Pausanias X 7, 2-8

Pausanias explains when the different events were introduced at the Pythian games.

According to the tradition the oldest contest, for which they first offered prizes, was singing a hymn for the god. … In the third year of the 48th olympiad, in which Glaukias of Kroton won (586 BC), the Amphiktyony offered prizes for kithara-singers as from the beginning, but they added a contest for singing accompanied by a flute and for playing the flute. As victors were proclaimed: Melanpous of Kephalai in the kithara-singing, Echembrotos of Arkadia in singing accompanied by a flute and Sakadas of Argos in playing the flute. This Sakadas won two more victories at the next two Pythian games. In this year they also offered prizes for athletes for the first time. The events were the same as those at Olympia, except for the four-horse chariot, and they added the dolichos and the diaulos for boys themselves.
At the second Pythian games (582 BC) they did not invite them to compete for prizes anymore, but from then on they made the games crown-games. They also abolished the singing accompanied by a flute, because they found the sound of it inauspicious. … They added a horse race: Kleisthenes, the tyrant of Sikyon, was proclaimed as victor in the race for four-horse chariots.
At the eighth Pythian games (558 BC) they introduced an extra contest for the kitharists who played without singing. Agelaos of Tegea was crowned for this. At the 23th Pythian games (498 BC) they added the race in armour. Epainetos of Phlieus won the laurel crown,  five olympiads after the Olympic victory of Damaretos of Heraia . At the 48th Pythian games (395 BC) they introduced horse races for two-horse chariots. The two-horse chariot of Exekestids from Phocis won. In the fifth Pythian games after this (378 BC) they also yoked foals to a four-horse chariot. The four-horse chariot of Orphondas of Thebes outran the others.
Pankration for boys and races for two-horse chariots with foals and for foals with rider were introduced many years afterwards from Elis: the pankration at the 61st games (346 BC) and Iolaidas of Thebes won, the race for foals with rider two games later (338 BC) and the races for two-horse chariots with foals at the 69th Pythian games (314 BC). Lykormas of Larissa was proclaimed victor in the race for foals with rider, Ptolemaios of Macedonia in the race for two-horse chariots. The kings in Egypt liked to be called Macedonians, as in fact they were.
The crown for a victory at the Pythian games is a laurel crown, for no other reason than that Apollo fell in love with the daughter of Ladon according to the story.

Greek

Daphnis, the daughter of Ladon, changed in a laurel plant according to the story. Daphne is the Greek word for laurel.

Event

Olympia

Delphi

Music

kithara-singing

        -

of old

singing + flute

        -

586 BC

playing the flute

        -

586 BC

playing the kithara

        -

586 BC

Sport

stadion

776 BC

586 BC

diaulos

724 BC

586 BC

dolichos

720 BC

586 BC

pentathlon

708 BC

586 BC

wrestling

708 BC

586 BC

boxing

688 BC

586 BC

four-horse chariot

680 BC

582 BC

pankration

648 BC

586 BC

race on horseback

648 BC

586 BC

stadion for boys

632 BC

586 BC

wrestling for boys

632 BC

586 BC

boxing for boys

616 BC

586 BC

diaulos for boys

        -

586 BC

dolichos for boys

        -

586 BC

race in armour

520 BC

498 BC

two-horse chariot

408 BC

398 BC

four-horse chariot for foals

384 BC

378 BC

two-horse chariot for foals

264 BC

314 BC

race on horseback for foals

256 BC

338 BC

pankration for boys

200 BC

346 BC

Most events were first introduced at Olympia by the Eleans and then taken over by the Delphians. But concerning the three last events Pausanias makes a mistake: these were first introduced at Delphi and only later at Olympia.

© KU Leuven, 2012