A document over 2000 years old has been recently discovered, in which famous Greek philosopher Plato complains about having to sit through a lengthy opening ceremony at the Ancient Olympics. Not usually known as a cynic, Plato nevertheless seemed to relish moaning about the event.
The document describes his attendance at the games at Olympia in 364 BC. The games themselves lasted only five days, although the opening ceremony consisted of a further three days of feasting.
"If I have to sit through another parade of all the athletes, I think I'll kill myself," he whines. "First they parade naked, then they parade in order of the city state they come from. Then they parade dressed as hoplites. It's so boring, even worse than that one time I took an 18-30 holiday to Lesbos. Thank Christ I was drunk for most of the ceremony!"
Plato also said that he was not pleased about the entertainment during the feasting. He complained that there was too many poets and mime artists, and often the poems were completely irrelevant to the Olympics.
"Why on earth did I have to endure a two hour epic poem about Hippocrates and his contributions to modern medicine, I don't know. If I wasn't so stuffed with kebabs, I would have had to punch someone. Sadly there are no horses available as they're all reserved by the Olympic transport committee, so I have no chance of leaving until it is over."
He then complained that he was dissatisfied with the irreverence of some of the ceremonial themes.
"Not one mention of Thermopylae - disgraceful. Instead we saw a thespian dressed as Hercules riding an elephant into the stadium alongside the Kings of Sparta. This kind of overblown spectacle is disrespectful and tawdry. I would expect this sort of thing at the Hippodrome, but not at the Olympics. And why was Homer yellow?"
Finally Plato summed up his disappointment by questioning the cost of the festival. "It was ridiculous the sheer amount of drachmas spent on the Olympic opening. But at least Greece will always be able to afford it."