Alexandros Soutsos

Evangelis Zappas

1st Zappian Games

2nd Zappian Games

3rd Zappian Games

4th Zappian Games




First attempts

In the ancient Greek world, the Olympic Games were a symbol of the unity between Greek people. After the foundation of the modern Greek state, in the beginning of the 19th century, there were some attempts to revive the Olympic Games.

In 1833 the poet Alexandros Soutsos recalled the glorious and peaceful character of the Olympic Games and through his poetry sent the message for their revival. In 1838, the municipality of Letrinoi, an area near ancient Olympia, decided to revive the Olympic Games. According to their plans, the games would take place every four years in the city of Pyrgos. Since no additional information about these games are available, historians believe that they never took place. However, this is an important information because it shows that the idea of relating the new Greek state with the ancient Greek culture -an issue that greatly concerned the scholars and politicians of that period- also met with positive response from a large part of the population.

Contrary to the common belief, the Olympic Games of 1896 were not the first modern Olympic Games. The Greeks had revived the Olympic Games before Coubertin himself was born. They organized the Zappian Games in Athens four times, in 1859, 1870, 1875 and 1889. However, these Games were exclusively of Greek character, both regarding the athletes that participated and the spectators that watched them.


Modern Olympic Games:
From Athens of 1896 to Athens of 2004

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