The beginning of the Ancient Olympics is one that shrouds itself in mystery. Although ancient records date back to 776 B.C, it's possible that they could have begun even a century before that. The games were based on the traditional funeral games, such as the games held for Hector and Patroclus in Homer's Iliad. Like the funeral games, they were held for a certain amount of time, and all ongoing wars were on hold until the end of the games, in a sense of respect.
The many theories of the start if the olympics include the possibilty that Zeus proclaimed the games to celebrate his victory over Cronus and the titans. Another popular idea is that Heracles won a foot race against a local in Olympia and declared that the race be reenacted every four years. Whatever the origin, the Ancient Olympic games continued to obtain a rich history of victory, defeat, peace, and honor, as explained in the next page, History and Demise.