That last of the ancient Olympic Games was held more than 1,600 years ago. For one final time, the strongest and quickest men locked into a ferocious competition to find the greatest athlete in the world. Sure, we brought the Olympics back by name in 1896, but it wasn’t the same. Much has changed, and a lot of traditions the ancient Greeks enjoyed didn’t get carried over to the Olympics we watch today.
10. The Ritual Sacrifice Of Animals
The Olympics began with the athletes entering a temple. There, they stood before an imposing statue of Zeus brandishing his thunderbolts. A sliced piece of a boar flesh would be put before them, and they would have to swear an oath to the gods over it, promising to obey the rules of the games.
It was a strange way to start, but it was nothing compared what was to come. The real highlight came on day three, when a procession of 100 bullswere marched to the Great Altar of Zeus and ritually slaughtered by priests before a crowd. Some of the meat would get eaten, but the animals’ thighs would be burned to a crisp as a sacrifice to the gods.