Chariot racing (Greek: ἁρματοδρομία, translit.harmatodromia, Latin: ludi circenses) was one of the most popular ancient Greek, Roman, and Byzantine sports. In Greece, chariot racing played an essential role in aristocratic funeral games from a very early time. With the institution of formal races and permanent racetracks, chariot racing was adopted by many Greek states and their religious festivals. Horses and chariots were very costly. Their ownership was a preserve of the wealthiest aristocrats, whose reputations and status benefitted from offering such extravagant, exciting displays. Their successes could be further broadcast and celebrated through commissioned odes and other poetry.
In standard racing practise, each chariot held a single driver and was pulled by four horses, or sometimes two. Drivers and horses risked serious injury or death through collisions and crashes; this added to the excitement and interest for spectators. Most charioteers were slaves or contracted professionals. While records almost invariably credit victorious owners and their horses for winning, their drivers are often not mentioned at all. In the ancient Olympic Games, and other Panhellenic Games, chariot racing was one of the most important equestrian events, and could be watched by unmarried women. Married women were banned from watching any Olympic events but a Spartan noble-woman is known to have trained horse-teams for the Olympics and won two races, one of them as driver. (Full article...)
Image 68The most famous artist born in Greece was probably Doménikos Theotokópoulos, better known as El Greco (The Greek) in Spain. He did most of his painting there during the late 1500s and early 1600s. (from Culture of Greece)
...that the country's highest mountain, Mount Olympus was said to be the home of the Greek Gods in ancient Greek religion?
...that the Olympic Games, originated in Greece 3000 years ago, and that the 1st games of the modern Olympics were held in Greece in 1896, as a revival of the Games?
...that the Greek state comprises only the centre of the ancient Greek world, which comprised also Southern Italy, the coastal areas of modern Turkey and the Black Sea, as well as some colonies in North Africa, Southern France and Spain?
...that even though the modern Greek state was established in 1832, some areas of Greece were not liberated until after the Balkan Wars and WW2?
Sing, O goddess, the anger of Achilles son of Peleus, that brought countless ills upon the Achaeans. Many a brave soul did it send hurrying down to Hades, and many a hero did it yield a prey to dogs and vultures, for so were the counsels of Zeus fulfilled from the day on which the son of Atreus, king of men, and great Achilles, first fell out with one another.
Greek art began in the Cycladic and Minoan prehistorical civilization. The art of ancient Greece has exercised an enormous influence on the culture of many countries from ancient times until the present, particularly in the areas of sculpture and architecture. In the West, the art of the Roman Empire was largely derived from Greek models. In the East, Alexander the Great's conquests initiated several centuries of exchange between Greek, Central Asian and Indian cultures. During the Renaissance , the humanist aesthetic and the high technical standards of Greek art inspired generations of European artists.Read more...
A short video of the main sites at the ancient sanctuary of Delphi in Central Greece. Delphi was considered to be the center of the world by the Greeks and the most important oracle in the Greek world.