Anecdotes from the Ancient Greek Games

  In ancient Greece, there were countless tournaments, big and small, that lasted for thousands of years. With the emergence of these competitions, there are not only beautiful poems that have been washed by the rolling waves of time and still dazzling, but also live sculptures that have been damaged but still seem to be breathing, and Coubertin has devoted his life to the work. The spirit of ancient Olympia, which is trying to restore, is often admired and fascinated by later generations. Most of the ancient Greek athletes were citizens of various city-states, and their victory was not only their own glory, but also the city-state’s victory. Therefore, the Greeks highly respect the brilliant achievements of many outstanding competitors, handed down many incredible game records and legendary stories, adding a lot of vitality and attraction to these games.
  Milon in the southern Italian city-state of Croton is a wit and brave athlete. This man was a student of the famous philosopher Pythagoras in the sixth century BC and was known in the Greek world for his extreme physical strength at that time. Once, when the Pythagorean school was meeting, the roof began to collapse, and Milo held on to the pillars that supported the roof by himself, until he escaped unharmed when everyone else ran out. Milo likes to hold a pomegranate tightly in his hand and let others take it from him, but no one succeeds, and the pomegranate is not damaged in the slightest. What is even more surprising is that this person is not only a simple-minded man, but also likes philosophy and mathematics, which fully reflects the Greeks’ pursuit of the harmonious development of spirit and body.
  In his youth Milo once carried a young four-year-old bull across the Olympia arena, then killed the bull with just one punch and ate it all in one day. Miron, a six-time wrestling champion at Olympia and Pythia, was physically strong and skilled to the point that no one dared to compete with him, and many opponents gave up at the sight of him—though It is very humiliating to do so. He won the Olympia Junior Wrestling Championship in 540 BC and dominated the event for nearly three decades thereafter. It wasn’t until the 67th Olympia Games in 512 B.C. that his opponents narrowly defeated him by relying solely on procrastination and fatigue tactics. In 511 BC, Croton was at war with its neighbors, and Milo, with his wisdom and strength, was commissioned to command Croton’s army. He was dressed like Hercules, wearing his Olympia crown, and defeated the enemy in one fell swoop.
  His death is also quite legendary. It is said that he was walking alone in a forest when he was old and weak, and when he saw a tree that was split in half, he was propped up by a wedge in the place where he was split, and he wanted to split it completely with his bare hands. Unexpectedly, the wedge fell off, his hand was caught in the crack of the tree, and the beast came and devoured him.
  The boxer Diagoras of Rhodes was probably the happiest fighter in ancient Greece. He comes from a royal family, and has won two Olympia Games, at least one Pythia Games, four Isthmus Games, two Nimea Games, boxing champions, and “periodonikes” honors. He has also won numerous regional championships in Athens, Thebes, Ergina, Pelini and Megara. His son and grandson are also champions of various competitions. What makes him even more proud is that his two sons won the fist and boxing crowns respectively at the Olympia in 448 BC, just 16 years after he won the Olympia championship. The two young men happily carried their father and put the laurels on his father’s head in celebration. At this time someone in the audience shouted: “You’d better go to the sky, there is nothing in the world worth your desire.” The Greek philosopher Solon once said that no one is happy before death, just like us The so-called “coffin conclusion”. Diagoras died on the spot with a happy smile, becoming a veritable happy man among the Greeks. Pindar praised him as a “giant and true warrior” in his poem, and this hymn dedicated to him and his descendants is inscribed in gold on the walls of the Temple of Athena on Rhodes.
  The athlete who best embodies the heroic youth is Theagenes of Thassos. The Argenes, regarded as the son of Hercules, is said to have carried a heavy bronze statue from the market home at the age of nine. The citizens resented his actions, but a respected elder stopped them and only ordered him to put the statue back in its place. He immediately became famous in Greece because of this incident. The Argennee was extremely strong and good at running, winning three times at Pythia, nine times at Nemea, and ten times at Isthmus, with a total of 1,400 in various competitions. Multiple laurels. Pausanias says that in many places, both Greeks and non-Greeks, there are statues of Theargenes, which are said to cure diseases.
