Isthmian Games

The Isthmian Games were held every two years, from the middle of the 6th century B.C. in honor of Poseidon at Isthmus Sanctuary, near Corinth. They were conducted in the spring of the Olympic year and again in the spring of the second year after the Olympics and included foot races, wrestling, boxing, pankration and the pentathlon. Later were added equestrian and chariot races. The program was supplemented with musical contests. The archaeological findings indicate that initially great celebrations were held in honor of Poseidon, but that the athletic events, that lasted only three days, were added later. Their program began at dawn with a sacrifice to Poseidon, followed by lunch, while the athletic contests began in the afternoon. The Games closed with a big feast. From the 5th century B.C., along with the athletic events, music, poetry and contests in rhetoric were held. The athletic contests took place in the stadium and the artistic ones in the theater. Winners were crowned with a pine wreath.