Religion at the Olympics, from Zeus to the civitas

“Religion at the Olympics, from Ancient Greece to London” 
Religion News Service. Used with permission. August 1, 2012.

A 600-foot footrace was the only athletic event at the first Olympics, a festival held in 776 BC and dedicated to Zeus, the chief Greek god.

For the next millennium, Greeks gathered every four years in Olympia to honor Zeus through sports, sacrifices, and hymns. The five-day festival brought the Greek world together in devotion to one deity.

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