Ancient Stadium, Nemea, Greece

Illustration

Mark Cartwright
by
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 is a history writer based in Italy. Surrounded by archaeological sites, his special interests include ancient ceramics, architecture, and mythology. He holds an MA in Political Philosophy and is the Publishing Director at AHE.

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Related Links

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