Title: BMAG
Title: History Teaching Sessionsback

The Glory that was Greece

The interactive guide above describes the Greek artefacts that might be handled during the session. (Flash plugin required).

To download this information for use in the classroom click one of the following links.
Greek Handling Objects - Acrobat File (88.2 KB)
Greek timeline worksheet - Acrobat (127 KB)

The Pentathlon and the Ancient Greek Olympic Games.
The Pentathlon was made up of five different events and took place on the afternoon of day two of the ancient Greek Olympic Games. If one athlete won the first three events - discus, javelin and jumping - the final two events, running and wrestling, were cancelled.

  1. Discus Throwing
    This was the first of the five events. To ensure fairness, three official discuses were kept at Olympia and we believe that throwers made a three-quarter turn before throwing.
    Most surviving ancient discuses are made from bronze.
  2. Javelin Throwing
    Javelins were made from elder wood and were made to be about the height of the athlete. Athletic javelins were made lighter than military ones, to throw for distance.
    Javelins were thrown using a leather thong wrapped around the shaft. This would unwind to make the shaft spin and ensure a steadier flight.
  3. Long Jump
    We believe that the long jump was a standing jump, using two weights called halteres,
    These halteres would be made from stone or metal, probably lead. The style of the weights changed with time. Pegs in the ground marked previous jumps in the competition.
    The long jump was often accompanied by music.
  4. Running
    If there were no winner after the first three events, the next would be running.
    This would usually be a sprint, one or two lengths of the stadium.
    There was a starting block of grooved stone and the athletes stood with arms stretched forward, one foot in front of the other.
    False starts were punished by flogging.
    Reaching the turning post could cause collisions, fouling and cheating during the turn.
  5. Wrestling
    Wrestling was the last event.
    The wrestlers were covered in oil so it was hard for them to get a grip on each other.
    If an athlete's back or shoulders touched the ground, it was a "fall". Three falls won the fight. Fights went on until there was a winner.
    Refereeing was easy, as sand from the ground showed if shoulders or back had touched.