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04-09-2011, 11:48   #1
Join Date: Nov 2009
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Greek olympics had Meath roots?

Historically, the Áenach Tailteann gathering was a time for contests of strength and skill, and a favored time for contracting marriages and winter lodgings. A peace was declared at the festival, and religious celebrations were also held.

Games consisted of athletic, gymnastic and equestrian contests of various kinds, and included running, long-jumping, high-jumping, hurling, quoit-throwing, spear-casting, sword and shield contests, wrestling, boxing, swimming, horse-racing, chariot-racing, spear or pole jumping, slinging contests, bow-and-arrow exhibitions, and, in fact, every sort of contest exhibiting physical endurance and skill.

In addition, there were literary, musical, oratorical, and story-telling competitions, singing and dancing competitions, and tournaments of all kinds.

Also, competitions for goldsmiths, jewellers, and artificers in the precious metals; for spinners, weavers and dyers; and the makers of shields and weapons of war.

All were conducted under specially prescribed conditions; and articles of guaranteed home-manufacture were examined and tested with the greatest care.

All kinds of food, merchandise, live-stock, household utensils, cloth, arms, and articles of wearing apparel were on exhibition, as well as for sale. It is recorded that the Greeks, had special Great Marts of their own allotted to them for the sale of precious gems, jewellery, gold ornaments, and many coloured silken cloaks.

It is thought that the ancient Greek traders took the template of the Teltown games back to Greece with them to form the basis of the ancient Greek Olympics.

Does anyone have any information on this? It sounds like typical tourism boards inventive history.
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04-09-2011, 20:56   #2
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Jack B Yeats - Olympian

I don't know anything about Tailteann

Here is Jack B's 1924 medal -so the Olympics even weren't all about sport.

Silver Olympic Medal received by Jack B. Yeats


Yeats Archive, presented by Anne Yeats, 1996
Jack B. Yeats (1871–1957) won this silver olympic medal for his painting ‘The Liffey Swim’ (NGI 941) in 1924. Art competitions formed part of the modern Olympic Games during its early years, from 1912 to 1948 and medals were awarded for works of art inspired by sport. Works were divided into five categories: architecture, literature, music, painting, and sculpture. The medals for the 1924 Olympic Games were designed by French medal artist André Adolphe Rivaud, (1892 – unknown).

Last edited by CDfm; 04-09-2011 at 20:58.
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04-09-2011, 22:33   #3
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That's an interesting story and timely considering the Liffey swim was held today. Also a lovely painting.
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04-09-2011, 23:28   #4
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Teltown (Tailtin) out the Kells road from Navan, on the righthand side next to the gaeltachtaí of Oristown and Baile Ghib (down the road from the late Seán Mac Stiofáin's house) is by most accounts the historic site of the Tailteann games. The games were held to honour Tailtiu, reputedly the last queen of the fir bolg who became a goddess of the harvest.
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09-09-2011, 03:06   #5
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interesting stuff alright.

There's something of the Tailteann Games on Pathe News

There should be some other footage around as well.
Incredible to think that newly independent Ireland thought to hold Games just after the War of Independence and Civil War.

The ancient Greek Olympics are recorded back as far as 776BC, the Tailteann Games on the other hand are much older, back to 1829BC, according to Wikipedia. Unbelievable stuff

I don't think the Tailteann Games influenced the Olympics though.

Should we revive the Tailteann Games?
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