Wednesday, 28 April 2010


Source: Wikipedia

The first Olympic festival was organized in Elean land, Olympia, Greece by the authorities of Elis in the 8th century BCE - with tradition dating the first games at 776 BCE. The Hellanodikai, the judges of the Games, were of Elean origin. Elis held authority over the site of Olympia and the Olympic games.

It also has one of the most well-preserved ancient theaters in Greece. Built in the 4th century BC, the theater had a capacity of 8000 people.

Eleans were labelled as the greatest barbarians barbarotatoi by musician Stratonicus of Athens

“And when he was once asked by some one who were the wickedest people, he said, “That in Pamphylia, the people of PhasElis were the worst; but that the Sidetae were the worst in the whole world.” And when he was asked again, according to the account given by Hegesander, which were the greatest barbarians, the Boeotians or the Thessalians he said, ” The Eleans.”

In Hesychius and other ancient lexica Eleans are also listed as barbarophones. Indeed the North-West Doric dialect of Elis is, after the Aeolic dialects, one of the most difficult for the modern reader of epigraphic texts.

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