Test: GED Social Studies

Adapted from A Smaller History of Greece from the Earliest Times to the Roman Conquest by William Smith (1897)

During the sixth century before the common era, three other national festivals—the Pythian, Nemean, and Isthmian games—which were at first only local became open to the whole nation. The Pythian games were celebrated in every third Olympic year, on the Cirrhaean plain in Phocis, under the superintendence of the Amphictyons. The games consisted not only of matches in gymnastics and of horse and chariot races, but also of contests in music and poetry. They soon acquired celebrity, and became second only to the great Olympic festival. The Nemean and Isthmian games occurred more frequently than the Olympic and Pythian. They were celebrated once in two years—the Nemean in the valley of Nemea between Phlius and Cleonae—and the Isthmian by the Corinthians, on their isthmus, in honor of Poseidon (Neptune). As in the Pythian festival, contests in music and in poetry, as well as gymnastics and chariot-races, formed part of these games. Although the four great festivals of which we have been speaking had no influence in promoting the political union of Greece, they nevertheless were of great importance in making the people feel that they were all members of one family, and in cementing them together by common sympathies and the enjoyment of common pleasures. The frequent occurrence of these festivals, for one was celebrated every gear, tended to the same result. The Greeks were thus annually reminded of their common origin.


What is the primary focus of this text?

The unique characteristics of each of the various games and festivals participated in by the Greeks

Why the Greeks were so opposed to foreigners of all kinds

How athletic and fit the ancient Greeks were

How the Greeks came to develop a shared identity through mutual participation in games and festivals

Why the Greeks developed a love of philosophy and democracy

1/3 questions


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