Go for the Gold: The Strange History of Olympic Medals

Gold medal

At the first Olympic Games back in 776 BCE, competitors did not receive medals. Instead the top athletes were crowned with wreaths made of olive leaves. This tradition continued until Roman emperor Theodosius I (or perhaps his son) abolished the Olympics around the year 400 CE. The revival of the Olympics dates from the late 19th century, with the first modern Games taking place in 1896. The awarding of medals arose around this time as well, though its roots lie in ancient Greek mythology.

The materials gold, silver, and bronze play a major role in the Ages of Man, which form the basic timeline of Greek mythology. The Golden Age refers to a time when men lived among the gods in peace and harmony. The Silver Age is characterized by impiety and human weakness, and in this time, youth lasted 100 years. The Bronze Age marks a period of war and violence. Following these ages are the Heroic Age (the time when the heros of the Trojan War lived) and the Iron Age (modern times). The Greek poet Hesiod includes all five ages in his famous didactic poem Works and Days, written around 700 BCE. However Ovid’s Metamorphoses, written around 8 CE, omits the Heroic Age.

Gold has long been thought to be a precious metal thanks to its scarcity and its luminous color. In his play Plutus, first produced in 408 BCE, comic playwright Aristophanes jokingly suggests that the winners of the Olympics would receive gold as their prize, if only Zeus weren’t so poor:

Why, Zeus is poor, and I will clearly prove it to you. In the Olympic games, which he founded, and to which he convokes the whole of Greece every four years, why does he only crown the victorious athletes with wild olive? If he were rich he would give them gold.

Perhaps this humorous passage, or others like it, inspired the fathers of the modern Olympic Games to present gold to the top athletes, though the implementation of this coveted prize didn’t happen right away. At the first modern Olympic Games, which took place in Athens in 1896, winners received silver medals and olive branches (there wasn’t enough money to mint gold ones), and the runners-up received bronze medals. The second modern Games took place in Paris in 1900, and winners actually received valuable paintings and works of art rather than gold medals. Four years later in St. Louis, the first-, second-, and third-place athletes were awarded the gold, silver, and bronze medals. The tradition of awarding solid-gold medals to champions was short lived, ending after the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm. The gold medals of today are mostly silver and are gilt with six grams of gold.

In the 18th century, the term medal was widely used to refer to an award of recognition, though back then medals were not strictly associated with athletic pursuits. While the Olympics were not the first event to feature gold, silver, and bronze medals, this worldwide sports competition is certainly the most famous event that awards these prizes to date.


  1. mick -  November 17, 2016 - 1:40 pm

    Really i don’t understand this thing that they call an omlympic

  2. Somethinginyourdrawer -  September 10, 2016 - 12:16 pm

    Not helpful, I need an article about the olympians of the 1900s.

    • Super Dwayne and his super cello -  November 9, 2016 - 10:38 am

      yeah! Christ for the win!

  3. Daniel -  August 30, 2016 - 9:12 pm

    some gilt with six grams of gold or is it…

  4. mine_Turtle -  August 23, 2016 - 2:49 pm


  5. joseph -  August 16, 2016 - 4:29 pm

    I am interested in many things

  6. StevenKeys -  August 12, 2016 - 10:03 am

    I’ve gotta’ say (again) Lexiconians, that’s the sorriest looking “gold” medal I’ve ever seen. Best effort? “Maybe no (Furio).” Where’d you find it? Couldn’t be from an Olympiad. Le’me guess, winner of this year’s potato-sack race at the annual Dictionary.com summer picnic? Everybody’s a winner!

    • Nocturnal -  August 20, 2016 - 7:34 pm

      Looks like a generic participation medal. Pretty lame stock photo choice. Must have been a freebie.

    • wiliam -  August 21, 2016 - 10:24 am

      Too bad the oic can’t give real gold medals. This is crazy. It’s just a material that’s found in the ground, give it away…..

  7. Bruh -  August 9, 2016 - 7:22 pm


    • WHAT ARE THOSE? -  August 11, 2016 - 1:34 pm

      THIS IS a very useful page.
      Helped a lot.

    • Bruh -  August 15, 2016 - 10:47 am


      • Dude -  August 18, 2016 - 6:10 pm


    • Bruhhhh -  August 29, 2016 - 8:38 am


  8. Jodie -  August 9, 2016 - 12:42 am

    That you are the best of the best

    • Jodie -  August 9, 2016 - 12:43 am


    • Brynoo -  August 10, 2016 - 2:23 am

      sneaky beaky like

      • TeamLiquid_s1mple -  August 13, 2016 - 3:27 pm

        I get it lol

        • mine_Turtle -  August 23, 2016 - 2:48 pm

          I don’t no LOL

    • abby -  August 13, 2016 - 9:05 pm

      so are you……i love you

  9. Maureen -  August 8, 2016 - 8:26 pm

    Atheist for sure!!!

    Can’t remember the philosopher, but he created the buoyancy test to see if the King’s Crown was made of real gold or plated!!!… interesting fact I thought I’d share!!!

    • Alana -  August 9, 2016 - 1:29 pm

      No. The majority of academia uses CE. Especially Jews, Muslims, Hindi, Buddhists, etc.

      • Michael -  August 12, 2016 - 2:48 am

        Of course,ALLL BUT the Christians will jump ship to try to marginalize the over-arching influence of Christendom on Western Civilization and the culture.

        Since this terminology along with the more proper A.D. & B.C. has been easily accepted in modernizing our calendar used worldwide was chosen by a Catholic Pope, why do we have to shoehorn in a look-alike set of terms. They appeal to the same event, the birth of the World’s Savior.

        “Common Era”? Common among whom? What changed in the Buddhist world making the work of the calendar now to have a commonality with Buddhism? Any ideas?

        Let’s try the Hindus. I don’t know of a single argument to answer the question.

        I’m guessing it was just the Jews who started it; so they could use a western calendar and not have to say the name of the Savior, Jesus. Similar to their aversion to saying the name of Deity they were given in their own Scriptures to use. Jews also use the Hebrew for, “The Name,” “Hashem,” to avoid saying G-d’s name in that way as well.

        • Patrick -  August 15, 2016 - 9:03 am

          I thought CE stood for ‘Christian Era’?

          • Bart -  August 18, 2016 - 4:59 pm

            Common era.

        • Bart -  August 18, 2016 - 5:02 pm

          Since when–and why–are A.D. and B.C. “more proper?” The word “common” implies that the whole world has adopted a more or less universal calendar reckoning and avoids the religious baggage that isn’t appropriate for all cultures. What do you have against inclusive language?

          • Blade Andrews -  August 23, 2016 - 2:40 pm

            Except it’s not “common,” is it? In fact, regardless of any false implication inherent to BCE & CE, its usage is still uncommon, as this entire post train underscores. Irrespective of religion, its usage is not nearly as catholic as B.C. or A.D. (oooh, how I bet you HATE when catholic is used in that manner!) Therein lies the excruciatingly frustrating problem with dimwits- you are pushing inconvenience, and falsity, for the sake of your inconsequential little feelings.

        • Addict With A Pen -  October 27, 2016 - 7:44 am

          Hey Michael that’s pretty cool. Defending the faith on the internet. I admire your hard work.

    • Kumar -  August 10, 2016 - 10:28 pm

      Archimedes is the one you meant, I believe. He found out the principle of buoyancy.

      • Michael -  August 12, 2016 - 2:53 am

        The Principle of Buoyancy or Principle of (Water) Displacement.

    • Eben Flood -  August 13, 2016 - 2:42 pm

      Archimedes. The idea came to him as he lowered himself into his bath and he noticed the level of the water rise. He was so excited that he ran naked out of his house crying, “Eureka!”

      • Eben Flood -  August 13, 2016 - 2:43 pm

        Oops. I didn’t read down far enough. I see the info was already provided.

    • Santa -  August 14, 2016 - 10:21 am

      Yeah i remember. I think his name was Archimedes because the principle was called Archimedes’ principle.

      • Nocturnal -  August 20, 2016 - 9:57 pm

        Maureen, et al – Please respect atheists just as you wish to be respected as Christians. Atheism is *not* a belief. Look the word up – it simply means a lack of gods. In no way shape or form does it mean a hatred of Christians. It’s simply disbelief in historical mythical gods – all gods – not just yours, nothing more – and we are not devil worshippers and we do not put A-1 sauce on babies before eating them raw. Maybe Worchester sauce, but not A-1. Many Christians preach hatred towards people who think this way out of fear from the pulpits and its spread around and ends up in places like a discussion of Olympic medals. So sad.

