Home » II. Olympic Games » a. Pausanias 5.7.6, 5.7.10–5.8.4

a. Pausanias 5.7.6, 5.7.10–5.8.4

(Translations taken from W.H.S. Jones Loeb Translation from www.theoi.com)

[Paus. 5.7.6] These things then are as I have described them. As for the Olympic games, the most learned antiquaries of Elis say that Cronus was the first king of heaven, and that in his honor a temple was built in Olympia by the men of that age, who were named the Golden Race.

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[5.7.10] Now some say that Zeus wrestled here with Cronus himself for the throne, while others say that he held the games in honor of his victory over Cronus. The record of victors include Apollo, who outran Hermes and beat Ares at boxing. It is for this reason, they say, that the Pythian flute-song is played while the competitors in the pentathlum are jumping; for the flute-song is sacred to Apollo, and Apollo won Olympic victories.

[5.8.1] VIII. Later on there came (they say) from Crete Clymenus, the son of Cardys, about fifty years after the flood came upon the Greeks in the time of Deucalion. He was descended from Heracles of Ida; he held the games at Olympia and set up an altar in honor of Heracles, his ancestor, and the other Curetes, giving to Heracles the surname of Parastates (Assistant). And Endymion, the son of Aethlius, deposed Clymenus, and set his sons a race in Olympia with the kingdom as the prize.

[5.8.2] And about a generation later than Endymion, Pelops held the games in honor of Olympian Zeus in a more splendid manner than any of his predecessors. When the sons of Pelops were scattered from Elis over all the rest of Peloponnesus, Amythaon, the son of Cretheus, and cousin of Endymion on his father’s side (for they say that Aethlius too was the son of Aeolus, though supposed to be a son of Zeus), held the Olympian games, and after him Pelias and Neleus in common.

[5.8.3] Augeas too held them, and likewise Heracles, the son of Amphitryon, after the conquest of Elis. The victors crowned by Heracles include Iolaus, who won with the mares of Heracles. So of old a competitor was permitted to compete with mares which were not his own. Homer,16 at any rate, in the games held in honor of Patroclus, has told how Menelaus drove a pair of which one was Aetha, a mare of Agamemnon, while the other was his own horse.

[5.8.4] Moreover, Iolaus used to be charioteer to Heracles. So Iolaus won the chariot-race, and Iasius, an Arcadian, the horse-race; while of the sons of Tyndareus one won the foot-race and Polydeuces the boxing-match. Of Heracles himself it is said that he won victories at wrestling and the pancratium.

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