|The Story of the Greeks|
|by Helene A. Guerber|
| Elementary history of Greece, made up principally of stories about persons, giving at the same time a clear idea of the most important events in the ancient world and calculated to enforce the lessons of perseverance, courage, patriotism, and virtue that are taught by the noble lives described. Beginning with the legends of Jason, Theseus, and events surrounding the Trojan War, the narrative moves on to present the contrasting city-states of Sparta and Athens, the war against Persia, their conflicts with each other, the feats of Alexander the Great, and annexation by Rome. Ages 10-14 |
THE GIRLS' GAMES
ALTHOUGH the women and girls were not often allowed to appear in
public, or to witness certain of the Olympic games,
there were special days held sacred to them, when the
girls also strove for prizes.
They too ran races; and it must have been a pretty
sight to see all those healthy, happy girls running
around the stadium, as the foot-race course was called.
One of these races was called the torch race, for each
runner carried a lighted torch in her hand. All were
allowed to try to put out each other's light; and the
prize was given to the maiden who first reached the
goal with her torch aflame, or to the one who kept hers
A Torch Race.
The prize for the girls was the same as that given to
the boys; but the boys took part in more games, and
 were present in greater numbers, than the girls, and
their victories were praised much more than those of
The crowd of people watching the games often grew so
excited that they carried the victor all around the
grounds on their shoulders, while Olympia fairly
re-echoed with their cries of joy.
We are also told that one old man called Chilo was so
happy when his son laid at his feet the crowns he had
just won, that he actually died of joy, thus turning
his son's happiness into bitter grief.
While all the foot races took place in the stadium, the
horse and chariot races were held in the hippodrome,
and excited the greatest interest. There were two-,
four-, and eight-horse races; and, as the horses were
sometimes unruly, the chariots were liable to be
overturned. Thus at times a number of horses would
fall in a heap, and lie struggling and kicking in the
dust, which added to the general excitement.
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