Pelops - Originator of the Olympics

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 created around 460 B.C.  It was found at Olympia and is now maintained at the Olympia Museum.

Click on the image for a better view.

0 Question or Comment?
click to read or comment
2 Questions 2 Ponder
click to read and respond
0 It's Awesome!
vote for your favorite

Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5183stories and lessons created

Original Release: Dec 10, 2016

Updated Last Revision: Dec 10, 2016

Media Credits

Image online via Wikimedia Commons.



To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Pelops - Originator of the Olympics" AwesomeStories.com. Dec 10, 2016. Oct 17, 2019.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips