Culture


The ancient Olympics were as much a religious festival as an athletic event. The games were held in honor of the Greek god Zeus, and on the middle day of the games, 100 oxen would be sacrificed to him.[4] Over time Olympia, site of the games, became a central spot for the worship of the head of the Greek pantheon and a temple, built by the Greek architect Libon was erected on the mountaintop. The temple was one of the largest Doric temples in Greece.[4] The sculptor Pheidias created a statue of the god made of gold and ivory. It stood 42 feet (13 m) tall. It was placed on a throne in the temple. The statue became one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.[4] As the historian Strabo put it, "... the glory of the temple persisted ... on account both of the festal assembly and of the Olympian Games, in which the prize was a crown and which were regarded as sacred, the greatest games in the world. The temple was adorned by its numerous offerings, which were dedicated there from all parts of Greece."[4] Artistic expression was a major part of the games. Sculptors, poets and other artisans would come to the games to display their works in what became an artistic competition. Sculptors created works like Myron's Diskobolos or Discus Thrower. Their aim was to highlight natural human movement and the shape of muscles and the body. Poets would be commissioned to write prose in honor of the Olympic victors. These poems, known as Epinicians, were passed on from generation to generation and many of them have lasted far l

nger than any other honor made for the same purpose.[4] Baron Pierre de Coubertin, one of the founders of the modern Olympic Games, wanted to fully imitate the ancient Olympics in every way. Included in his vision was to feature an artistic competition modeled on the ancient Olympics and held every four years, during the celebration of the Olympic Games.[25] His desire came to fruition at the Olympics held in Athens in 1896. A pantheon (from Greek ? [1] - pantheon, literally "a temple of all gods", "of or common to all gods", from ? pan- "all" + ? theios, "of or for the gods", from theos "god") is a set of all the gods of a particular polytheistic religion or mythology. Max Weber's 1922 opus, Economy and Society, discusses the link between a pantheon of gods and the development of monotheism. Pantheon can also refer to a temple or sacred building explicitly dedicated to "all deities", avoiding the difficulty of giving an exhaustive list. The most known such structure is the Pantheon of Rome, built in the year 27 BC. The building was dedicated to "all gods" as a gesture embracing the religious syncretism in the increasingly multicultural Roman Empire, with subjects worshipping gods from many cultures and traditions. The building was later renovated for use as a Christian church in 609 under Pope Boniface IV. Since the 16th century "pantheon" can also refer in a secular sense to the set of a society's exalted persons.[2] For example "Mick Jagger was exalted into the pantheon of rock megastars".