The politics of the ancient Olympic Games（通讯员稿）
[ 2007-03-23 13:58 ]
The celebration of the Olympic Games in antiquity was an occasion for citizens of scattered Greek city-states to assemble. At the Games they discussed important political issues, celebrated common military victories and even formed political and military alliances.
But the Games were not only a forum in which to discuss political events; they were also the cause of political conflict.
Control of the Sanctuary and the Games brought with it prestige, economic advantages and, most importantly, political influence. As early as the 7th century BC we hear of disputes over the control of the Sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia between the city of Elis (30 miles to the north) and the small neighboring town of Pisa.
In 668 BC, according to Pausanias (a 2nd century AD Greek traveler), the powerful tyrant of Argos (named Pheidon) was asked by the town of Pisa to capture the Sanctuary of Zeus from the city-state of Elis. Pheidon, with his army of well-trained hoplites (armed soldiers), marched across the Peloponnesos, secured the Sanctuary for the town of Pisa, and personally presided over the conduct of the games. But Pisa's control of the Sanctuary was brief: by the next year Elis had regained control.
(南开大学通讯员 孙伟王乐迪投稿 英语点津boeybb编辑）
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