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Opening ceremonies – Greek Olympic games

By |2018-04-22T22:39:20-07:00July 6th, 2017|Games, Greeks|

The palaestra at Olympia, Elis, Greece (about 250 BC) Once all the men had arrived in Elis for the Olympic Games, they spent a month practicing and training together in a big palaestra, or gym, with a sand floor. They only got fresh cheese and water at their meals, and they all ate [...]

Athletic events – Ancient Greek Olympics

By |2019-02-05T05:26:14-07:00July 6th, 2017|Games, Greeks|

Greek Olympic events - Men's footrace (Athens, ca. 530 BC) A short foot race At first, the only athletic competition at the Olympics was a single short foot race, 170 meters long. (According to one story, that was how far Herakles could run on one breath.) More about the Olympics All our Ancient [...]

What games did people play in ancient Greece?

By |2017-09-23T11:50:09-07:00July 6th, 2017|Games, Greeks|

Discobolos (the Discus Thrower) (This is a Roman copy; the Greek one didn't last) The Greeks took games of all kinds very seriously, but especially physical athletic competition. The Greeks believed that their gods especially loved to see strong, fit, graceful human bodies, especially boys' and men's bodies. So one way to get [...]

Swings and seesaws in ancient Greece

By |2018-04-20T15:21:33-07:00July 6th, 2017|Games, Greeks|

Ancient Greek toys: A man lifts a child into a swing (Eretria Painter, 435-420 BC) Ancient Greek toys Even though people in ancient Greece loved competitive games, they also played games without competition. In this picture from a Greek vase, a man pushes a little boy in a wooden swing hung from a [...]

Why don’t people of color swim?

By |2017-06-23T23:15:07-07:00June 23rd, 2017|Games, History|

A Tibetan swimming contest in the Kyichu River (1695 AD) In most of the world, people kept on swimming after 1500 AD pretty much the same way they had before 1500 AD. But in Europe, soon after 1500 AD, people almost completely stopped swimming. In 1567 AD, a Cambridge University student drowned swimming [...]

Who invented playing cards? China

By |2018-04-20T08:23:52-07:00June 23rd, 2017|China, Games, What|

An early playing card (Ming Dynasty, ca. 1500 AD) People in T'ang Dynasty China made the first playing cards, about 800 AD. They used their new material, paper, to make the cards, and they called their game "the leaf game". The emperor's daughter, Princess Tongchang, played cards with her husband's family in the [...]

What kind of games did people play? History of games

By |2018-04-20T22:34:40-07:00June 23rd, 2017|Games, History|

Egyptian girls playing a piggyback ball toss game There have been toys and games since before there were people; even young chimpanzees carry around wooden sticks and pretend they are babies. Many very simple games are also very old, like running races and playing tag or leapfrog, circle dances, seesaws, or competing to [...]