        So much disinformation, lies and outright hatred is focused at atheists from the Christian communities that it’s outright against the teachings of the Lord Jesus to give lip service to and nothing more from my experience. It’s shame so many do not practice what Jesus is said to have taught. And whether he was real or not the messages are true and relevant throughout time and the human experience.

        You do not need to be a Christian to follow those teachings. I do. Yes a born atheist. Big surmise – most of us do! Jesus said to love everyone – especially those different from yourself. Some responders here have proven otherwise. American Christendom has gone so far astray from his message since it became politicized and aligned with the right wing politics of negativity, division and hate.

        To keep with the thread’s topic, remember the Bible’s Golden Rule: Luke 6:31 says that you should treat others the way you want to be treated. I could quote many more such as Jesus saying “Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to notice the beam in your own eye?” Atheists do not hate Christians, their god or his son their savior.

        And in the spirit of cooperation here’s another historical gold fact for you, Maureen: As we all know (I hope!) King Midas did not repair or replace automobile exhaust systems nor convert them to precious metals – the mythical Midas possessed the gift where everything he fingered instantly turn into gold. Must have made eating a sandwich very problematic. I too have a similar gift – except everything that I touch turns to crap.

        I do apologize for my long windedness.

  10. ISAIAH -  August 8, 2016 - 9:28 am


    • Jodie -  August 9, 2016 - 12:45 am

      You are being rude to the people that do. ISAIAH.

      • Alana -  August 9, 2016 - 2:28 pm

        He is being a lot less rude than the Christians who insist the the majority of the planet (the non-Christians) refer to dates using the archaic Christian terms BC and AD.

        • john smith -  August 11, 2016 - 6:30 pm

          ma’am, i don’t appreciate how you seem to think that all christians are like this.

          • tajarae -  August 15, 2016 - 8:15 pm

            preach girl PREACH!

          • Nocturnal -  August 21, 2016 - 3:49 am

            I’m sorry John Smith, but she is correct. The majority of Christians tend to all read from the same playbook. It is not obvious to you because you lack the ability to stand outside your group and view Christians as a whole. This is true of any large group of like minded peoples who ascribe to the same dogma or life view – heck they could all be yoga practitioners. So this is not attacking Christianity. Speaking of that, I always find it amusing when I hear American Christians going on and on about how they are being attacked and persecuted. That cannot be since Christianity is the largest and most popular religion in this country. But there is a reason for this shared belief of persecution. They are taught this at an early age despite it not being true since the days of Charlemagne. There are no more Christian martyrs – but the stories about Nero’s atrocities (which caused the revenge fantasy Revelations to be written – hint: It wasn’t written to be taken as a certain to happen future event but a wish for it to happen right at the time it was created due to the fear that Nero, despite being dead, was so powerful that he too would rise from the dead just like Jesus and continue persecuting Christians. But as everyone knows, people do not come back from death. What is really ridiculous is the “War on Christmas” – Because lf the majority lf the US population being Christian, they work and run those businesses being attacked. It’s all so silly.

        • Michael -  August 12, 2016 - 3:17 am

          1)B.C.–Before Christ. Ex.:”That event was in 15 B.C.”
          A.D.–Anno Domini (fr. Latin, “In the year of our Lord.”*
          Ex.:”Jerusalem was destroyed in A.D. 70.”

          *–It would sound awkward in English to say, “Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 in the year of our Lord.”

          2)NAME CALLING–”archaic” It is still used today. How can you call it, “Archaic”?

          3)”INSIST”–It is a Christian-created calendar. (Don’t forget Pope Gregory is referenced as the creator of the calendar.) Are you offended that the Muslims “force” us to say, “Hijab”. How offensive to us Christians who simply call it a mask. Hope I got the correct Muslim woman’s accessory.
          Are you on the other side of the fence now?

