Aristippus of Cyrene was the founder of the Cyrenaic school of Philosophy. He was a pupil of Socrates, but adopted a different philosophical outlook, teaching that the goal of life was to seek pleasure by circumstances to oneself and by maintaining proper control over both adversity and prosperity, his outlook came to be called "ethical hedonism." Among his pupils was his daughter Arete. There are indications that he was conflated with Aristippus the Younger. Aristippus, the son of Aritades, was born in Cyrene, Ancient Libya, c. 435 BCE. He came to Greece to be present at the Olympic games, where he asked Ischomachus about Socrates, by his description was filled with so ardent a desire to see Socrates, that he went to Athens for the purpose, remained with him up to the time of his execution in 399. Diodorus dates him to 366, which agrees well with the facts known about him, with the statement, that Lais, the courtesan with whom he was intimate, was born in 421. Though a disciple of Socrates, Aristippus wandered far both in principle and practice from the teaching and example of his great master.
He lived luxuriously, was happy to seek sensual gratification and the company of the notorious Lais. He took money for his teaching, the first of Socrates' disciples to do so and told Socrates that he resided in a foreign land in order to escape the trouble of involving himself in the politics of his native city, he passed part of his life at the court of Dionysius I of Syracuse or Dionysius the Younger, is said to have been taken prisoner by Artaphernes, the satrap who drove the Spartans from Rhodes in 396. He appears, however, at last to have returned to Cyrene, there he spent his old age. In Book VI of De architectura, Vitruvius describes Aristippus: It is related of the Socratic philosopher Aristippus that, being shipwrecked and cast ashore on the coast of the Rhodians, he observed geometrical figures drawn thereon, cried out to his companions: "Let us be of good cheer, for I see the traces of man." With that he made for the city of Rhodes, went straight to the gymnasium. There he fell to discussing philosophical subjects, presents were bestowed upon him, so that he could not only fit himself out, but could provide those who accompanied him with clothing and all other necessaries of life.
When his companions wished to return to their country, asked him what message he wished them to carry home, he bade them say this: that children ought to be provided with property and resources of a kind that could swim with them out of a shipwreck. The anecdotes which are told of Aristippus by no means give us the notion of a person, the mere slave of his passions, but rather of one who took a pride in extracting enjoyment from all circumstances of every kind, in controlling adversity and prosperity alike, they illustrate and confirm the two statements of Horace, that to observe the precepts of Aristippus is "to endeavour to adapt circumstances to myself, not myself to circumstances" and that, "every complexion of life, every station and circumstance sat gracefully upon him." Thus when reproached for his love of bodily indulgences, he answered, that "it is not abstinence from pleasures, best, but mastery over them without being worsted". When Dionysius, provoked at some of his remarks, ordered him to take the lowest place at table, he said, "You wish to dignify the seat".
"Wise people though all laws were abolished, would still lead the same life" is the single most popular quotation of his on the Internet, where it is and erroneously, attributed to the comic poet Aristophanes. Whether Aristippus was a prisoner to a satrap, grossly insulted and spit upon by a tyrant, enjoying the pleasures of a banquet or reviled for faithlessness to Socrates by his fellow-pupils, he maintained the same calm temper, he seemed insulting to Xenophon and Plato, as seen from the Memorabilia, where he maintains a discussion against Socrates in defence of voluptuous enjoyment, from the Phaedo, where his absence at the death of Socrates, though he was only at Aegina, 200 stadia from Athens, is doubtless mentioned as a reproach. Aristotle, calls him a sophist, notices a story of Plato's speaking to him, with rather undue vehemence, of his replying with calmness. Aristippus imparted his doctrine to his daughter Arete who, in turn, imparted it to her son, Aristippus the Younger, said to have reduced it to a system.
Diogenes Laërtius, on the authority of Sotion and Panaetius, gives a long list of books whose authorship is ascribed to Aristippus, though he states that according to Sosicrates of Rhodes, Aristippus never wrote anything. Some letters attributed. Although his dubious reputation has survived into modern times, his philosophy of ethical hedonism, as its name implies, was not amoral, he admonished his students to never harm others, cautioned that the pursuit of pleasure ought to be moderated by moral self-restraint. One work attributed to "Aristippus" in ancient times was a scandalous work entitled On Ancient Luxury; this work, judging by the quotations preserved by Diogenes Laërtius, was filled with spicy anecdotes about philosophers and their supposed taste for courtesans and young boys. Thus the author supports his claims for Plato's various erotic relationships through his quotation of epigrams attributed to the philosopher, makes an extreme allegation that Periander committed incest with his own mother.
