1st - 2nd day

3rd - 5th day


Special honours





First and second day of the games

The official inauguration of the games took place in the first day. The games started with the registration of the athletes and the official oath of the participants and the judges at the Bouleuterion. In front of the Bouleuterion at the altar of Zeus Orkios the athletes took an oath that they trained during the previous ten months and that they would follow the rules during the games. Following them, the judges swore that they would be fair in their judgements. Then, the registration of the athletes to the equestrian events in pairs took place. A white board, the Leukoma, with the name of the athletes was set outside the Bouleuterion to inform the spectators about the program of the games.

First competed the trumpeters and the heralds. The winners of this contest had the honor to announce the names of the Olympic victors and to blow the trumpet during the games. Then followed the public and private sacrifices of the delegations of the various cities to their patron gods. Sacrifices took place in the altars of most of the deities, to Poseidon Hippios, Hera Hippia, Ares Hippios, Athena Hippia, the Dioscouroi, the goddess Tyche, Taraxippos and others. In the afternoon, the excited crowd scattered in the area and visited all the temples and altars, met with old friends, talked, narrated stories about various older Olympic victors or heard writers and poets reciting their works.

In the second day the games started with first event being the chariot races of boys. The herald invited the athletes that participated and the Hellanodikai took their place in order to ensure that no irregularities occurred during drawing the lots. The judge held the poll and the runners found out their position by picking a sherd with the digit that defined it. The name of the victor was announced by the herald, who awarded him the palm branch. The first day of competition was dedicated to events for boys, i.e. wrestling, boxing and pankratio. The celebrations for the victors lasted till late in the night.


Short description of the monuments at ancient Olympia

3D reconstructions:
Some of the most important buildings in ancient Olympia rendered in three-dimensions.

3D reconstruction of the Temple of Zeus in ancient Olympia.

Other games:
Short reference on other famous contests in ancient Greece

In the first person:
Young Ariston shares his experience in the Olympic Games

Olympic victors:
Database of the ancient Olympic victors based on each athletic event and each Olympiad

Specimen sources