        • Kathleen -  August 14, 2016 - 7:57 am

          Naming of things discovered or invented often acquires the name or preference of its inventor. If someone Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, etc. discovered or invented something they would have named it with something they preferred. However Alana to your misfortune, and that of this whole world you speak of, the division of the centuries was coined by a Catholic scholar and since most of the educated world at the time were Catholic, Christian, it became widely adopted as the norm. Given your logic I guess you would also want to rename ‘pasteur’ization, Boyle’s law of gases, Haley’s comet, and the names of countless diseases or is it just Christian references you detest. Maybe you would like to rename and redesign our present calendar system, the Gregorian calendar, named after Pope Gregory III. A man who thought it important enough to commission and pay for the correction of the previously used flawed Julian calendar. Or better yet, why don’t you go about the area you live and rename all the Catholic hospitals and charities created for those in need which no one else at the time even cared about. People would prefer to think that Catholics, Christians, are the cause of most of the world’s problems. It was Catholics’ love of God and wanting to understand Him better through His creation which pushed forth our modern day sciences. If someone’s beliefs are so offensive to a person or group they should just choose not to have anything to do with it, including their work. I would not think however it appropriate to adopt someone else’s work or idea and call it their own. I mean really, quoting William Shakespeare, “What’s in a name. A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet.” I guess not for you Alana and those other bitter souls of the world. It would be better to just steal and rename it to their own liking.

        • J. M. -  August 17, 2016 - 12:43 pm

          I am uneducated on A lot of philosophy’s and Theory’s that include religions and the knowledge of time, so me asking this is pure informational and not to start any negative debates. I feel the founding of Christ is publicized and common compared to other religions or historical events that would conveniently define a year before and after. What would you say besides B.C and A.D? What are your ideas?

      • Anzin Mu -  August 9, 2016 - 9:54 pm


    • WHAT ARE THOSE? -  August 11, 2016 - 1:36 pm

      ME TOO(Just kidding)

    • Live4Food -  August 11, 2016 - 10:41 pm

      We didn’t ask.

    • Cybi -  August 15, 2016 - 6:04 am

      Don’t watch it….or don’t you have the self discipline to switch channels or off…

  11. Alpha Bangura -  August 7, 2016 - 1:06 am

    I want to learn words every

  12. wolf tamer and iron miner -  March 11, 2014 - 7:52 am

    @Anthony A:
    CE stands for Common Era (or sometimes Christian Era), and BCE stands for Before the Common (or Christian) Era. As Jim said, it’s “politically correct garbage…thought up so one or two out there won’t get their noses bent out of joint;” no matter what your religion or lack thereof, Jesus Christ was – and still is – real.

    • Alana -  August 9, 2016 - 1:33 pm

      While I am not disputing your claim on the reality of Jesus, most academic use CE because it is offensive to the 70% of the planet who are Buddhists, Hindi, Muslim, Jewish, and other Non-Christian faiths.

      • Fliff -  August 11, 2016 - 6:53 am

        Hindi is a language, Alana

        • Michael -  August 12, 2016 - 3:32 am

          And a culture.

      • Nando -  August 19, 2016 - 5:44 pm

        So, Alana, you feel like I or somebody else owes you an apology?
        Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat? (please….)

    • Addict With A Pen -  October 27, 2016 - 8:20 am

      Wolf tamer and iron miner I love you so much

  13. Anthony A -  March 9, 2014 - 6:43 am

    What does BCE & CE mean ?

    • Some guy -  April 8, 2015 - 5:49 am

      It’s the atheists’ version of Before Christ (BC) and After Death (AD).
      BCE is Before Common Era, CE is Common Era.
      It’s not only a more ‘politically correct’ way to say it, it’s also a way for people to avoid having to talk about God if they don’t want to.
      You know, that religious freedom that we’re supposed to have, but people don’t like to respect, because of tradition and xenophobia.

      • Miss Polly -  August 6, 2016 - 7:43 am

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but AD does not mean After Death, it means Anno Domini, meaning The Year Of Our Lord in Latin.

      • Matthew Cantrell -  August 8, 2016 - 2:19 am

        Just wanted to add this in. I also though that it was BC (Before Christ) and AD (After Death), but its BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini). Anno Domini is Medieval Latin for ‘The year of our Lord.”

        • Bob -  August 8, 2016 - 1:39 pm

          yes that is correct. I take Latin.

