Travels Through
Greco - Roman Antiquity
An exploration of texts and images from Falvey Library's Special Collections works on ancient Greece and Rome.

The Archaeological Site of Olympia

 

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     Corinth

     Delphi

     Olympia

          Maps & Plans
          Temple of Zeus
          Temple of Hera
          The Workshop of Pheidias
          Gymnasium & Palaestra
          Stadium

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     Marathon

     Thermopylae

     Salamis

     Plataea

 

A sanctuary of ancient Greece nestled next to Mount Koros in a valley on the Peloponnese peninsula, Olympia is best known, as its name might suggest, as being the site of the Olympic Games in classical times.

In the 10th century B.C., Olympia became a center of worship for Zeus, the mighty Greek god of the sky and thunder. The first Olympic Games took place in 776 B.C., and were held every four years from then until 393 C.E., when they were abolished by Emperor Theodosius. These Games, much like those of today, were momentous occasions, allowing athletes the opportunity to impress the citizens with their talents.

The archaeological site of Olympia was designated a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site in 1989, and has incredible cultural and historical significance.

A modern day map of Greece is below. Olympia is located in West Greece, in the region known as Elis. It is a panhellenic sanctuary dedicated to Zeus.
Data based on M. Kaplan et alii, Le Monde grec, Bréal, Paris, 1995. Image CC-BY-SA Marsyas, Wikimedia Commons. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Map_greek_sanctuaries-en.svg
Data based on M. Kaplan et alii, Le Monde grec, Bréal, Paris, 1995. Image CC-BY-SA Marsyas, Wikimedia Commons. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Map_greek_sanctuaries-en.svg

The sanctuary of Olympia features dozens of important landmarks, many of which can still be viewed today. A selection of these has been picked to be explored in more detail on this site:

General Maps & Plans; Temple of Zeus; Temple of Hera; Workshop of PheidiasStadium; Gymansium & Palaestra.

In the above pages, you'll find more information (including pictures and quotes by ancient Greek travelers and historians!) about these locations.