That this work cannot have been written by Aristippus of Cyrene has long been realised, not least because the author mentions Theophrastus who lived a generation af
Lucian of Samosata was a Syrian satirist and rhetorician, best known for his characteristic tongue-in-cheek style, with which he ridiculed superstition, religious practices, belief in the paranormal. Although his native language was Syriac, all of his extant works are written in Ancient Greek. Everything, known about Lucian's life comes from his own writings, which are difficult to interpret because of his extensive use of sarcasm. According to his oration The Dream, he was the son of a lower middle class family from the village of Samosata along the banks of the Euphrates in the remote Roman province of Syria; as a young man, he was apprenticed to his uncle to become a sculptor, after a failed attempt at sculpting, he ran away to pursue an education in Ionia. He visited universities throughout the Roman Empire. After acquiring fame and wealth through his teaching, Lucian settled down in Athens for a decade, during which he wrote most of his extant works. In his old age, he may have been appointed as a highly-paid government official in Egypt, after which point he disappears from the historical record.
Lucian's works were wildly popular in antiquity, more than eighty writings attributed to him have survived to the present day, a higher quantity than for most other classical writers. His most famous work is A True Story, a tongue-in-cheek satire against authors who tell incredible tales, regarded by some as the earliest known work of science fiction. Lucian invented the genre of a parody of the traditional Platonic dialogue, his dialogue The Lover of Lies makes fun of people who believe in the supernatural and contains the oldest known version of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice". Lucian wrote numerous satires making fun of traditional stories about the gods including The Dialogues of the Gods, Zeus Rants, Zeus Catechized, The Parliament of the Gods, his Dialogues of the Dead focuses on the Cynic philosophers Diogenes and Menippus. Philosophies for Sale and The Banquet or Lapiths make fun of various philosophical schools, The Fisherman or the Dead Come to Life is a defense of this mockery. Lucian ridicules public figures, such as the Cynic philosopher Peregrinus Proteus in his letter The Passing of Peregrinus and the fraudulent oracle Alexander of Abonoteichus in his treatise Alexander the False Prophet.
Lucian's treatise On the Syrian Goddess satirizes cultural distinctions between Greeks and Syrians and is the main source of information about the cult of Atargatis. Lucian had an wide-ranging impact on Western literature. Works inspired by his writings include Sir Thomas More's Utopia, the works of François Rabelais, William Shakespeare's Timon of Athens and Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. Lucian is not mentioned in any contemporary texts or inscriptions written by others and he is not included in Philostratus's Lives of the Sophists; as a result of this, everything, known about Lucian comes from his own writings. A variety of characters with names similar to Lucian, including "Lukinos," "Lukianos," "Lucius," and "The Syrian" appear throughout Lucian's writings; these have been interpreted by scholars and biographers as "masks", "alter-egos", or "mouthpieces" of the author. Daniel S. Richter criticizes the frequent tendency to interpret such "Lucian-like figures" as self-inserts by the author and argues that they are, in fact fictional characters Lucian uses to "think with" when satirizing conventional distinctions between Greeks and Syrians.
He suggests that they are a literary trope used by Lucian to deflect accusations that he as the Syrian author "has somehow outraged the purity of Greek idiom or genre" through his invention of the comic dialogue. British classicist Donald Russell states, "A good deal of what Lucian says about himself is no more to be trusted than the voyage to the moon that he recounts so persuasively in the first person in True Stories" and warns that "it is foolish to treat as autobiography." Lucian was born in the town of Samosata, located on the banks of the Euphrates river on the far eastern outskirts of the Roman Empire. Samosata had been the capital of Commagene until 72 AD when it was annexed by Vespasian and became part of the Roman province of Syria; the population of the town was Syrian and Lucian's native tongue was Syriac, a form of Aramaic. During the time when Lucian lived, traditional Greco-Roman religion was in decline and its role in society had become ceremonial; as a substitute for traditional religion, many people in the Hellenistic world joined Mystery Cults, such as the Mysteries of Isis, the cult of Cybele, the Eleusinian Mysteries.
