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date: 02 December 2022

Isthmian Gameslocked

Isthmian Gameslocked

  • Nicholas J. Richardson


The Isthmian Games (see isthmia) were held near *Corinth in honour of *Poseidon, the prize being originally a crown of pine, but during the Classical period one of dry celery. They were said to have been founded to commemorate the death of *Melicertes (or Palaemon), *Ino's son, or (according to Athens) by *Theseus after he had killed the robber *Sinis. They were reorganized as a *Panhellenic festival c.582 bce, held biennially in April or May, and administered by Corinth, whose position as a commercial centre made them popular. Chariot- and horse-races were prominent (see horse- and chariot-races), and there was a special four-lap foot race called the hippios (‘equestrian’). Musical contests are attested from the 3rd cent. bce. The Archaic temple of Poseidon was rebuilt in the mid-5th cent. bce. The Archaic stadium lay near the temple and precinct of Palaemon, but was later replaced by one outside the stadium.


  • Greek History and Historiography

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