Imagine a race where victory is at hand. You are running the foot race of your life, in the lead by a comfortable pace. You push yourself just a bit harder to ensure victory. The finish line is just around the corner and into the coliseum where you will be received by a thundering crowd cheering your arrival. As you reach the goal, victory is not so sweet as you collapse, dead from the enormous weight of running a race with sixty pounds of armor surrounding your body. For the Ancient Greek athletes, strength, stamina, and determination were critical to Olympic success or in many cases, survival.
The Ancient Greeks had games for many occasions. They had funeral games, party games, children's games, and of course, Olympic games. In this paper, I will show the way in which modern games have become streamlined, modernized, and practical. While the Ancient Greeks invented the games, modern societies better able to survive them.
At the funeral games, prizes were brought from Achilles' ship, (such as cauldrons and tripods, horses, women, and gray iron) for the winners of the games that were to be played. The first game was a chariot race for which the winner received a tripod, and a women skilled in handicrafts. Next came a boxing match where the winner would be rewarded with a sturdy mule. The loser, a two handled cup. The wrestling prizes, however did not make sense.
The winner would get a tripod, but the loser would be led into the forest where a skilled woman was waiting. These women were said to have been equal to four oxen.
In the modern US, we don't have funeral games. We have processions after a funeral where all the attendants can socialize. However, the tone is usually sad...