Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ancient Games Re-enacted in Greece

Reuters reports:
Jun. 21 - Close to one thousand people from 20 countries came to the town of Nemea, 108 km southwest of Athens on the Peloponnese peninsula, to take part in the revival of the Nemean Games.

The modern games were born from the ancient games in the Greek town of Olympia in 776 BC, but although the most popular, they were not the only games in antiquity, three other major athletic festivals were also held in ancient Greece - the Pythian Games in Delphi, the Isthmian Games in Corinth, and the Nemean Games in Nemea. The Nemean games began in 573 B.C.

According to legend they originated from honorary funeral games that were held earlier after the death of the Nemean King's son.

The re-enactment of the ancient sports festival has taken place every four years since 1996.

I need to keep this on my radar for 2012. What a great activity to tie in with a study of ancient Greece.

The comment in the video about how one aspect of the games is not authentic, i.e. the competitors are not naked, reminds me of a cute conversation I had with Shira nearly 2 years ago. She did not want to run races and I couldn't work out why. Finally she told me that she didn't want to compete because then she'd have to be naked in front of everyone. She'd been listening to the Story of the World's chapters on ancient Greece and had just discovered that the original Olympicians competed sans clothing.

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