Superstition had always been common throughout ancient society, but it was prevalent during the second century. Most educated people of Lucian's time adhered to one of the various Hellenistic philosophies, of which the major ones were Stoicism, Platonism and Epicureanism; every major town had its own university and these universities employed professional travelling lecturers, who were paid high sums of money to lecture about various philosophical teachings. The most prestigious center of learning was the city of Athens in Greece, which had a long intellectual history. According to Lucian's oration The Dream, which classical scholar Lionel Casson states he delivered as an address upon returning to Samosata at the age of thirty-five or forty after establishing his reputation as a great orator, Lucian's parents were lower middle cla
Plato was an Athenian philosopher during the Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thought, the Academy, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. He is considered the pivotal figure in the history of Ancient Greek and Western philosophy, along with his teacher and his most famous student, Aristotle. Plato has often been cited as one of the founders of Western religion and spirituality; the so-called Neoplatonism of philosophers like Plotinus and Porphyry influenced Saint Augustine and thus Christianity. Alfred North Whitehead once noted: "the safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato."Plato was the innovator of the written dialogue and dialectic forms in philosophy. Plato appears to have been the founder of Western political philosophy, his most famous contribution bears his name, the doctrine of the Forms known by pure reason to provide a realist solution to the problem of universals.
He is the namesake of Platonic love and the Platonic solids. His own most decisive philosophical influences are thought to have been along with Socrates, the pre-Socratics Pythagoras and Parmenides, although few of his predecessors' works remain extant and much of what we know about these figures today derives from Plato himself. Unlike the work of nearly all of his contemporaries, Plato's entire oeuvre is believed to have survived intact for over 2,400 years. Although their popularity has fluctuated over the years, the works of Plato have never been without readers since the time they were written. Due to a lack of surviving accounts, little is known about education. Plato belonged to an influential family. According to a disputed tradition, reported by doxographer Diogenes Laërtius, Plato's father Ariston traced his descent from the king of Athens and the king of Messenia, Melanthus. Plato's mother was Perictione, whose family boasted of a relationship with the famous Athenian lawmaker and lyric poet Solon, one of the seven sages, who repealed the laws of Draco.
Perictione was sister of Charmides and niece of Critias, both prominent figures of the Thirty Tyrants, known as the Thirty, the brief oligarchic regime, which followed on the collapse of Athens at the end of the Peloponnesian War. According to some accounts, Ariston tried to force his attentions on Perictione, but failed in his purpose; the exact time and place of Plato's birth are unknown. Based on ancient sources, most modern scholars believe that he was born in Athens or Aegina between 429 and 423 BC, not long after the start of the Peloponnesian War; the traditional date of Plato's birth during the 87th or 88th Olympiad, 428 or 427 BC, is based on a dubious interpretation of Diogenes Laërtius, who says, "When was gone, joined Cratylus the Heracleitean and Hermogenes, who philosophized in the manner of Parmenides. At twenty-eight, Hermodorus says, went to Euclides in Megara." However, as Debra Nails argues, the text does not state that Plato left for Megara after joining Cratylus and Hermogenes.
In his Seventh Letter, Plato notes that his coming of age coincided with the taking of power by the Thirty, remarking, "But a youth under the age of twenty made himself a laughingstock if he attempted to enter the political arena." Thus, Nails dates Plato's birth to 424/423. According to Neanthes, Plato was six years younger than Isocrates, therefore was born the same year the prominent Athenian statesman Pericles died. Jonathan Barnes regards 428 BC as the year of Plato's birth; the grammarian Apollodorus of Athens in his Chronicles argues that Plato was born in the 88th Olympiad. Both the Suda and Sir Thomas Browne claimed he was born during the 88th Olympiad. Another legend related that, when Plato was an infant, bees settled on his lips while he was sleeping: an augury of the sweetness of style in which he would discourse about philosophy. Besides Plato himself and Perictione had three other children; the brothers Adeimantus and Glaucon are mentioned in the Republic as sons of Ariston, brothers of Plato, though some have argued they were uncles.
In a scenario in the Memorabilia, Xenophon confused the issue by presenting a Glaucon much younger than Plato. Ariston appears to have died in Plato's childhood, although the precise dating of his death is difficult. Perictione married Pyrilampes, her mother's brother, who had served many times as an ambassador to the Persian court and was a friend of Pericles, the leader of the democratic faction in Athens. Pyrilampes had a son from a previous marriage, famous for his beauty. Perictione gave birth to Pyrilampes' second son, the half-brother of Plato, who appears in Parmenides. In contrast to his reticence about himself, Plato introduced his distinguished relatives into his dialogues, or referred to them with some precision. In addition to Adeimantus and Glaucon in the Republic, Charmides has a dialogue named after him; these and other references suggest a considerable amount of family pride and enable us to reconstruct Plato's family tree. According to Burnet, "the opening scene of the Ch
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, values, reason and language. Such questions are posed as problems to be studied or resolved; the term was coined by Pythagoras. Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust? Do humans have free will? "philosophy" encompassed any body of knowledge. From the time of Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle to the 19th century, "natural philosophy" encompassed astronomy and physics. For example, Newton's 1687 Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy became classified as a book of physics. In the 19th century, the growth of modern research universities led academic philosophy and other disciplines to professionalize and specialize.
In the modern era, some investigations that were traditionally part of philosophy became separate academic disciplines, including psychology, sociology and economics. Other investigations related to art, politics, or other pursuits remained part of philosophy. For example, is beauty objective or subjective? Are there many scientific methods or just one? Is political utopia a hopeful dream or hopeless fantasy? Major sub-fields of academic philosophy include metaphysics, ethics, political philosophy and philosophy of science. Traditionally, the term "philosophy" referred to any body of knowledge. In this sense, philosophy is related to religion, natural science and politics. Newton's 1687 Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy is classified in the 2000s as a book of physics. In the first part of the first book of his Academics, Cicero introduced the division of philosophy into logic and ethics. Metaphysical philosophy was the study of existence, God, logic and other abstract objects; this division has changed.
Natural philosophy has split into the various natural sciences astronomy, chemistry and cosmology. Moral philosophy still includes value theory. Metaphysical philosophy has birthed formal sciences such as logic and philosophy of science, but still includes epistemology and others. Many philosophical debates that began in ancient times are still debated today. Colin McGinn and others claim. Chalmers and others, by contrast, see progress in philosophy similar to that in science, while Talbot Brewer argued that "progress" is the wrong standard by which to judge philosophical activity. In one general sense, philosophy is associated with wisdom, intellectual culture and a search for knowledge. In that sense, all cultures and literate societies ask philosophical questions such as "how are we to live" and "what is the nature of reality". A broad and impartial conception of philosophy finds a reasoned inquiry into such matters as reality and life in all world civilizations. Western philosophy is the philosophical tradition of the Western world and dates to Pre-Socratic thinkers who were active in Ancient Greece in the 6th century BCE such as Thales and Pythagoras who practiced a "love of wisdom" and were termed physiologoi.
Socrates was a influential philosopher, who insisted that he possessed no wisdom but was a pursuer of wisdom. Western philosophy can be divided into three eras: Ancient, Medieval philosophy, Modern philosophy; the Ancient era was dominated by Greek philosophical schools which arose out of the various pupils of Socrates, such as Plato, who founded the Platonic Academy and his student Aristotle, founding the Peripatetic school, who were both influential in Western tradition. Other traditions include Cynicism, Greek Skepticism and Epicureanism. Important topics covered by the Greeks included metaphysics, the nature of the well-lived life, the possibility of knowledge and the nature of reason. With the rise of the Roman empire, Greek philosophy was increasingly discussed in Latin by Romans such as Cicero and Seneca. Medieval philosophy is the period following the fall of the Western Roman Empire and was dominated by the ris
The Birds (play)
The Birds is a comedy by the Ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes. It was performed in 414 BC at the City Dionysia, it has been acclaimed by modern critics as a realized fantasy remarkable for its mimicry of birds and for the gaiety of its songs. Unlike the author's other early plays, it includes no direct mention of the Peloponnesian War and there are few references to Athenian politics, yet it was staged not long after the commencement of the Sicilian Expedition, an ambitious military campaign that increased Athenian commitment to the war effort. In spite of that, the play has many indirect references to Athenian social life, it is the longest of Aristophanes' surviving plays and yet it is a conventional example of Old Comedy. The play begins with two middle-aged men stumbling across a hillside wilderness, guided by a pet crow and a pet jackdaw. One of them advises the audience that they are fed up with life in Athens, where people do nothing all day but argue over laws, they are looking for Tereus, a king, once metamorphosed into the Hoopoe, for they believe he might help them find a better life somewhere else.
