Ancient Stadium, Nemea, Greece

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published on 08 May 2012

The Panhellenic Games of Nemea were held every two years from 573 BCE to 271 BCE with a brief transferal to Argos between ca. 415BC and ca 330 BCE. Originally, they commemorated the death of Opheltes. The stadium visible today dates from 330-320 BCE. The clay surface running track measured 600 ancient feet (178 m). The capacity could have been up to 30,000 but it is unlikely such a figure was ever reached. Spectators either sat on the grassy banks or on the two or three rows of stone seats. The judges (Hellanodikaion), dressed in mourning black, sat on a raised platform midway down the stadium. The line of stone starting blocks is still visible running across the track. Since 2004 CE there has been a revival of the games which are held every four years and are open to all.


About the Author

Mark Cartwright
Mark studied ancient Greek philosophy but has since widened his interests to more general Greek history and the ancient Americas. He loves visiting and reading about historic sites and transforming that experience into free articles accessible to all.

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Museum/Archaeological Site Links

  • S.G. Miller, Nemea: A Guide to the Site & Museum , 2004)

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