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Athletes also swore that they had been training responsibly for 10 months. The Hellanodikai who judged the ages of boys (and by 384 of colts) took an oath to judge fairly, accept no gifts, and keep secret any information about the competitors. Three judges ran the hippic events, three ran the footraces, and the rest ran the combat events. Conspicuous with their purple robes and forked sticks, the judges could expel, fine, or scourge athletes for cheating or lying. They paired opponents, assigned lanes or byes using lots, identified victors, and awarded prize wreaths.

Parnell discusses in some detail the types and causes of riots in Constantinople, including the famous Nika Riot of 532. He suggests that the young partisans of the Blue and Green chariot racing teams fomented riots in part out of a desire for “sport” in the sense of personal competition, aggression, and team spirit. Note 1 The same word, naumachiae, is used to mean both this and, as discussed by Dunkle in Chapter 25, the staged naval battles themselves. References Beacham, R. 1999. Spectacle Entertainments of Early Imperial Rome.

Despite their oath, ancient Olympians sought advantages and sometimes crossed the line. Some offenses were ad hoc fouls in the heat of competition, but others involved ruthless ambition, planning, and collusion. 2–18). 4 The Olympic Program of Contests The exact sequence of activities at Olympia remains uncertain, but by the mid-fifth­ century contests and religious rituals were intermingled over a five-day festival (Lee 2001). 2, whose accuracy on details is ­sometimes doubted; cf. Christesen 2007a: 16–17, 66, 476–8).

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