The Olympic Games, its origins, sources and images in the art of ancient Greece This is a wonderful essay on the history of art from the ancient greek olympic times.

Essay by mike514College, UndergraduateA+, May 2004

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The Olympic Games, its origins, sources and images in the art of ancient Greece

The Olympic Games are a tradition which has been maintained for literally thousands of years. From its origin dating back to prehistoric, Ancient Greece, the Olympic Games have captured the attention and hearts of countless athletes, artists and fans. The importance of the games was originally to avoid military conflict within Greece, but the benefits derived from the Olympic Games have had monumental effects on our world today. Art was used to freeze frame moments and sentiments from the ancient Greek Olympic Games, and we still have these pieces of Olympic history to remind us of where the tradition began.

The legends explaining the origin of the Olympic Games date back to the ninth century B.C.E. There are two different opinions over which legend is the real reason for the first Olympic Games. The most well known legend which explains the beginning of the Olympic Games was the story of Heracles. The story of Heracles tells a tale of a man who made a wager with Augeas, king of Elis. Heracles bet the king one tenth of his herd that he could clean his most magnificent stable in less than a day. He then used his influence of the gods to change the river's course and run through the stable, completing his task and winning him the bet. The king refused to pay, and therefore he and his family were punished. Heracles, otherwise known as Hercules then celebrated upon the receiving of one tenth the kings herd by creating the first ever Olympic games.

The second version of how the Olympics were originally started as a means to alleviate the possibility of civil war in Greece. It is said that Iphitos, the...