Ancient Olympic Fun Fact 26

2012 is significant in that it is a presidential election year, a leap year, and a summer Olympic year! The modern Olympics, of course, were inspired by the ancient Greek Olympics, a subject I’ve been researching for my work in progress. So in these months leading up to the 2012 London Games, I’ll be posting weekly tidbits about the original athletic festival that started it all.

Here’s this week’s fun fact:

Spectators watched standing.

Remains of the Judges Stand

Unlike ancient Greek theaters, the stadium at Olympia had no seats. Instead, everyone stood upon its grassy slopes to watch (considering the mobs of people that came to watch, it was probably more practical). The only exceptions were the Judges, who had a stand on the south side of the Stadium, and probably the priestess of Demeter, stationed at an altar on the north side. But some researchers believe that the seats were essentially honorary because the Judges should’ve been refereeing on the stadium floor during competition.

Tune in next week for more about the ancient Olympics!

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