      • Alana -  August 9, 2016 - 1:53 pm

        The term “Common Era” was originally used in the 17th century by European Christians! It started being used in academia in the mid-19th century by Jews and is now used by the MAJORITY of academics (including biblical scholars) regardless of their faith. This allows non-Christians the religious freedom of not having to refer to dates in a Christian manner.

        Religious freedom means that people do not have to follow the laws and traditions of religions other than their own. So Christians do not have to fast for a month during Ramadan, Muslims do not have to keep the Passover kosher food laws, and Jews do not have to go to church of Christmas and Easter. Christians also do not have to keep all 613 of the Lord’s commandments in the the Old Testament.

        • Bill -  August 15, 2016 - 7:35 am

          Well, whatever term the use, they may not be referring to dates in a “Christian manner”, but they are using dates calculated from a Christian reference point! Ergo, it is a Christian date that is being used, whether one likes it or not.

        • Addict With A Pen -  October 27, 2016 - 8:24 am

          Who said it was 613? Anyways. Hey kids! It’s a amazing what you can Google on the Internet!

    • Alana -  August 9, 2016 - 1:27 pm

      The use of “Common Era” was a Christian invention and the abbreviation “CE” was introduced by Jewish scholars over 150 years ago. Most academics use it now because “AD” is offensive to the approximately 70% of the world population that are not Christian.

      From Wikipedia:
      The expression “Common Era” can be found as early as 1708 in English,[7] and traced back to Latin usage among European Christians to 1615, as vulgaris aerae,[8] and to 1635 in English as Vulgar Era.[c] At those times, the expressions were all used interchangeably with “Christian Era”.

      Use of the CE abbreviation was introduced by Jewish academics in the mid-19th century. Since the later 20th century, use of CE and BCE has been popularized in academic and scientific publications and more generally by authors and publishers wishing to emphasize secularism or sensitivity to non-Christians, because it does not explicitly make use of religious titles for Jesus, such as “Christ” and Dominus (“Lord”), which are used in the BC/AD notation, nor does it give implicit expression to the Christian creed that Jesus is the Christ.[9][10][11]

    • Owen J -  August 10, 2016 - 5:42 pm

      BCE= Before the Common Era
      CE= Common Era
      not to be confused with the christian terms
      BC= Before Christ
      AD: After Death

      • Michael -  August 12, 2016 - 3:27 am

        1)B.C.–Before Christ. Ex.:”That event was in 15 B.C.”
        A.D.–Anno Domini (fr. Latin, “In the year of our Lord.”*
        Ex.:”Jerusalem was destroyed in A.D. 70.”

        *–It would sound awkward in English to say, “Jerusalem was destroyed in seventy in the year of our Lord.”
        HINT:Check some old awards or certificates.

  14. wolf tamer and iron miner -  March 5, 2014 - 5:05 am

    I completely agree with Jim. It is The Year of Our Lord – Anno Domini/A.D., with BC (Before Christ) not this ridiculous CE (and the corresponding BCE) garbage.

    • Alana -  August 9, 2016 - 1:34 pm

      The use of BCE/CE is not garbage! Most academics use it because it is offensive to the 70% of the planet who are Buddhists, Hindi, Muslim, Jewish, and other Non-Christian faiths.

      • Blade Andrews -  August 23, 2016 - 7:41 am

        And yet, you have no problems referring to “Mars,” “Venus,” or any of the planets named for Roman gods- which, I’d fare to venture, are not adhered to by 99.9% of the planet who are not Roman Mythologians. Your level of acceptance is pretty discretionary.

    • David Wayne -  August 9, 2016 - 9:20 pm

      For the first time I have ever heard of such an explanation about CE and BCE. I’ve been to the Middle East and everybody there as well uses BC and AD without taking offense of any sort. Its just a calendar, nothing more nothing less. CE and BCE is for the people trying to sound ultra-modern and end up sounding more hermaphroditic (gay) in the process.

      • Mara Dark -  August 10, 2016 - 1:11 pm

        I don’t see why people are judging those who choose to use BC/AD or BCE/CE. Who the heck cares? Use whatever you feel comfortable with and if you have to explain it to others, then do it! I get having strong opionions on things, but something like this doesn’t matter. Unless your an academic or historian or someone who has to follow standardized language, call it whatever you want. There are so many better things to be offended about than if our era notation refers to the Christian God or not.

