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427

OILEUS——OLYMPIAN GAMES.

-with Poseidon for the possession of the

•country. Here also the olive tree was under the special protection of the State; no one was allowed to cut down olive trees on his own plot of land, except for specified pur­poses, and then only a specified number. Moreover many olive trees standing on pri­vate ground were regarded as the property of the goddess of the State, and it was therefore forbidden on pain of death to cut them down. They were under the special control of the Areopagus, which had them inspected from time to time by certain officials, and they were farmed out by the State [Lysias, Or. ix]. Part of the oil thus obtained had to be sold by the farmer to the State at a fixed price; this was only used for festive purposes, especially to be dis­tributed in prizes to the victors in the Pan-athenaic contests [Pindar, Nem. x 35].

Inltalythe olive tree, which spread thence to France and Spain, grew so well that the Italian oil, especially from the neighbour­hood of the South Italian cities Venafrum and Tarentum, and that from the Sabine country, was considered the finest in the world and so met with a ready sale abroad. The best kind was considered to be oil from nnripe olives, especially the first from the press [Pliny, N. H. xv 1-34]. The manu­facture of fragrant oils and ointments, of which the ancients made a far more exten­sive use than ourselves, was very important. There was a very large number of prepara­tions of this kind which were used for embrocations of the person, pomades for the hair of the head and beard, for per­fuming the dress, bath-water and the like. They were prepared, some by a cold method, some by a hot, by mixing oils pressed for the most part from fruits, such as the oil of olives, nuts, and almonds, with the volatile oils derived from native or oriental vege­table substances. The most expensive kinds were brought from the East, the birthplace of this manufacture, as, for example, the much-prized nardlnum, pressed from the flowers of the Indian and Arabian grass nardtis [Pliny, N. H. xiii 1-25]. Tor pre­serving them vessels of stone were preferred, especially those of alabaster [ib. § 19]. To meet the demand, vast perfume manufac­tories existed everywhere in abundance.

Oileus. King of the Locrians, father of the lesser Ajax (q.v., 1).

Olea. A mythical poet of Lycia belonging to early Greek times, standing in connexion with the worship of Apollo in Del6s and represented as having composed the first

hymns for the Delians. The legend which was especially attributed to him was that of Apollo's sojourn among the Hyperboreans. dllgarchla ("Rule of the Few"). The name given in Greek writers to that form of constitution where a portion of the community, privileged either by reason of nobility of birth or of wealth, are exclu­sively, or at least in preference to others, in possession of power. The former case is an example of an absolute despotism; the latter resulted where the magistracies, though filled exclusively from the privileged classes, nevertheless depended on popular election ; or where the mass of the people possessed a share in deliberation or in the drawing up of decrees, while to the privileged body was reserved the right of making proposals, convoking and presiding over the assem­blies, and ratifying the decrees.

Olympiad (Gr. Olympws). A period of four years from one celebration of the Olympian games (see olympian games) to another. The Olympiads were counted from the vic-! tory of Corabus (776 b.c.); the last, the 283rd, ended 394 a.d., with the abolition of the Olympian games. This method of reckoning never passed into everyday life but is of importance, inasmuch as, through the historian Tlmaeus, about 240 b.c., it became the one generally used by the Greek I historians.

Olympian Games (Gr. Olympw). The chief national festival of the Greeks, which was celebrated in honour of Zeus at Olympia, in the Peloponnesian district Pisatis, be­longing to the Eleans, at the point where the Cladefls runs into the Alpheus. The institution of this ancient festival is some­times referred toPisus, the mythical founder of the city Pisa, which was afterwards de­stroyed by the Eleans, and before whose gates lay the sanctuary of Zeus; sometimes to Pelops, in whose honour funeral games j were held at this point on the banks of the Alpheus.

These were restored, it is said, by Hera­cles, who instituted the regular order of the festival. This opinion did not become cur­rent until the Dorian States, established after the immigration of the Heraclldae into the Peloponnesus, had been admitted to a share in the festival, which was originally frequented only by the Pisatans and their immediate neighbours. This admission dates from Lycurgus of Sparta and Iphitua of Elis, who, at the direction of the Delphic oracle, restored the festival of Zeus, now fallen into oblivion, and established the

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