Tuesday, 6 April 2021


Courtesy of our faithful chronicler, we are reminded how on this day in 1896, Charles Pierre de Frédy, Baron of Coubertin revived the Olympic Games, held for the first time since they were banned by Roman Emperor Theodosius I upon his decree that pagan practises be eliminated.&Held every four years at the sanctuary of Zeus in Olympia, the festival (Ὀλυμπιακοί Ἀγῶνες, agony—that is, contest) was a religious and athletic event imbued with a mythological origin and significance held among all Greek city states. While untrue that there was a general secession in fighting whilst the Games were held, there was a truce and pilgrims were allowed free-passage through belligerent lands to attend. Legendarily, a race of ten spirit males called the Dactyls or Daktyloi were spontaneously generated when the Great Mother Rhea dug her fingers into the earth as she prepared to give birth to Zeus. These lesser gods who taught the arts of metal smithing and healing were also happy to help entertain the infant Olympian with sports competitions. Different traditions exist with multiples thereof but the hand of the Idaean Dactyls (see also) pitted Herakles, the thumb, against his brothers Aeonius (forefinger), Epimedes (middle finger), Iasus (ring finger) and Idas (little finger).