        For instance – the belief that hermaphorodite = gay. (Which is does NOT). Get bent, people.

    • john smith -  August 11, 2016 - 6:31 pm

      i agree with you, but i don’t agree with the way you say it. you are basically bashing other people’s beliefs. instead, you should respect them.

  15. Espen -  February 24, 2014 - 6:04 pm

    Jim well said. I completely agree with you. I also support the riddance of CE, for AD. AD means Anno Domini, The year of our Lord.

    • Alana -  August 9, 2016 - 2:25 pm

      Jesus is only the Lord of the 30% of people who happen to be – or claim that they are – Christian. Buddhists, Hindi, Jews, Muslims, and other non-Christians (the 70% majority of the planet) do not recognize Jesus as divine.

      • Fliff -  August 11, 2016 - 6:58 am

        Muslims and Jews recognise Jesus as a prophet and hence divine. Hindis are not a thing.

  16. wolf tamer and iron miner -  February 22, 2014 - 2:51 am

    Yep, I’m at iron ore now! Gotta love those cave systems… ;)

    • Live4Food -  August 11, 2016 - 11:11 pm

      You play Minecraft?

      • Cbs -  August 16, 2016 - 3:34 am

        who doesn’t?

  17. @nonym0u$ -  February 21, 2014 - 5:14 pm

    To H112233

    Silver will not be entirely out because it is still an object in the cycle of exchange, meaning people will eventually melt down some silver, such as in silverware or broken machines, to be reused for other creations.

    1) Silver won’t be gone because it is still being made in nucleosynthesis

    2) IF and I say somehow IF the silver was suddenly gone, humans will just go to the next big thing, such as platinum, and if that’s all gone, the next thing, et cetera. Human, me included, go for the shiny and/or rare items that are known to man. Silver has not as much use (no offense ladies) as something such as oil or something. Trust me, if silver was gone, the world won’t end.

  18. Tony -  February 21, 2014 - 12:17 pm

    What is with the PC thing of “BCE”? The article was interesting, but it was like you were trying hard to say “BCE” and “CE” to where you were overcompensating. Let B.C. be B.C. and A.D. be A.D. America tried to change it, it didn’t stick. Reminds me of trying to change standard/english to metric. Sure, it makes sense, but we will keep doing what we do and no harm/no foul.

    • You -  April 14, 2015 - 6:28 am

      Just because BC and AD are more commonly used in informal English doesn’t mean they should discontinue the use of the more appropriate words. Don’t try to fault them for it, especially since it really doesn’t make a difference. If you know what BCE and CE means, you can’t complain about them using it.

      • Alexa -  August 8, 2016 - 11:40 am

        I don’t think that is correct!

        • Alana -  August 9, 2016 - 1:59 pm

          Then you would be in error.

      • THAT HOMIE FRED` -  August 11, 2016 - 11:31 am

        very informative

    • Alana -  August 9, 2016 - 1:57 pm

      Since this is an academic article, the terms BCE and CE were used. The huge majority of academics (including biblical scholars) use this term because only about 30% of the Earth’s population is Christian. It is demeaning to non-Christians to force them to use christian terminology.

  19. Jim -  February 20, 2014 - 12:44 pm

    Great info, as always. But let’s get rid of that idiotic BCE garbage. It’s BC. No, I’m not a very religious person, but for centuries we’ve used Before Christ as a kind of marker for historical times. There’s no good reason at all to change this. It doesn’t matter if you’re an atheist, a Muslim, Catholic, whatever, this BCE is politically correct garbage. Jesus was a real and very important historical person, no matter what your religion or lack of. “BCE”…sounds like some childish fool thought that up just so one or two out there won’t get their nose bent out of joint.

    • ironboundkid -  February 1, 2015 - 5:16 pm

      Totally agree.! How come what I think doesn’t count? I didn’t ask for or agree BCE and the other garbage but I must have it rammed down my throat. How come when I get upset about things, nobody pays attention. May be will boycott Dictionary.com until they grow-up.

    • Alana -  August 9, 2016 - 2:16 pm

      “Common Era has been in use for over 300 years and was first coind by Christians.The perfectly good reason to change to BCE/CE: it is disparaging to the nearly 70% of people who are not Christian.

