Why Are The Olympics Every 4 Years latest 2023

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Ancient Greek Temple of Zeus

The ancient Greek temple dedicated to Zeus was built in Olympia in the holy sanctuary of Altis. Zeus was the king of all gods in ancient Greece. He lived on Mount Olympus and was also the god of thunder and the sky.

In ancient Greece, the Olympic Games were held every 4 years for athletes. Athletes would travel to Mount Olympus to compete in the games. During this period, the wars would stop and the kings of the various territories would call a truce to allow safe passage for the athletes. The Olympics were dedicated to Zeus and held at the temple in a stadium under a statue of Zeus.

At first, the stadium was simple and improvised. However, soon the ancient Greeks wanted something bigger and more majestic. It was to show their reverence to the king of all gods. So they started to build a bigger and more magnificent temple in 470 AD. The architect of the temple was Libon, who was Elis.

It is believed that many ideas for the temple were taken from the Parthenon and the Temple of Artemis, located in Ephesus. The temple was built on a raised platform in a rectangular shape. It had a huge roof supported with 13 carved pillars on the long sides of the rectangle and 6 pillars on the shorter sides. The roof had a slope and the pillars were carved to show the 12 tasks performed by Hercules.

The ancient Greek Temple of Zeus was built in the Doric style architecture that was prevalent at that time. Limestone from the local quarry was used for construction, but the appearance was dull and unattractive. Thus, the outer part of the temple was covered with Scutto. The sculptures housed in the temple were made of Parian marble, and the inner sanctum housed a 40-foot statue of Zeus. The statue was depicted seated on a golden throne.

Although in later years the temple was ruined due to floods and wars, the temple and its magnificent beauty remained etched in people’s minds and the description was passed down from generation to generation. The magnificent statue of Zeus was destroyed in 462 AD due to a fire.

The ruins of the temple were discovered in 1829 AD by French archaeologists and it took 5 whole years to excavate them. The task was then taken over by a team of German archaeologists in 1875 AD.

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