Our excursion to Delphi and Olympia was a very intellectually enriching experience. I am so used to the huge city of Athens having endless history behind it, that I didn’t expect such little towns as Delphi and Olympia to have extraordinary history as well. What I found most interesting about the story behind Delphi is of the oracle who lived in the mountain and only came down for nine days out of every year. During which, people traveled from all over to stand in line for days and await the wisdom and guidance of the oracle.
My professor mentioned how easy it was for those who translated the messages of the oracle to manipulate people and follow their own agenda. I find that this parallels a lot of what occurs in many religions when various translations and interpretations of a sacred text are made over centuries. It is easy for phrases and meanings to get lost in translation.
Olympia was extraordinary as well because of its significance to the ancient world. People from all over the world travelled to Olympia to compete and watch the olympics. My professor also mentioned that there was a building specifically for the athletes to train, and what I now wonder is if the trainers acted as medical caregivers as well, for when an athlete injured himself. Maybe it would have been useful to the ancient Greeks to have a sanctuary, temple, and/or statue of Asclepius (the God of healing and medicine) present at Olympia so that they could give offerings in exchange for restoring their health and energy to compete.
It was cool to walk through the big arch that led to the track, which athletes walked through just before competing. We were able to race on the original track as well, I only made it halfway before I got too lazy to finish.
As always, the views were unreal!