The Macedonians and the Olympic Games

The Macedonians participated in the Olympic Games, competition allowed only for Greeks, while the day that Alexander The Great was born Parmenion defeated the Illyrians in a big battle, i.e.: “In regard to Alexander’s origin from his father’s side that he was descendant of Hercules by way of Karanos, and that from his mother’s side he was descendant of Aiakos, by way of Neoptolemos, these are henceforth accepted facts…. And to Philip II, who had just conquered Potidea simultaneously came three messages. First, that the Illyrians were defeated by Parmenion in a big battle, second, that he had won in the horse-riding event in the Olympic Games and third, the birth of Alexander, (Plutarch, Alexander 1 - 3).

Macedonian Olympic champions: King Alexander A’, in the 80th Olympic Games, 460 B.C. ran the Stadium and came-in second by the slight margin of the chest. King Archelaos Perdikas, competed in the 93rd Olympic Games, 408 B.C. and won in Delphi in the tethrippon event. King Philip B΄won three times in Olympic competition: In the 106th Olympic Games, 356 B.C. won the horse race. In the 107th Olympic Games, 352 B.C. he ran and won the tethrippon event. In the 108th Olympic Games, 348 B.C., he won the synorida event. Kliton won the Stadium event in the 113th Olympic Games, in 328 B.C. Damasias of Amfipolis ran the Stadium event and won. In the 115th Olympic Games, in 320 B.C. Lampou the Filippisios, was the winner in tethrippon. In the 119th Olympic Games, in 304 B.C.Antigonos ran the Stadium event and won. In the 122nd Olympic Games, in 292 B.C. and the 123rd Olympic Games 288 B.C. Selefkos ran the Stadium event and won. In the 128th Olympic Games, 268 B.C., he won over a woman athlete from Macedonia in the event ‘syromenon’. The writer Pafsanias reports: “Winner they say in the ‘synorida’ event was declared a woman athlete from Velestich from coastal Macedonia”.

Similarly biographer Plutarch reports that Philip II, father of Alexander The Great, engraved in the currencies the victories of his chariots in Olympia (see Plutarch Alexander 4), as well as that Parmenion, Philip’s general and Alexander The Great, won in horse racing in the Olympic Games (see Plutarch, Alexander 3).


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