  Perhaps the most painful loser was Astypalaya’s boxer Cleomedes. He gutted his opponent during a boxing match at the Olympia in 492 BC, and an angry referee ruled that he had not fought according to the rules, disqualifying him from the award. Driven by the humiliation, he tore down a pillar in a classroom of a children’s school when he returned home, causing the roof to collapse and crushing sixty or so students inside. The angry townspeople chased Cleometes with stones, and he took refuge in the Temple of Athena and hid in a wooden box. When the citizens smashed the wooden box and saw nothing inside, they were greatly surprised and asked the priest of Delphi for an oracle. The priest said that the mad boxer “is the last hero, no longer a mortal, and will be worshipped from now on”. The ancient Greeks believed that gods and mortals were two races, and that heroes such as Hercules and Theseus were another race in between, separated from mortals by their extraordinary feats, extraordinary abilities, or strange deaths. Different, with a certain divinity. The Astypalayas followed this oracle and made Cleometrius a hero.
  Also worth mentioning is Glaucus. The plowshare fell from the plow when he was plowing as a child, and he smashed it back again with just his fist. His father was surprised to see this and decided to let him participate in the Olympia. Graugu made it to the final with extraordinary strength. However, the young Glaugu was inexperienced and was bruised and bruised against his last opponent, making it almost impossible to continue the game. At this critical moment, his father shouted at him: “My son, think about the plowshare!” At this moment, Graugu’s spirit suddenly rose, and he gave his opponent a fatal blow and won the victory. Graugu is also a “Grand Slam” winner, winning once at Olympia, twice at Pythia, eight times at Nimea and eight times at the Isthmus. He was widely regarded as the best boxer of his time, and his son made a statue of him in the image of a boxer.
  The stories of these winners may seem a bit out of the blue, but it’s not hard to see the Greeks’ emphasis on honor and competitive spirit. Of course, it is unavoidable that the winners of the ancient Greek games enjoyed various spiritual and material privileges, so there were many despicable acts in the face of honor and interests. These scandals also have some cautionary implications for today.
  The Greeks of Sicily have a special passion for games in Greece. Gero, the tyrant of the city of Gera, participated in the chariot race at the Olympia Games in 488 BC, just as Astylus of Croton also won the race at the Olympia Games, leaving him behind impressed. After becoming the tyrant of Syracuse in 485 BC, he persuaded Astilus to represent Syracuse at two Olympias and won both. The Crotons were so outraged by the incident that they tore down Astilos’ statue of the athlete, confiscating his house and turning it into a prison. Dionysius, the tyrant of Syracuse, also had a soft spot for the Greek games. He sees Antipater of Miletus winning the juvenile boxing match, and Dionysius sends to his father with gifts such as money and wants them to declare the winner as Syrah Competing in ancient times. As a result, the request was rejected.
  The city-state is often an important player in a tournament scandal. The famous city of Ephesus, a small Asian city, took a fancy to the long-distance running champion Sotades of Crete at the 99th Olympia, and sent someone to give him a sum of money to represent Ephesus in the 100th Olympic Games. Olympia Games. As a result, the Cretans sentenced Sotades to exile. At the 112th Olympiad in 332 BC, Callippus of Athens bribed his opponents to win. After the incident was revealed, the referee asked them all to pay fines. But Karibos couldn’t pay, so the city-state of the punished had to pay the fine. The Athenians sent the famous orator Hyperides to lobby Elis to lift the fine, and boycotted the Olympia after being rejected. The Apollo priests of Delphi, incensed by this behavior of Athens, announced that they would no longer be given any oracles, and the Athenians were forced to submit.
  Similar to the games in ancient Greece, contemporary sports include dashing gentleman athletes and constant scandals of violence and doping. However, human society is always making continuous progress. There are more and more countries and athletes participating in the contemporary Olympic Games, and their influence and appeal are also increasing. They will inevitably surpass the ancient Greek games and become another peak of human spiritual civilization.