|1.||the greatest Panhellenic festival, held every fourth year in honour of Zeus at ancient Olympia. From 472 |
|2.||See also Winter Olympic Games Also called: the Olympics the modern revival of these games, consisting of international athletic and sporting contests held every four years in a selected country since their inception in Athens in 1896|
Games held in ancient times on the plain of Olympia in Greece every four years. It was a time for laying aside political and religious differences, as athletes from all the Greek cities and districts competed. The games included patriotic and religious rituals as well as athletic contests, and high honors were given to the winners. The Greeks counted their years by olympiads (periods of four years) and dated events from the first Olympics in 776 b.c.
Note: The Olympic Games deteriorated under Roman rule of Greece and were halted in the fourth century. They were revived in the late nineteenth century, with goals of peace and fellowship modeled on those of the ancient Olympics. The modern Olympics include many athletic events of the original games, such as the discus throw.