DISCOVER THE ANCIENT HISTORY OF ATHLETICS

History timeline

1st - 45th
Olympics

776 BC – 600 BC
Originally Olympia belonged to Triphylia, a part of Arcadia that was controlled by Pisa. But most of the times Elis was the organizer of Olympics.

776 BC
1st Olympia

Birth of Ancient Olympic Games. Festival held in honor of Zeus.

700 BC
20th Olympia

Levelling land and digging new wells.

600 BC
45th Olympia

Skiloudians, allies of the Pistans, built the Temple of Hera.

52nd - 96th
Olympics

572 BC – 396 BC
Years of Olympia flourishing. Temple of Zeus constructed, first coinage of Olympia and first woman to announced as Olympic winner.

572 BC
52nd Olympia

Pisatans tried to take over, but lost and Pisa destroyed.

468 BC
78th Olympia

The Temple of Zeus constructed.
Sparta earthquake of 464 BC

436 BC
86th Olympia

Statue of Zeus completed.

420 BC
90th Olympia

Spartans banned from Olympics

396 BC
96th Olympia

Cynisca of Sparta. First woman Olympic victor

The early date of the first coins of the Eleans. The city of Elis was founded in 471 B. C.

*Note
Chalcis in Euboea figured on an interesting parallel to the earliest coins of the Eleans.

90th Olympics 420 BC, no visitors to the games where allowed.
The Eleians fined the Spartans for attacking their own territory after the ekecheiriahad been announced there.

Spartan females had much more freedom than other women in the ancient world; this allowed Cynisca of Sparta to win the Olympics twice.

King Agesilaus encouraged his sister to enter a chariot team in the Olympic Games. She entered teams in 396 and 392 BCE, winning on both occasions.  Thus she was the first woman to win the 4-horse chariot race at Olympia, albeit as trainer rather than as racer.

103rd - 114th
Olympics

368 BC – 324 BC
Only time Olympics was announced invalid. As the Pisatan´s misused Olympian sacred wealth by striking gold coins to pay the protecting troops. After Pisatan state collapsed it it completely disappeared from the historical records.

368 BC
103rd Olympia

Late in the 103rd Olympiad the Arcadians captured the sanctuary

364 BC
104th Olympia

Olympia invalid

356 BC
106th Olympia

356 BC, Philip’s race horse won in the Olympic Games.

336 BC
111th Olympia

Philip II murdered

324 BC
114th Olympia

Alexander the Great declared, that all Greek would be united under his shield.

Next Olympics In 364 B.C. the regular organizers lost control of the games, because they had become involved in politics.

*Coin
Very Rare, Elis, Olympia 103rd Olympiad.

Most likely Plato visited the Olympics at this year.
Plato was a philosopher in Classical Greece and two times Isthmian Games winner but never made it to the Olympics as an athlete.

Coin
KINGS OF MACEDON. Philip II
Pella, c. 336/5-329/8 / Le Rider 344 (D344/R276).

111th Olympiad in 336 BC, the year of Alexander the Great’s accession. The portrait of Hera is very delicate and beautiful and her stephane is inscribed “of the people of Elis.”

Very Rare, Elis, Olympia 114th Olympiad.

154th - 393rd
Olympics

164 BC – 394 AD
In AD 67, the Roman Emperor Nero competed in the chariot race at Olympia. Nero was thrown from his chariot and was not able to finish the race, but Nero was declared the winner on the basis that Nero would have won if he finished the race.

164 BC
154th Olympia

LEONIDAS OF RHODES Runner. 12x Olympia

Leonidas of Rhodes was one of the most famous runners in Antiquity. His was a unique achievement, even by today’s standards. For four consecutive Olympiads (164-152 B.C.), he won three races, – the stade race, the diaulos race and the armour race. He won a total of 12 Olympic victory wreaths. He was acclaimed as a hero by his compatriots.

86 BC
173rd Olympia

Romans forcibly took the treasures of Elis Olympia. In order to fund their own wars.

394 AD
293rd Olympia

Since the Olympic games were first and foremost a religious celebration in honor of Zeus, they held no place in the Christian empire. The emperor Theodosius I legally abolished the games in 393 or 394 A.D.

Christians outlaws the Games. END