Saturday, November 27, 2010

Those Greeks!

Married women were forbidden by law to watch, let alone compete, in the ancient Olympics. The Greeks believed that the presence of wives in Olympia would defile Greece’s oldest religious shrine, which was located there. However, young maidens were allowed to attend. Any married woman who dared break the rule was thrown from a nearby cliff to her death. Ironically, the shrine that was off-limits to married women was dedicated to a woman, the fertility goddess Rhea, who was mother of the supreme god, Zeus.