      While I do not argue that Jesus wasn’t real, I maintain that there are other historical figures who were more important (either for good or bad) that Jesus was, like Hitler who exterminated over 6 million people and dramatically altered the course of Europe, or Christopher Columbus who found the New World (which led to a fresh start to Europeans facing religious prejudice but also contributed to the deaths of the majority of the native population in N and S America).

      • Lila P. -  August 9, 2016 - 5:16 pm

        Contributed? More like had a direct role…

        The only reason I don’t agree with the usage of BCE/CE is bc it still uses the same time frame, still centers around Christ. Nothing changes, and there’s no logical point in it…

        Also, to say that there were more important people than Christ e.g. Hitler and Columbus, especially these two peoople, is arguable. Christ has a significant role in shaping this world, for better or worse- same as those other two, perhaps arguably more so.

      • BikerBro -  August 15, 2016 - 1:13 pm

        Alana your ignorance and bias towards Christians is blatant! And your statement that Hitler, of all people, did as much or more than Jesus Christ is absolutely unbelievable and testament to the state of your wretched soul! It seems that your claim that “70% of the population” are non Christian is the reason for not using AD and BC is preposterous! If you only look at the thread here you would see how ridiculous your premise is. You are overwhelmingly outnumbered here. I’m not saying that there are a lot of Christians here who outnumber you, but that IT REALLY DOESN’T MATTER TO THE MAJORITY!!!! Give up on your relentless pursuit of Christian bashing! We all know that the BCE and CE were highly supported by Jewish who prefer not to use terminology which identifies the Messiah whom they crucified, and others who hold to the lack of deity of Jesus Christ, but the fact is, it was an attempt to de-deify Jesus Christ, which is impossible!

        Even if you do not believe in Jesus Christ and what He did. Even if you do not believe what the Bible says. Jesus believes in you. He loves you and wants you to know that He can give you a chance to be His child forever. You only have to turn to Him. He is talking to you right now. Listen, you know what you have to do. He will forgive you and accept you into His family. I am looking forward to calling you Sister! May God bless you in all your decisions.

        • Timey Wimey -  August 26, 2016 - 7:21 am

          Your wretched soul? Jeez, I’m not sure that’s a good Christian attitude… judge not lest ye be judged.

      • Timey Wimey -  August 26, 2016 - 7:30 am

        I would say I don’t give a flip about whether it’s called BCE/CE, or BC/AD… It doesn’t really matter. But to say Hitler was more important than a Jesus? If Jesus really was God reincarnated into a human, and was coming to give many eternal life, is Hitler more important than that? Not only that, but the belief of Jesus changed the entire world! The crusades, the spreading of the Holy Roman Empire, the adoption of the Christian religion in many ancient nations… the Bible being the most sold book in the world to date… no, no one as of yet has gotten even close to the importance of Jesus. And all your New Age, political correctness crap can’t change that the Christian religion CHANGED THE WESTERN WORLD more than any other force. All your doing is ignoring it.

    • Question Mark -  August 22, 2016 - 11:39 am

      It’s the responsibility of the dictionary to reflect modern times as I see it. There are many beliefs, faiths etc that recognise this dictionary as a source of information. Clearly the fact that you are offended (as you appear to be) at such a change in explanation as BC/AD to BCE/CE highlights the fact that other people will be offended at keeping it the same.

      Surely to make such a comment you would consider it wise to think about your reasons at posting such a comment are in fact no different to the people that might in fact feel offended at the original BC/AD! Truth is it is people that have your mind-set that force such changes in the first place!

      I find it comical that people speak out against something and their attitude actually reflects the attitudes of the people that they are speaking out against.

      Just an observation by the way. As far as I’m concerned BC means BCE and AD means CE. You’re entitled to think how you like!

      • Blade Andrews -  August 23, 2016 - 8:03 am

        Clearly the fact that you make such a cognitive leap as concluding: the fact that one is offended by a change = the fact that another is offended by stasis, highlights the fact that you are an imbecile. Get your logic straight before your next attempt at intellectualism. Millennials…

  20. anonymous -  February 19, 2014 - 2:28 pm

    @wolf tamer and coal miner
    The games are in Sochi, and as for you bob, it’s with a ch.

    I agree. This year, they are also making the largest and thickest medals ever (10 cm wide and 1 cm thick). The gold medals weigh slightly more than the silver and bronze, mainly because of the gold plating.

