Condition: New, Made in Greece. Material: Pure Bronze Height: 10 cm - 3,95 inches Width: 6,8 cm - 2,68 inches Length: 3 cm - 1,18 inches Weight: 330 g
The Torch Relay in Ancient Times Fire is a sacred symbol dating back to prehistoric times. In ancient Greece it symbolized the creation of the world, renewal and light. It was also the sacred symbol of Hephaestus, and a gift to the human race from Prometheus, who stole it from Zeus. At the centre of every city-state in ancient Greece there was an altar with an ever-burning fire and in every home the sacred Flame burned, dedicated to Hestia, goddess of the family. Torch Relay races started in ancient Greece as religious rituals held at night. Soon they turned into a team athletic event, initially among adolescents, and further developed to become one of the most popular ancient sports. In the Prytaneum at Ancient Olympia there was an altar dedicated to Hestia with a sacred Flame, kindled from the sun’s rays, with the help of a hollow disc or mirror. The altar was never allowed to go out. The procedure was simple but striking: the concave surface had the property of focusing or binding the rays of the sun at a single spot, the “focal” point. Therefore, the High Priestess laid the Torch on the focal point and it caught fire. During the Olympic Games of the Antiquity, that started at 776 B.C., the Flame that burned in Olympia never went out. The Ancient Greeks held a "lampadedromia" (the Greek word for Torch Relay), where athletes competed by passing on the Flame in a relay race to the finish line. In ancient Athens the ritual was an important part of the Panathenaia fest, held every four years in honour of the goddess Athena. The strength and purity of the sacred Flame was preserved through its transportation by the quickest means; in this case a relay of Torchbearers. The Torch Relay carried the Flame from the altar of Prometheus to the altar of goddess Athena on the Acropolis. Forty youths from the ten Athenian tribes had to run a distance of 2.5 kilometres in total.