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How Did Ancient Greeks Manage to Win the Most Olympic Awards?

Discovering the before unknown objective laws of the modern world, each of us tends to inevitably face the curious fact that all new is well forgotten old, although with some variations adapted to the social needs of our reality. For example, very few people know that music was actively used in the athletic life of the Ancient world.

In the last few years the idea of stimulating the athletic working capacity during training by means of music has become more prominent. It is used in types of sports that seem to be absolutely incompatible with music. These include but are not limited to, wrestling, boxing, rowing, track and field, weightlifting, volleyball, and basketball.

It has been scientifically proven that by using music during sports training in these sports it is possible to significantly improve the overall mood and increase the endurance of athletes, as well as raise the level of muscular strength, speed and dexterity; thus increasing the general productivity and effectiveness of such training.

Many seem to think that use of music in such "non-musical" kinds of sports is highly novel and unconventional. But things that today seem novel and unconventional to us, already existed in the remote past and were considered to be natural and indispensable. For example, let's have a look at ancient athletics.

One of the first countries of the Ancient world that passed law on use of music in physical training and sports within its own state, was Sparta.

Falet, Cretan wise man, sorcerer, musician and a poet, brought various motets to Sparta and these harmonious melodies were used during many gymnastic exercises, wrestling and fisticuffs (fist fights).

Some of the tunes were able to put athletes into a state of trance. They can be described as peculiar specific song-dances performed by the naked athletes in special schools during physical exercises in a unified group rhythm, controlled by music.

Mass introduction of music into the physical training of ancient Sparta prior to any other states, most likely has had a huge impact on the fact that Spartan athletes won the most Olympic awards in the VII century B.C.

According to the lists of victors of the Olympic Games, - that reached our time, - the advantage of Spartans was overwhelming and incontestable. Following the successful example of Sparta, other states started to apply "musical" sports training that become more and more popular.

In the middle of the VII century B.C. a new form of sports songs that honoured the winners of national sport competitions emerged.

Starting from the VI century B.C. the development of musical stimulation of athletics was played by Pythagoras' followers.

Pythagoras, who in addition to all his numerous merits, was also the victor of the Olympic Games in wrestling and fist fighting. He promoted the wide application of music in physical education on a scientific-theoretical basis in every way possible. It was his students who contributed to the work of musical stimulation of human activity and scientifically proved the theoretical positions that practical application considerably increased the efficiency of applied musical influences.

Active work on stimulation of wrestling training to music was conducted by well-known Pythagoras' associate, Milo of Croton; the singer, philosopher, scientist and most outstanding, wrestler of antiquity. Milo was a six time Olympic victor during 540-516 BC, and also repeatedly won many victories in the most important athletic festivals of ancient Greece. His athletic achievements are unique. After Milo's career, the world apparently produced no other athletes as well renown.

Being an active member of a Pythagorean society, Milo of Croton used himself as an example to show the advantage of using music in sports training.

Copyright (c) 2010 Tatiana Bandurina

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