    Also, wolf tamer and coal miner, are you at iron ore yet?

  21. 777forgold -  February 18, 2014 - 10:01 pm

    GOLD is for: goldfish on long doors
    SILVER is for: soup in long vases every round
    BRONZE is for: big red oval neon zebra elephants
    GSB is for: gold sucks badly
    SBG is for:silver beats gold
    BGS is for: bronze gives shivers
    So out of these 3,I would say the best prize but most scary is bronze.
    SOCHI:See ozone clearly here, indoors?
    OLYMPICS:Oh…loopy,yucky,milky poison is carried somewhere
    SEEYA:submitting everyone’s every yellow award
    777:a young virus.

  22. Big Bucks Back Then -  February 17, 2014 - 5:49 pm

    While ancient Olympic winners were only given laurel wreaths at the ceremonies, wealthy merchants often presented them with massive amphoras (ceramic containers) of olive oil. The capacity of a single terra cotta amphora held approximately US1,000 worth of oil. Some individual Olympic champions received as many as one hundred amphoras (or “amphorae”), which they then sold. Aristophanes probably was well aware of all this commercialism, but it didn’t fit into his play.

    • NA -  August 4, 2016 - 11:46 pm

      Interesting. Thanks!

  23. bob -  February 17, 2014 - 5:06 pm

    olymics- soji

  24. bob -  February 17, 2014 - 5:06 pm

    the winter Olympic games are being held in Soji Russia

  25. mr magoo -  February 16, 2014 - 4:07 pm

    they could start giving them something else

    bronze > a lot of candy
    silver > yeartime supply of klondike bars
    gold> lifetime supply of sausage gravy

  26. H112233 -  February 6, 2014 - 7:36 pm

    If you guys make a big deal that the “gold medals” have more silver than gold, think of it this way:
    We can’t keep our natural resources forever. Soon, silver will be gone, then what? If gold medals were completely gold, boy would they be expensive. If the the medals have silver in them, what’s wrong with silver? It’s pretty.

  27. Much Wenlock -  February 4, 2014 - 12:59 pm

    What about The Wenlock Olympian Games? Widely regarded as the forerunner to the modern olympic movement, even serving as the inspiration for it.

    “Baron Pierre de Coubertin visited the Olympian Society in 1890, which held a special festival in his honour. He was inspired by Dr Brookes and went on to establish the International Olympic Committee.”

    “On his return to France, Coubertin gave a glowing account of his stay in an article, “Les Jeux Olympiques à Much Wenlock”, and referred to his host’s efforts to revive the Olympics. He wrote : “If the Olympic Games that Modern Greece has not yet been able to revive still survives there today, it is due, not to a Greek, but to Dr W P Brookes”. Although Coubertin later sought to downplay Brookes’s influence, he corresponded with him for several years and sent him a golden medal (made of silver) in 1891 to be presented to the winner of the Tilting Competition.”

    • Lia -  August 9, 2016 - 1:32 pm

      You maybe also forget the role that Demetrius Vikelas played in the organization of modern Olympics. Because a dream is better when someone helps you to make it real

      • Torro -  August 19, 2016 - 3:45 am

        The modern games where the Germany games . With Hitler as the puppet master . They where played (at that time ) with the best live coverage barely anyone could afford. Germany really peacocked their machinery to show the rest of the world their advancements in communication and any propaganda. The rest of the world sadly ran with his blueprint.
        Those Olympics started the modern waste of well Rios 9 billion dollars on the low side to host . The 9 billion tag in my opinion could do a lot more for the world as a whole. I am a athlete but still feel it’s a waste of money. It can be done on a budget.

  28. wolf tamer and coal miner -  February 4, 2014 - 12:47 am

    1st comment! :)

    The Winter Games are this year, right? Can anyone tell me where they’re being held?

    Hmmm…less gold in a gold medal than I thought. I wonder what Aristophanes would say if he knew Olympic winners won gold medals today? ;)

    Ms. Solomon, I believe you meant “a precious _metal_,” not “a precious _medal_.” Not to be a Grammar Nazi, but this is a dictionary, after all! ;)

    • replyall -  August 9, 2016 - 11:42 pm

      yep i know… Sochi


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