How did Ancient Greece Olympics originate?

The Olympic Games, originally created to honor Zeus, was the most important national festival of the ancient Greeks, and a focus of political rivalries between the nation-states. However, all competitions involved individual competitors rather than teams. Winning an Olympic contest was regarded more highly than winning a battle and was proof of an individual's arete or personal excellence. The winners were presented with garlands, crowned with olive wreaths, and viewed as national heroes.


Although records of the Olympics date back to 776 BC when the Olympics were reorganized and the official "First Olympiad" was held, Homer's Iliad suggests that they existed as early as the 12th century BC. The games were held every four years in honor of Zeus, in accordance with the four year time periods which the Greeks called olympiads. Emperor Theodosius I of Rome discontinued them in the 4th century AD, and they did not occur again until they were reinstated in Athens in 1896.



For more information on the Ancient Olympics see the related link below.