Pythian Games at Theatre in Delphi, Greece - Encircle Photos

16 Pythian Games at Theatre in Delphi, Greece

There were four sports festivals in ancient Greece called the Panhellenic Games. They were held successively during a four-year cycle. Most people are familiar with the Olympic Games. This event was initiated in 776 BC in honor of Zeus. Beginning in 582 BC, the second most important competition in prestige and attendance were the Pythian Games held in Delphi. They were named after the giant snake killed by Apollo. Initially, the contests were restricted to dance, singing and poetry performances held in this theatre. They expanded into athletic games conducted in the stadium. These included wrestling and boxing plus foot, horse and chariot races. Winners of the six to eight day festival in August were crowned with a wreath (stephanos) made from bay laurel leaves. The evergreen was considered sacred by Apollo. The Pythian Games ended in the 4th century AD.

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Ancient Delphi, Delphi 330 54, Greece

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