Just a large and fearsome bird emerges from a camouflaged bower, demanding to know what they are up to and accusing them of being bird-catchers. He turns out to be the Hoopoe's servant, they appease him and he returns indoors to fetch his master. Moments the Hoopoe himself appears—a not convincing bird who attributes his lack of feathers to a severe case of moulting, he is happy to discuss their plight with them and meanwhile one of them has a brilliant idea—the birds, he says, should stop flying about like idiots and instead should build themselves a great city in the sky, since this would not only allow them to lord it over men, it would enable them to blockade the Olympian gods in the same way that the Athenians had starved the island of Melos into submission. The Hoopoe likes the idea and he agrees to help implement it, provided of course that the two Athenians can first convince all the other birds, he calls to his wife, the Nightingale, bids her to begin her celestial music. The notes of an unseen flute swell through the theatre and meanwhile the Hoopoe provides the lyrics, summoning the birds of the world from their different habitats—birds of the fields, mountain birds and birds of the trees, birds of the waterways and seas.
These soon begin to appear and each of them is identified by name on arrival. Four of them dance together. On discovering the presence of men, the newly arrived birds fly into a fit of alarm and outrage, for mankind has long been their enemy. A skirmish follows, during which the Athenians defend themselves with kitchen utensils they find outside the Hoopoe's bower, until the Hoopoe at last manages to persuade the Chorus to give his human guests a fair hearing; the cleverer of the two Athenians, the author of the brilliant idea delivers a formal speech, advising the birds that they were the original gods and urging them to regain their lost powers and privileges from the johnny-come-lately Olympians. The birds are won over and urge the Athenians to lead them in their war against the usurping gods; the clever one introduces himself as Pisthetaerus and his companion is introduced as Euelpides. They retire to the Hoopoe's bower to chew on a magical root. Meanwhile, the Nightingale emerges from her hiding place and reveals herself as an enchantingly feminine figure.
She presides over the Chorus of birds while they address the audience in a conventional parabasis: Hear us, you who are no more than leaves always falling, you mortals benighted by nature, You enfeebled and powerless creatures of earth always haunting a world of mere shadows, Entities without wings, insubstantial as dreams, you ephemeral things, you human beings: Turn your minds to our words, our etherial words, for the words of the birds last forever! The Chorus delivers a brief account of the genealogy of the gods, claiming that the birds are children of Eros and grandchildren of Night and Erebus, thus establishing their claim to divinity ahead of the Olympians, it cites some of the benefits the audience derives from birds and it invites the audience to join them since birds manage to do things mere men are afraid to do. Pisthetaerus and Euelpides emerge from the Hoopoe's bower laughing at each other's unconvincing resemblance to a bird. After discussion, they name the city-in-the-sky Nubicuculia, or "cloud-cuckoo-land", Pisthetaerus begins to take charge of things, ordering his friend to oversee the building of the city walls while he organizes and leads a religious service in honour of birds as the new gods.
During this service, he is pestered by a variety of unwelcome visitors including a young versifier out to hire himself to the new city as its official poet, an oracle-monger with prophecies for sale, a famous geometer, offering a set of town-plans, an imperial inspector from Athens with an eye for a quick profit, a statute-seller trying to peddle a set of laws written for a remote, barely-heard-of town called Olophyx. Pisthetaerus chases off all these intruders and retires indoors to finish the religious service; the birds of the Chorus step forward for another parabasis. They promulgate laws forbidding crimes against their kind and they end by advising the festival judges to award them first place or risk getting defecated on. Pisthetaerus returns to the stage moments before a messenger arri
Olympia, is a small town in Elis on the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece, famous for the nearby archaeological site of the same name, a major Panhellenic religious sanctuary of ancient Greece, where the ancient Olympic Games were held. The site was dedicated to Zeus and drew visitors from all over the Greek world as one of a group of such "Panhellenic" centres which helped to build the identity of the ancient Greeks as a nation. Despite the name, it is nowhere near Mount Olympus in northern Greece, where the Twelve Olympians, the major deities of Ancient Greek religion, were believed to live; the Olympic Games were held every four years throughout Classical antiquity, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. The archaeological site held over 70 significant buildings, ruins of many of these survive, although the main Temple of Zeus survives only as stones on the ground; the site is a major tourist attraction, has two museums, one devoted to the ancient and modern games. Olympia lies in the wide valley of the rather small Alfeiós River in the western part of the Peloponnese, today around 18 kilometers away from the Ionian Sea, but in antiquity half that distance.
