Nemean Games

The Nemean Games were originally instituted every two years as funeral athletic games, in commemoration of the death of Opheltes, on the second full moon after the summer solstice, the year before and the year after the Olympic Games. Young Opheltes, sun of the king of Nemea Lycurgus, died from the bite of a snake that emerged from some wild celery. According to the written tradition, the games began in 573 B.C., while later they were held in honour of Zeus. They were gymnic (nude) and equestrian, and the winners received a wreath of wild celery leaves. They were mostly of athletic character, like the Olympic games, as they were no musical or dramatic games, which is indicated by the fact that no theater was found in the area, but only a stadium. From 270 B.C. and onwards the games were held in Argos.