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Every fourth year at Olympia the Sixteen Women weave a robe for Hera, and they also sponsor the Heraion competition. This contest is a footrace for virgins who are of different ages. They run in three categories: the youngest first, the slightly older ones next, and then the oldest virgins are the last to run….The winners receive a crown of olive branches….They trace the competition of the virgins also back to antiquity. They say that Hippodameia, out of gratitude to Hera for her marriage to Pelops, collected sixteen women and, with them, sponsored the first Heraion.   

               -  Pausanius 170 A.D.  (from Stephen Milller's book, "ARETE."}

Nemean Games 2004\
Ancient Theater Argos

Argos is the oldest town both in Greece and in Europe. In celebration of the history and culture of the area, The Municipality of Argos/Mycenae is sponsoring a running race and cultural festival  as a recreation of Ta Heraea - an  ancient race  of young women. This athletic and cultural event not only benefits the community of Argos and the surrounding area, but is an open invitation to the world to join in a recreation of a seminal event in ancient Greek history.

Taking the lead in such inspiring athletic celebrations are the Revival of the Ancient Nemean Games which are held every four years in nearby Nemea, and have inspired athletes and non-athletes to run in the footsteps of history from as many as 103 countries of the world. ( In the spirit of Arete, the ancient Greek word that once gave Ancient Greek athletics its greater meaning, Ta Heraea will be open to both sexes, all ages, and will include a cycling event as well as a running race. Welcome also are walkers and families with strollers who wish to join in a celebratory procession to what was once an "architectual gem" of the ancient world.


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