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in ancient Greece, competitions held in the valley of Nemea in Argolis (Peloponnesos) at the temple of Zeus. According to legend, the Nemean Games were established either by Adrastus, the leader of the campaign of the Seven Against Thebes, or by Heracles. In recorded history, the Nemean Games have been known since 573 B.C. They were held every second June, during the new moon, and included competitions in sports and music. The games were initially organized by the citizens of the city of Cleonae, but after 460 B.C. the citizens of Argos ran them. Wreaths of olive branches or of celery were awarded the victors. The Nemean Games ended in the late fourth century A.D. after the adoption of Christianity as the state religion.
See also Isthmian Games; Pythian Games; and Olympic Games
ClassDict-1984, p. 399
GdAnctWrld-1986, p. 427
OxClassDict-1970, p. 726