OLYMPIC GAMES

I38l

OMAR I

in front, make fine scenery. There are flour mills, sawmills and shoe and soap factories, salmon canneries, machine shops etc. It has public and parochial schools, besides St. Amable Academy (R. C), St. Peter's Hospital (R. C.) and the state library which contains 30,000 volumes. Population 6,782.

Olym'pic Games, the most famous and splendid national festival of the Greeks, celebrated once in five years in honor of Zeus, on the plain of Olympia. Olympia was a beautiful valley near the river Alpheus, and contained temples, monuments, altars and statues, connected with Greek art and religion. There were about 3,000 statues at the time of the elder Pliny (23-70 A. D.). The sacred grove was a level space, nearly square, being 600 feet long and about 580 feet broad. It looked toward the Ionian Sea, with the rivers Alpheus and Cladeus on its southern and western boundaries. It was well-wooded and crossed by a road called the Pompic Way, the route taken by all the processions. The games date back of 776 B. C, but in that year became a national festival, and the custom of reckoning time by Olympiads began. The contests were at first permitted only among the Greeks, but after the Romans conquered Greece they took part in the games, Tiberius and Nero appearing in the list of victors. Women were not allowed to be present, with the exception of the priestess of Demeter. The games were held at the first full moon of the summer solstice, about the last of June. While the games were in progress, all hostilities were stopped by proclamation of heralds through the country. The contestants went through 10 months' training in the gymnasium at Elis, and the judges, at first two but later 12, were instructed as long in their duties. The judges held office only one year. The contests were foot-races, wrestling, boxing, leaping, running and throwing the spear and the discus or quoits, with chariot and horse races. On the fifth day there were processions, sacrifices and banquets to the victors. The. victors, each holding a palm-branch, were presented to the people, and while heralds proclaimed their names and their parents', they'were crowned with garlands of wild olive twigs, cut from a sacred tree of the grove. Statues were erected to them; they had the place of honor on public occasions; were usually exempt from paying taxes; and at Athens were boarded at the expense of the state. Songs were sung in their praise, as 14 of Pindar's lyrics bear witness. The games were abolished by Emperor The-odosius in 394 A. D.

Olym'pus, Mount, a group of mountains in Turkey between Thessaly and Macedonia. The eastern side fronts the sea, and has deep precipices and ravines filled with forest trees. The highest peak is 9,790 feet high. In Greek mythology it was the residence of

Zeus, whose palace was thought to stand on its summit.

O'maha, Neb., the largest city of Nebraska, capital of Douglas County, is on the Missouri which is crossed by a railroad bridge 2,750 feet long. The city is built on a plain 80 feet above the river, which rises gradually into bluffs. The business portion is on the level portion, while the bluffs are occupied by tasteful homes. The city hall, United States courthouse, Omaha Bee building, New York Life Insurance Company's building, Boyd's Theater, St. Joseph's Hospital, chamber of commerce, state asylum for the deaf, Creighton College, a medical college and over 100 churches are among its prominent buildings. The Bee is the most important newspaper published between San Francisco and Chicago. Omaha ranks with Chicago and Kansas City as a live-stock market, having immense stockyards, which cover over 200 acres, and large beef and pork-packing establishments, being the third city in the United States in the value of its pork-products. The manufactures include linseed-oil, boilers, safes, bags, soap and beer. The largest silver-smelting works in the world, using one fourth of the silver ore mined in the United States, are at Omaha. The military department of the Platte, covering 82J acres, with fine barracks, is near the city. The public schools are maintained at an annual cost of $1,500,000; the buildings consist of 49 grade schools and one high school; besides, the city has a public library, Creighton College two, the Y. M. C. A. one (and six other libraries belong to fraternal societies) and a fine art gallery. Fourteen trunk-lines enter the city, and there are two magnificent stations. Omaha was founded in 1854, and rapidly became one of the leading western cities. Population 124,096.

Omahas, a tribe of American Indians, of the Dakotah family, settled in northern Nebraska. They were found by Marquette (1673), by Carver (1766) and by Lewis and Clark (1805). They were constantly at war with the Sioux, but since 1855 have been at peace and have improved rapidly. They cultivate the ground, and have churches and schools. Their present number does not exceed 1,200.

O'mar I, Abu Hafsah Ibn ul Khattab, the second caliph of the Mussulmans, was born about 581 A. D. Although he was at first bitterly opposed to Mohammed, he suddenly gave his adherence to the cause of the prophet and became a chief supporter of his creed and claims. He succeeded Abu-bekir in 634 A. D. He declined the title of Caliph or successor, as too exalted; and chose rather to be called Emir or Commander. It was through his command the Hejira (Flight) was adopted as the point from which the followers of Mohammed should date their years. It was by his genius that the Arabian empire was founded. Under his irresistible