponnese and Central Greece.
The king of Elis, Iphitus, sent a mission to the Delphic Oracle (at Delphi, Central Greece) to consult god Apollo: what to do in order to stop the catastrophic and hopeless war among the Greeks. Pithya, Apollo's priestess, gave then the following advice : to organise peaceful games between athletes (from any part of Greece) on this precondition: all local communities, towns or cities, who would like to sent their athletes to Olympia, should stop any kind of war during the period of the Games (to keep armistice or suspension of hostilities from the moment of Proclamation of the Games to the time of return of their athletes home. Iphitus himself agreed with his neighbors to have peace or keep armistice from the beginning to the end of the Games (during the period of the Games as described above).
The duration of such a peace time should have been long enough , if we keep in mind that the transport of people from one place to another in those times was done on foot usually. The organisers and the participators of the Olympic Games required a long time in order to:
Send heralds throughout the Greek World
Prepare their athletes for the Games
Travel towards Olympia
Stay there for the Games
Return home and
Organise local Feasts in order to honour their athletes.
So the idea of the Olympic Armistice was becoming more and more attractive among the Greeks. At the same time the Olympic Games were the only institution in which more and more Greek communities of the mainland and of the colonies (from Black Sea to Egypt and Western Mediterranean) took part through their representatives. So the hope of a peaceful meeting every four years in Olympia supported the idea of unification and cooperation for peaceful purposes. Finally the institution of the Olympic Games gave to all Greeks a common starting point of chronology. So they began to see all the historical events as taking place this or that Olympiad (period of 4 years).
During the history of the Olympic meetings the list of games was increasing. Race was the first one at the beginning of that history (776 B.C.).
Later on were added:
The jumping
The javeling
The discus throwing
The wrestling
Te boxing (or pugilism)
The Chariot-race etc.

And the duration of the whole programm was increased accordingly, from 1 day to 5 days.
The proceedings also became more complexand time consuming:
The arrival of more and more athletes
The recognition of those entitled to take part in those games (all of greek origin, then)
The ceremony at the start of the games
The realization of the Games
The awarding of prizes to the victors
The ceremony at the end of the games
The departure of the athletes and visitors.
Finally, the arrival of victors (some or many days later) to their birth-places, where they were welcomed with great honours.
n the other hand, we know from ancient authors that during the centuries of the Olympic Games (from 776 B.C. to 393 A.D.) there happened, from time to time, some violations or transgressions of the consecrated rules of the Games; but the crucial corruption of the institution occured during the Roman times, after the plundering or looting of the Olympic area by Roman Army (led by Sulla, 85 B.C.) and the transferring of the next Olympiade (80 B.C.) to Rome. The decay of he Olympic Games continued during the first centuries of Christian age period. The Olympic Games were an institution connected with the ancient Paganism (Idolatry, Worship of Idols, according to Christian Language) and followed the decay of ancient religion. The emperor Theodosius decided to stop that paganistic institution (393 A.D.).
After many centuries of nearly absolute silence about that institution it was revived during the last decade of the 19th century as grand scale international Olympic Games, for the whole of humanity.
The first new Olympiad was organised in Athens (in 1896) and again this year (2004) in the same country). In the intermediate time Olympic Games were organised in many other countries all over the planet (in Europe, in Asia, in America, in Australia). For this new epoch of the Olympic Games (which were cancelled three times, because of wars, in 1916, 1940,1944) we have to write a new comment for the next edition of

F. K. Voros