The First Olympics - Blood, Honor, and Glory (History Channel)

9780767060998: The First Olympics - Blood, Honor, and Glory (History Channel)
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Return to ancient Greece and witness the Bacchanalian excess and raw competition of THE FIRST OLYMPICS. While the gods looked down brutal contests of boxing wrestling chariot racing and an early form of no-holds-barred fighting called Pankration raged within the bloodied arena. In honor of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games THE HISTORY CHANNEL- proudly presents THE FIRST OLYMPICS--a compilation of three compelling full-length documentaries that explore the origins and culture behind the world's greatest sporting event. THE FIRST OLYMPICS--Visit the ruins of ancient Olympia see the stadium that once hosted the games and discover the essential role this epic festival played in ancient Greece. BLOOD AND HONOR AT THE FIRST OLYMPICS--In the name of Zeus and glory boxers runners and charioteers compete in this ultimate challenge of champions. The winners are bathed in olive oil; the losers hope for survival. (Narrated by Leonard Nimoy) THE GREEK GODS--From Aphrodite to Zeus these are the myths rituals and legacies of history's most storied pantheon. DVD Features: Top Medal Rankings by Country and Athlete; Interactive Menus; Scene Selection

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The First Olympics: Blood, Honor, and Glory includes three exciting History Channel documentaries about ancient roots of the Olympics in fact and myth. Curiously, the first two films, "The First Olympics" and "Blood and Honor at the First Olympics," are essentially the same, with slightly different narration, editing, and chapter titles. Of the two, "Blood and Honor" is a little more streamlined and is voiced by Leonard Nimoy, but the material is compelling enough to check out both works over time. Among other things, one learns that the first Olympians competed in the nude for all sports, that winning was everything and penalties for fouls and bribes were severe, and that there has been an Olympics committee--and Olympics competition every four years--since 776 B.C. "The Greek Gods" is a fine supplemental work introducing us to Zeus, in whose honor the Olympics were born, and the other divinities on Mt. Olympus. --Tom Keogh

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