Pelops, Namesake of the Peloponnese

Pelops, Namesake of the Peloponnese Ancient Places and/or Civilizations Archeological Wonders Biographies Sports Legends and Legendary People

Pelops, a key character in ancient Greek mythology, is the namesake for the southern part of Greece’s mainland.  

Known, to this day, as the Peloponnese (or Peloponnesus, meaning “Island of Pelops”), this area of Greece includes mountains, gorges, valleys and meadows filled with beautiful wild flowers.

Pelops, according to legend, is the one who personally gave his name to the land which includes the ancient cities of Olympia and Elis.  After defeating King Oinomaos in a chariot race, in which Oinomaos died, Pelops married the King’s daughter (Hippodameia) and became King himself.

It was Pelops who first called-for games at Olympia to honor both Zeus (the chief god of ancient Greece) and to celebrate the life of Oinomaos (after his death).  Those honorary games led to a thousand-year tradition in the ancient Greek world.

This image depicts a plaster cast which copies a marble statue of Pelops.  The original statue was located at the pediment of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia and was likely made circa 460 B.C.  It was found at Olympia and is now maintained at the Olympia Museum.

Media Credits

Image online via Wikimedia Commons.



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"Pelops, Namesake of the Peloponnese" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Aug 25, 2019.
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