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What is arete? Virtue in Greek philosophy – Definition of arete

By |2018-01-01T18:30:43+00:00July 12th, 2017|Greeks, Philosophy|

Arete in action: Penelope and her slave watch Odysseus kill the suitors Definition of arete: In ancient Greece, arete meant "goodness" or "excellence". It's related to araomai, to pray, and to aristos, meaning "the best." That's where the word "aristocracy" comes from. Aristocracy is the rule of the best people. So you needed arete [...]

Opening ceremonies – Greek Olympic games

By |2018-04-22T22:39:20+00:00July 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 |2018-04-22T22:34:59+00:00July 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 Hercules could run on one breath.) For the first twelve Olympics, that's all [...]

What games did people play in ancient Greece?

By |2017-09-23T11:50:09+00:00July 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 [...]