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Ancient Olympic Games
The Ancient Olympic Games were held in Greece. It is believed that Heracles was the initiator of the games in honor of the Gods, especially Zeus. The legend says that it was Heracles who first called the Games "Olympic" and established the custom of holding them every four years. The games were a series of competitions held between representatives of several city-states and kingdoms in Ancient Greece. These games featured mainly athletic but also combat and chariot racing events. During the games, all conflicts among the participating city-states were postponed until the games were finished.
The Olympic Games reached their zenith in the 6th and 5th centuries BC, but then gradually declined in importance as the Romans gained power and influence in Greece. While there is no scholarly consensus as to when the Games officially ended, the most commonly held date is 393 AD, when the emperor Theodosius I decreed that all pagan cults and practices be eliminated. Another date commonly cited is 426 AD, when his successor, Theodosius II, ordered the destruction of all Greek temples. After the demise of the Olympics, they were not held again until the late 19th century.