The Ancient Olympics: The Sacred Truce

Before the start of the Olympic games, messengers (spondorophoroi) left Olympia and traveled throughout the Greek world proclaiming the sacred truce and announcing the date of the Olympiad. The truce called for a cessation of all hostilities for a period of three months to allow for the travel to and from Olympia, the one month of training required of the athletes, and the conduct of the games.

The sacred truce did not put a stop to all warfare, only conflicts which hindered the games, specifically military operations against and by the Elean territory. Not everyone respected the truce. In 420 BC, the Spartans were excluded from the Olympic games because they had attacked Elean territory where the Olympics were held. In 364 BC, an Arcadian force attacked Olympus during the games.

Tomorrow, RELEASE DAY for Into the Lyons’ Den    Rita Bay

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