• The event consists of 5 prizes
  • Stadion/ Wrestling- was apart of both the pentathlon & Olympiaancient greek discus
  • Discus, Halma (jump) and Akon (javelin throw)
  • The competitor must do well in ALL events to have a chance of being crowned a victor
  • Not sure if discus were standardized (made of bronze (2kg) or sometimes iron), athletes could have potentially used heavy discus as they progressed into the competition.
  • Extremely heavy prize discus was given to a successful pentathlete
  • Discus start position: weight on the right leg (rear leg), hold discus at head level in a vertical position; left hand supports the weight of the discus while the right grasps the top edge.
  • Not sure if they twisted/ twisted & spun like modern discus throwers (many depictions of twisting & spun motion)
  • Diskabolos: (discus thrower) favorite of sculptors
  • Semeion: small peg used by discus throwers to mark their throw lengths; also used by jumpers, javelin throwers
  • Halteres (weights) were used in the long jump (halma); either spherical or long
  • Could be simple and carved by hand, or special pairs could be made for athletes or dedicated winners or gods. (however, nothing was standardized)
  • The jump run was made from bater; they jumped into skamma “dig-up” (did not contain sand, which is a modern invention)
ancient greek long jump halma
  • Listening to a flute player was an essential part of the halma
  • Jumping, was the most difficult of the rule-based events, and the music was used for rhythm
  • The jumpers complete an area in his jump and release the halters at the end of his jump.
  • The longest jumps win but footprints must be clear
  • Speculated it to be a triple jump, purely based on Phayllos of Kroton (who has a 16.5 meter jump)
  • Akon: third and final event of the pentathlon (2m long, diameter if a human thumb) made of wood and bronze tipped; different from the spear which consisted of a broad-iron head.
  • Ankyle: thin leather thong that was wrapped around the shaft to make a loop for the first two fingers of the throwing hand; this helped to propel the akon (wrapped around the akon, unwrapped [fall completely off] during flight and acting like a rifling effect)
  • Took great skill to precisely wrap it and it played a critical part in throwing it; “shaking-down”- the javelin was wrapping using the big toe and used the index/ second finger to throw
  • Flute player was also present at the javelin but sources are unsure about their actual purpose
  • The throw began with a run-up; javelin was raised to shoulder level, bring the right arm forward and project the javelin, ankyle then flew off.
  • A winner was determined by semeion markers [the LONGEST of five throws were marked and counted for each athlete]
  • ORDER OF EVENTS: stadion, discus, halma, akon, pale
  • DO NOT KNOW exactly how the victor in the pentathlon was determined ( speculation: win 3 of 5 otherwise)
  • The competition available to boys were restricted; perhaps to prevent them from peaking too early and performing poorly in the adult games
  • Hippikos Agon (Horse Races)- a fundamental component of the ancient games
  • Four-horse chariot race (tethrippon) was added to the Olympic games in 680
  • Horses were expensive and restricted when and who could compete in horse racesgreek chariot race
  • Consisted of 12 laps around the hippodrome (horse track). May circle around a kampter or nyssa
  • NO dividing wall down the center of the track so head-on collisions did occur between racers going toward or away from the kampter
  • The chariot was a light vehicle (made of metal or wicker) Wheels had four spokes with a central hole for the axle.
  • The Center of the chariot was attached to the two front horses; outside horses were loosely connected
  • Charioteer was a slave or professional driver; held long lash with reins (left and right hand); used to control/ steer the horses by pulling/ pushing
  • Reins were fastened to broad waistbands to prevent the rider from losing them
  • Kiman, legendary chariot rider, won 3 Olympic crowns
  • Horses were often named to mythology/ Greek heroes
  • The winner of the event was the owner of the horses, not necessarily the driver
  • HOWEVER, the city-state entered as competitors, not individuals
  • WOMEN were also allowed to win the equestrian at Olympia (Kyniska of Sparta was the first winner; even though they can’t physically be present at the Olympia events)
  • Horseback Race (keles) added in 648BC to Olympia and was six stadia long. Often racers were small boys, had reins and a whip
  • Horses were also named (i.e Pherenikos the Victory Bringer)
  • Synoris– two-horse chariot race in 408BC. 8 laps of the hippodrome (~10km). A late addition to the Olympia event.
  • Added races for foals (two-year-old horses- poloi) [young horses] distances were shorter but the same rules applied
  • Additions that failed: 1) Apene: Mule-cart race; mules pulled a low cart carrying a seated driver (considered undignified and removed) 2) Kalpe: rider would jump off their mares and run alongside them for the last lap. Also dropped
  • Ancient Greek hippodrome (“horse course” 2 turning posts, 400 years between posts, 12 laps) has been discovered via magnetic pulses. Valley, without seating
ancient greek chariot horse race
  • Modern estimation of 50-60 competitors per chariot event
  • Aphesis: starting area for all the horse races (400ft long with stalls built into it)
  • To start: bronze eagle statue would fly up, the dolphin would fall, the cord across each stall would fall. The cords would fall staggered
  • On one side of the altar was Taraxippos (horse frightener); horses passing by would seize up in fear; only a well trains jockey and horses will not be afraid
  • The need for wealth, lack of participation by actual winners, odds could be shifted by adding more horse teams under their names made the horse races more of a spectacle (more for entertainment than an expression of arête)
author avatar
William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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