Games in ancient Greece usually consisted of activities derived from or inspired by warrior skills, including sprinting, wrestling, running, equestrian events like chariot races and horseback riding, and hand-to-hand combat events like boxing and the pankration. Youths swam, ran and played with hoops and balls, while older Greeks played team games similar to modern hockey and rugby. Greeks of all ages enjoyed dancing games, which usually accompanied their festivals.Know More
Only free males could compete for prizes of honor and wreaths in the Olympics. The rules of these games were very lax, allowing athletes in most events to play dirty. The pankration was similar to boxing, except there were no hand guards, and the only rules were no biting or gouging of facial features. Some events allowed boys to participate in a tournament separate from the men.
The women's version of the Olympics was called the Heraea. Similar games were played, but they were handicapped and lessened in intensity. Spartans, unlike citizens of many Greek city-states at the time, encouraged their women to participate in athletics and compete, often against males. Girls still played games in other city-states, though. In Homer's "Odyssey" and Xenophon's "Symposium," girls play ball games, drive chariots, swim and even wrestle.
Not satisfied with the Heraea, a Spartan woman, Kyniska, who inherited her father's estate, which was a highly unusual phenomenon outside of Sparta, raised horses to enter into the equestrian events at the Olympics. She did not drive a chariot or ride a horse, but her team won, making her the only woman to win an ancient Olympic event. She was not allowed at the awards ceremony but was allowed to offer her statue at Zeus' temple.Learn more about Cultures & Traditions
The Ancient Romans held their chariot races in a specially-designed stadium called the Circus Maximus. The stadium is believed to have been built by the fifth ruler of Rome, the Etruscan king, Tarquin the Elder. The Etruscans were known for their skill in chariot racing and Tarquin, also known as Lucius Tarquinius Priscus and the first Etruscan king of Rome, helped to popularize the sport.Full Answer >
Men in ancient Greece wore a knee-length tunic called a chiton and a cloak called a himation. Different types of tunics and cloaks were worn for specialized uses such as exercise and horseback riding. Ancient Greeks generally remained barefoot at home but wore boots, slippers or sandals outside.Full Answer >
In the ancient Egypt, men wore tunics made of linen that resembled long T-shirts reaching to the knees. However, men who worked outside had a different attire. Instead of the tunics, they wore short skirts that were made by winding the linen cloth around the legs and waist.Full Answer >
Ancient Greeks invented many things that we still use today, including democracy, trial by jury, the Hippocratic oath and the Olympic games. Other things attributed to ancient Greeks include the conception of Hades or hell, tragedy and comedy, many different types of architecture, geometry and much philosophy.Full Answer >