Condition: New, Handmade in Greece. Height: 21 cm - 8,3 inches Width: 19,5 cm - 7,7 inches Length: 4 cm - 1,6 inches Weight: 220 g
The ancient Olympic Games were a series of athletic competitions among representatives of city-states and one of the Panhellenic Games of ancient Greece. They were held in honor of Zeus, and the Greeks gave them a mythological origin. The first Olympics is traditionally dated to 776 BC. They continued to be celebrated when Greece came under Roman rule, until the emperor Theodosius I, who having been converted to Christianity, banned pagan festivals. He banned the olympics in AD 394 as part of the campaign to impose Christianity as the State religion of Rome.The games were held every four years, or olympiad, which became a unit of time in historical chronologies. During the celebration of the games, an Olympic Truce was enacted so that athletes could travel from their cities to the games in safety. The prizes for the victors were olive leaf wreaths or crowns. The games became a political tool used by city-states to assert dominance over their rivals. Politicians would announce political alliances at the games, and in times of war, priests would offer sacrifices to the gods for victory. The games were also used to help spread Hellenistic culture throughout the Mediterranean. The Olympics also featured religious celebrations. The statue of Zeus at Olympia was counted as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Sculptors and poets would congregate each olympiad to display their works of art to would-be patrons. The ancient Olympics had fewer events than the modern games, and only freeborn Greek men were allowed to participate, although there were victorious women chariot owners. As long as they met the entrance criteria, athletes from any Greek city-state and kingdom were allowed to participate. The games were always held at Olympia rather than moving between different locations as is the practice with the modern Olympic Games. Victors at the Olympics were honored, and their feats chronicled for future generations. Throwing the javelin was one of the five events of the pentathlon. It was not put on as a separate event. The competition took place on the running track. The athletes began a few meters before the start with a short preliminary run and threw the javelin as far as possible from the starting line. The javelin was made of wood and about as long as a man. The main difference with the contemporary method of throwing is the leather loop the Greeks attached to the spot where they held the javelin. By placing one or two fingers in the loop, the athlete could extend his arm artificially, with the advantage that the javelin could be accelerated over a longer distance. Moreover the use of the loop made the javelin rotate around its axis, which made it more stable. Throwing the javelin towards a target, usually on horseback, had no place at Olympia, but was an important event at the games for Hera at Argos.