Greek Mythology: Olympia, Greece
Ancient Greek Mythology, Religion, Art
Olympia is the site of the ancient Greek Olympics. The original Olympic games occurred every four years with hardly any interruption for nearly 1,200 years - and with a largely unchanged program. Only in the 4th century CE were they finally abolished by the Christian emperor of Rome Theodosius II.
The Olympics in ancient Greece were not simply a set of athletic events as we see them today; instead, they were a sort of religious ritual and the games were dedicated to Zeus. Thus, the focal point of Olympia was not the stadium (located off to the side) but the Temple of Zeus.
The Temple of Hera in Olympia, also called the Haraion, is one of the oldest temples in Greece and was built around 600 BCE. Some believe that this was the site of the very first temple in Olympia, maybe or maybe not dedicated to a goddess originally.