The name Altis was derived from a corruption of the Elean word meaning "the grove" because the area was wooded and plane trees in particular. The Altis, as the sanctuary was known, was an irregular quadrangular area more than 200 yards on each side and walled except to the North where it was bounded by the Kronion. According to Pausanias there were over 70 temples in total, as well as treasuries, altars and other structures dedicated to many deities. Somewhat in contrast to Delphi, where a similar large collection of monuments were packed within the tenemos boundary, Olympia sprawled beyond the boundary wall in the areas devoted to the games; the Altis consists of a somewhat disordered arrangement of buildings, the most important of which are the Temple of Hera, the Temple of Zeus, the Pelopion, the area of the great altar of Zeus, where the largest sacrifices were made. There was still a good deal of wooded areas inside the sanctuary. To the north of the sanctuary can be found the Prytaneion and the Philippeion, as well as the array of treasuries representing the various city-states.
The Metroon lies with the Echo Stoa to the east. The hippodrome and stadium were located east of the Echo Stoa. To the south of the sanctuary is the South Stoa and the bouleuterion, whereas the palaestra, the workshop of Pheidias, the gymnasion, the Leonidaion lie to the west. Olympia was known for the gigantic chryselephantine statue of Zeus, the cult image in his temple, sculpted by Pheidias, named one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World by Antipater of Sidon. Close to the Temple of Zeus which housed this statue, the studio of Pheidias was excavated in the 1950s. Evidence found; the ancient ruins sit south of Mount Kronos. The Kladeos, a tributary of the Alpheios, flows around the area. 1. Northwest Propylon, 2. Prytaneion, 3. Philippeion, 4. Temple of Hera, 5. Pelopion, 6. Nymphaeum of Herodes Atticus, 7. Metroon, 8. Treasuries, 9. Crypt, 10. Stadium, 11. Echo Stoa, 12. Building of Ptolemy II and Arsinoe II, 13. Hestia stoa, 14. Hellenistic building, 15. Temple of Zeus, 16. Altar of Zeus, 17. Ex-voto of Achaeans, 18.
Ex-voto of Mikythos, 19. Nike of Paeonius, 20. Gymnasion, 21. Palaestra, 22. Theokoleon, 23. Heroon, 24. Pheidias' workshop and paleochristian basilica, 25. Baths of Kladeos, 26. Greek baths, 27. and 28. Hostels, 29. Leonidaion, 30. South baths, 31. Bouleuterion, 32. South stoa, 33. Villa of Nero. Treasuries. I. Sicyon, II. Syracuse, III. Epidamnus, IV. Byzantium, V. Sybaris, VI. Cyrene, VII. Unidentified, VIII. Altar, IX. Selinunte, X. Metapontum, XI. Megara, XII. Gela. For a history of the Olympic Games, see Olympic Games or Ancient Olympic Games, it used to be thought that the site had been occupied since about 1500 BC, with a religious cult of Zeus developing around 1000 BC. It may be that instead there was only a sanctuary from the 9th or 8th centuries, though the question remains in debate. Others believe that remains of food and burnt offerings dating back to the 10th century BC give evidence of a long history of religious activity at the site. No buildings have survived from this earliest period of use; the first Olympic festival was organized on the site by the authorities of Elis in the 8th century BC – with tradition dating the first games at 776 BC.
Major changes were made to the site including levelling land and digging new wells. Elis' power diminished and the sanctuary fell into the hands of the Pisatans in 676 BC; the Pisatans organized the games until the late 7th century BC. The earliest evidence of building activity on the site dates from around 600 BC. At this time the Skiloudians, allies of the Pistans, built the Temple of Hera; the Treasuries and the Pelopion were built during the course of the 6th century BC. The secular structures and athletic arenas were under construction during this period including the Bouleuterion; the first stadium was constructed around 560 BC, it consisted of just a simple track. The stadium was remodelled around 500 BC with sloping sides for spectators and shifted to the east. Over the course of the 6th century BC a range of sports were added to the Olympic festival. In 580 BC, Elis, in alliance with