The Glory That Was Greece

Syracuse competed in them, but the brilliant Athenian Alcibiades outstripped all competitors by sending in no fewer than seven teams.

Although the prize was but a spiritual one, we cannot say that the contests were always conducted in what we should call a spirit of pure amateur sport. Perhaps the incentive to trickery was excessively great. Anyhow, there stood at Olympia an ominous row of statues dedicated to Zeus which had been set up as fines by athletes guilty of discreditable practices, generally of the kind we associate with the “pulling” of horses. But when it is considered that the Olympian Games continued in an almost unbroken series for twelve centuries—that is, until the Emperor Theodosius abolished them in A.D. 393—the list of such irregularities is not unduly long.

In the very minute account of Olympia which we owe to the traveller Pausanias there are some curious

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