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Started in 776BC in Elis in rural area southwestern Greece; continued every four years until AD261 when threatened by Herulian barbarian invasion; thenafter it resumed until 393 AD when Roman emperor Theodosius I, a fervent Christian ordered the closing of all pagan centers
Left abandoned, forgotten up until 1766 when British travellers found the site;in 1875 systematic excavation by German archaeologists started.
In 1896 Baron Pierre de Coubertin, spurred by his passion for promoting the cause of athletics in general and the revival of olympic games in particular, lead the first modern international olympic games in urban Athens.