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Olympia,ancient city, important center of the worship of Zeus in ancient Greece, in Elis near the Alpheus (now Alfiós) R. It was the scene of the Olympic gamesOlympic games,
premier athletic meeting of ancient Greece, and, in modern times, series of international sports contests. The Olympics of Ancient Greece
Although records cannot verify games earlier than 776 B.C.
..... Click the link for more information. . The great temple of Zeus was especially celebrated for its gold and ivory statue of Zeus by PhidiasPhidias
, c.500–c.432 B.C., Greek sculptor, one of the greatest sculptors of ancient Greece. No original in existence can be attributed to him with certainty, although numerous Roman copies in varying degrees of supposed fidelity exist.
..... Click the link for more information. —one of the Seven Wonders of the WorldSeven Wonders of the World,
in ancient classifications, were the Great Pyramid of Khufu (see pyramid) or all the pyramids with or without the sphinx; the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, with or without the walls; the mausoleum at Halicarnassus; the Artemision at Ephesus; the
..... Click the link for more information. . Excavation, which revealed the great temple, also uncovered the sculpture of Hermes by PraxitelesPraxiteles
, fl. c.370–c.330 B.C., famous Attic sculptor, probably the son of Cephisodotus. His Hermes with the Infant Dionysus, found in the Heraeum, Olympia, in 1877, is the only example of an undisputed extant original by any of the greatest ancient masters.
..... Click the link for more information. , several other temples within the sacred enclosure (called the Altis), and the stadium.
Olympia,city (1990 pop. 33,840), state capital, and seat of Thurston co., W Wash., at the southern tip of Puget Sound, on Budd Inlet; inc. 1859. A port of entry, it ships lumber products and agricultural produce. Oyster fisheries and canning plants are there, and there is printing and publishing. Manufactures include explosives; consumer goods; sports equipment; plastic, metal, and paper products; veneer; furniture; cheese; steel; aircraft engines; and porcelain enamel. Settled in 1846, it was made capital of the newly created Washington Territory in 1853. Of interest are a state historical museum, the state library, the old capitol building (1893), and the newer, imposing group of white sandstone capitol buildings. A local attraction is the annual salmon run from Budd Inlet into Capitol Lake. St. Martin's College and Evergreen State College are in Olympia, and a Native American reservation and state parks are nearby. The Olympic Mts.Olympic Mountains,
highest part of the Coast Ranges, on the Olympic Peninsula, NW Wash. Mt. Olympus (7,965 ft/2,427 m) is the highest point in the mountains, which are composed mainly of sedimentary rock.
..... Click the link for more information. can be seen to the north, and Mt. RainierMount Rainier National Park
, 235,625 acres (95,395 hectares), SW Wash., in the Cascade Range; est. 1899. The area is dominated by Mt. Rainier, a volcanic peak 14,410 ft (4,392 m) high.
..... Click the link for more information. to the northeast. In 2001 an earthquake centered some 12 mi (19 km) north of the city cracked the capitol dome and caused other property damage.
an ancient Greek city in Elis (northwestern Peloponnesus); a religious center, principally for the worship of Zeus, and the site of the Olympic Games, which were dedicated to him; the most important artistic center of ancient Greece.
The architecture of Olympia developed, for the most part, between the seventh and fourth centuries B.C. The city went into decline with the triumph of Christianity, and in A.D. 426 the Roman emperor Theodosius II ordered it destroyed by fire. The few surviving structures and statues were destroyed in 521 and 522 by earthquakes.
French archaeologists conducted the first excavations of Olympia in 1829. The first systematic excavations of the site were undertaken in 1875 by the German archaeologist E. Curtius. More than 130 statues, about 13,000 bronze objects, and as many as 10,000 inscriptions on bronze tablets have been discovered.
In the sacred grove of Olympian Zeus lie remains of the Pelo-pion (from the late second millennium B.C.), the Temple of Hera (late seventh or early sixth century B.C.), the Temple of Zeus (468–456 B.C.;architect, Libon), the Metroon (Temple of the Mother of the Gods; first half of the fourth century B.C.), the Temple of Zeus Sosipolis, the Temple of Ilythya (after 363 B.C.), 12 treasuries (including the Treasury of Gela, early sixth to the early fifth centuries B.C.), and the circular Philippeum (338–334 B.C.). Outside the sacred precinct are the ruins of the Bouleuter-ion (sixth and fifth centuries B.C.), the classical-period stadium, the Leonidaeum (fourth century B.C.; architect, Leonidas), the Hellenistic Palaestra, and the Gymnasium.
There is a museum in Olympia, which houses such masterpieces as Praxiteles’ Hermes With the Infant Dionysus (marble, c. 340 B.C., from the Temple of Hera), early classical sculpture from the pediment of the Temple of Zeus, and Paeonius’ Nike (found near the Temple of Zeus).
REFERENCESOlimpiia, po V. Lalu i P. Monso, izlozhil K. Mazurin. Moscow, 1892.
Schöbel, H. Olimpiia i ee igry. Leipzig, 1971. (Translated from German.)
Vseobshchaia istoriia arkhitektury, vol. 2. Moscow, 1973.
Dörpfeld, W. Alt-Olympia, vols. 1–2. Berlin, 1935.
Kunze, E., and H. Schleif. Berichte über die Ausgrabungen in Olympia, vols. 1–8. Berlin, 1937–67.
Kunze, E., and H. Schleif. Olympische Forschungen, vols. 1–5. Berlin, 1944–64.