Pausanias, Description of Greece (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Paus.].
<<Paus. 5.8.7 Paus. 5.9.6 (Greek) >>Paus. 5.10.8

5.9.2

The trotting-race was for mares, and in the last part of the course the riders jumped off and ran beside the mares, holding on to the bridle, just as at the present day those do who are called “mounters.” The mounters, however, differ from the riders in the trotting-race by having different badges, and by riding horses instead of mares. The cart-race was neither of venerable antiquity nor yet a graceful performance. Moreover, each cart was drawn by a pair of mules, not horses, and there is an ancient curse on the Eleans if this animal is even born in Elis.

5.9.3

The order of the games in our own day, which places the sacrifices to the god for the pentathlum and chariot-races second, and those for the other competitions first, was fixed at the seventy-seventh Festival. Previously the contests for men and for horses were held on the same day. But at the Festival I mentioned the pancratiasts prolonged their contests till night-fall, because they were not summoned to the arena soon enough. The cause of the delay was partly the chariot-race, but still more the pentathlum. Callias of Athens was champion of the pancratiasts on this occasion, but never afterwards was the pancratium to be interfered with by the pentathlum or the chariots.

5.9.4

The rules for the presidents of the games are not the same now as they were at the first institution of the festival. Iphitus acted as sole president, as likewise did the descendants of Oxylus after Iphitus. But at the fiftieth Festival two men, appointed by lot from all the Eleans, were entrusted with the management of the Olympic games, and for a long time after this the number of the presidents continued to be two.

5.9.5

But at the ninety-fifth Festival nine umpires were appointed. To three of them were entrusted the chariot-races, another three were to supervise the pentathlum, the rest superintended the remaining contests. At the second Festival after this the tenth umpire was added. At the hundred and third Festival, the Eleans having twelve tribes, one umpire was chosen from each.

5.9.6

But they were hard pressed in a war with the Arcadians and lost a portion of their territory, along with all the parishes included in the surrendered district, and so the number of tribes was reduced to eight in the hundred and fourth Olympiad. Thereupon were chosen umpires equal in number to the tribes. At the hundred and eighth Festival they returned again to the number of ten umpires, which has continued unchanged down to the present day.

ch. 10 5.10.1

Many are the sights to be seen in Greece, and many are the wonders to be heard; but on nothing does Heaven bestow more care than on the Eleusinian rites and the Olympic games.

The sacred grove of Zeus has been called from of old Altis, a corruption of the word “alsos,” which means a grove. Pindar [Note] too calls the place Altis in an ode composed for an Olympic victor.

5.10.2

The temple and the image were made for Zeus from spoils, when Pisa was crushed in war by the Eleans [Note], and with Pisa such of the subject peoples as conspired together with her. The image itself was wrought by Pheidias, as is testified by an inscription written under the feet of Zeus: Pheidias, son of Charmides, an Athenian, made me.
The temple is in the Doric style, and the outside has columns all around it. It is built of native stone.

5.10.3

Its height up to the pediment is sixty-eight feet, its breadth is ninety-five, its length two hundred and thirty. The architect was Libon, a native. The tiles are not of baked earth, but of Pentelic marble cut into the shape of tiles. The invention is said to be that of Byzes of Naxos, who they say made the images in Naxos on which is the inscription:— To the offspring of Leto was I dedicated by Euergus,
A Naxian, son of Byzes, who first made tiles of stone.

This Byzes lived about the time of Alyattes the Lydian [Note], when Astyages, the son of Cyaxares, reigned over the Medes.

5.10.4

At Olympia a gilt caldron stands on each end of the roof, and a Victory, also gilt, is set in about the middle of the pediment. Under the image of Victory has been dedicated a golden shield, with Medusa the Gorgon in relief. The inscription on the shield declares who dedicated it and the reason why they did so. It runs thus:— The temple has a golden shield; from Tanagra
The Lacedaemonians and their allies dedicated it,
A gift taken from the Argives, Athenians and Ionians,
The tithe offered for victory in war.
This battle I also mentioned in my history of Attica, [Note] Then I described the tombs that are at Athens.



Pausanias, Description of Greece (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Paus.].
<<Paus. 5.8.7 Paus. 5.9.6 (Greek) >>Paus. 5.10.8

Powered by PhiloLogic