Olympia Argumentative Essay

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The way in which Tyrants, many of whom were former victors, interacted with Olympia also demonstrates the way Olympia transcended being exclusively religious, social, or political. Though their characterization in the classical period makes it difficult to fully understand tyrants, their associations with Olympia in tradition demonstrate that it was an important source of political power. Pheidon of Argos supposedly deposed of the lawful governors of the Olympic Games and organized them himself during his Tyranny (Parker 16). After winning the chariot race, Cleisthenes of Sicyon announced his daughter’s impending marriage (Parker 35). When short of the gold needed to dedicate a statue at Olympia, Periander stripped women of their gold in order to complete the dedication (Osbourne 183).…show more content…
These examples demonstrate the political importance of Olympia, despite it being a place of worship and a social gathering place. Tyrants benefited greatly from the public status gained as Olympic victors. They also benefitted by financing public structures, thus emphasizing their role as public benefactors (Parker 35). This benefit wasn’t only limited to tyrants. Miltiades famously sent a helmet as a dedication to Olympia to commemorate his victory at the battle of Marathon (Neer 234). Because of Olympia’s importance in the cultural consciousness of Archaic Greece, tyrants frequently sought to demonstrate their political power at Olympia. They ascribed Olympia importance precisely because of its intersectionality of religion, society, and politics. As tyrants’ interaction with Olympia shows, the sanctuary and its games displayed a transcendence over the concepts of society, politics, and religion that as they are used in modern

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