Are Olympics the instrument of peace or of continuation of war by other means ? That was the topic of one of our discussions with Altshuller in the 1970s. I defended the first view. Altshuller insisted on the second.
- During ancient Olympics all wars in Greece used to stop, - I reminded.
- This is what they taught you in school, - Altshuller replied.
He went on to say that Greek cities warred so frequently that it bordered on a permanent war. But nobody can fight permanently. So facing a contradiction "the war has to continue but cannot be continued" the Greeks invented a way to continue fighting without actually killing. That was Olympics. To make this solution to work and prevent a city-state to attack a neighbour when its warriors went to Olympia it had to be made part of religion. Then nobody would dare to go against the will of Gods. That is why ancient Olympics went into the annals of history as a religious ritual.
Altshuller used to utter many uncommon brilliant thoughts. The work is underway to recall and compile the list of as many of them as possible and present them to the readers of this journal.