The games were therefore essentially a new years festival.In 776 BC this occurred on either July 23 or August 21.(After the introduction of the Metonic cycle about 432 BC, the start of the Olympic year was determined slightly differently).

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In 394, Roman Emperor Theodosius I outlawed the games at Olympia as pagan.

Though it would have been possible to continue the reckoning by just counting four-year periods, by the middle of the 5th century AD reckoning by Olympiads had become disused.

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But the company most recently provided us with more data about a specific, highly sought-after subset of the population: doctors and medical professionals.By extrapolation to the Gregorian calendar, the 1st year of the 699th Olympiad begins in (Northern-Hemisphere) mid-summer 2017.A modern Olympiad refers to a four-year period beginning January 1 of a year in which the Summer Olympics are due to occur.Each ancient Olympic year overlapped onto two of our modern reckoning of BC or AD years, from midsummer to midsummer.Example: Olympiad 140, year 1 = 220/219 BC; year 2 = 219/218 BC; year 3 = 218/217 BC; year 4 = 217/216 BC.The Olympiads are numbered consecutively from the first Games of the Olympiad celebrated in Athens in 1896.