Monday, January 16, 2012

Legacy Of Trophies

By Anne Darwin

Trophy more or less means "to rout." It was actually taken from the Greek word "tropaion," which came from the verb "trope." Ancient Greece used to make trophies on the battlefields of successful fights. The details of the battle, along with an inscription to a god, were frequently engraved on the bases of the symbols. They were oftentimes dedicated to gods, and to destroy them was considered a blasphemy.

As for the Romans during ancient times, trophies were kept close to homes. They were exceedingly large and were often placed on columns and arches instead of being a homage to the victors and the gods on the battlefield.

Although not much is known about its history during the Middle Ages, it is plain that they were presented in sporting events in the late 1600s. Silver goblets were the common shapes used then, as well as two-handled sterling loving cups.

Probably the ultimate mark of victory is a trophy. The usual setting is the bigger the trophy, the highest the achievement. From the grandest of competitions, such as major sports events, to the humblest of matches, like a local elementary school's Spelling Bee contest, trophies are everywhere.

Although cups and chalices are still prevalent in this day and age, trophies now come in different types and sizes. More and more shapes are now being made, depending on the event, including stars, human and animal shapes, and abstract designs.

Also, materials used nowadays are much less costly than silver and gold. Steel, pewter, crystal, and plastic are not just sensible, they can also be mass created.

Trophies aren't just handed out during sports competitions. They are also given in recognition of individual or group achievement. The Academy Awards, a well-known Hollywood awards events, is a good example. Individual skills like acting, directing and producing, as well as group efforts, such as best film and cast, are recognized with a trophy shaped like a human being.

It's not just a reward for a particular accomplishment in sports, acting, discovery or other skills. A trophy stands for triumph and position. It doesn't just mean being able to defeat your adversaries in a game or contest or being the leader in your area of expertise. Being honored with a trophy likewise means being part of the trophy's heritage.

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