Archivo Iconografico, S.A./CORBIS

The 200-mile trip from Athens to Olympia began at Athens’s Dipylon Gate and proceeded past the Kerameikos Cemetery, with its carved steles and funerary sculptures. On foot, the journey took roughly two weeks, and travelers needed both stamina and strength to negotiate the rocky trails and treacherous mountain passes along the way. (The large-bellied travelers depicted on the fourth-century B.C. vase painting might not have been hardy enough to manage such a trip.) At least the Greeks didn’t have to worry about being ambushed by highwaymen: A sacred truce, honored throughout the Greek world, protected all those traveling to the Olympics and the other panhellenic athletic festivals at Delphi, Nemea and Isthmia.