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Helen of Troy – the Trojan War

By |2018-04-23T10:13:18+00:00July 15th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Kidnapping Helen of Troy (from Pompeii) Helen, the daughter of Zeus and the queen of Sparta, was the most beautiful young woman in the world. She lived in Sparta with her mother and her father, the king of Sparta, and her half-sister, Clytemnestra. All the young men wanted to marry Helen. Helen's stepfather (the king of Sparta) was afraid that if he [...]

Atalanta and the golden apples – Greek myth

By |2018-04-23T10:11:30+00:00July 14th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Atalanta (see her name misspelled on the vase?) Atalanta was a woman who was very good at all kinds of sports (in the story; this is a story). She was a fast runner and a sharp-shooter and a strong wrestler and a great huntress. An oracle told Atalanta that she would be ruined if she got married, so she didn't [...]

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 [...]

Wrestling, Martial Arts, and Olympics – History of Sports

By |2018-04-20T08:29:29+00:00June 23rd, 2017|Games|

Sports history: The Discus-Thrower (ca. 450 BC) The earliest sports Indo-European people like Central Asians and the Greeks had a very strong tradition of athletic competition. Competing in, and winning, athletic competitions was for them a kind of religious ritual, as well as being good training for soldiers. Central Asian people had a [...]

Greek Olympic games project

By |2018-04-18T23:33:16+00:00June 11th, 2017|Games, Greeks|

A foot race in ancient Greece Would a day of "Greek Olympics" work for you? Here are some suggestions for that. Maybe the most important difference between our own Olympics and the ancient Greek Olympics is that no women were allowed to compete, or even to attend, the ancient Olympic games. You'll probably [...]

Making a discus – Ancient Greece project

By |2018-04-18T23:33:15+00:00June 10th, 2017|Crafts, Greeks|

Ancient Greek discus, made by 6th graders at Laurelhurst School, Portland One of the sports in the Greek Olympic Games was to see who could throw a discus the farthest. Real discuses were very heavy, made out of iron or bronze usually, though sometimes stone or lead. To make a pretend discus like [...]