Heralds (spondophoroi) were sent from Elis to advertise the…

Heralds (spondophoroi) were sent from Elis to advertise the coming of the Games across Greece. Spectators came from not only the Greek mainland but also the islands, Ionia and Magna Graecia. To facilitate the movement of spectators and athletes and in respect of the religious importance of the Games a sacred truce (ekecheiria) was called across Greece. Initially, the truce was for one month but in later centuries it was extended to three. No wars were permitted, no arms could be carried in the territory of Elis and no hindrance was to be given to any spectator, athlete or theoriai – (the official missions representing particular cities) travelling to the games from wherever they came from and whichever territory they had to cross.

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