Ancient olympics

Pankration is an martial art which mixes wrestling và boxing. The sport can be traced as far bachồng as the second millennium BCE in the territory of Greece. Its name derives from the Greek words pan (all) & kratos (strength, might, power) & literally means “all of the might.” In 648 BCE, the Pankration was introduced as a sporting sự kiện in the 33rd Olympic Games where it joined boxing & wrestling in a category called “heavy events.” That special group of sports was reserved for the best athletes with the greathử nghiệm strength & stamina.

Bạn đang xem: Ancient olympics

The Pankration event was the crowd"s favorite sport. It was believed that a military training based on this formerly unarmed combat system helped the Spartans to lớn excel in hand-to-hvà fighting. Soldiers trained in Pankration were highly appreciated in the famous Macedonian Phalanxes as Alexander the Great was said lớn have sầu given them priority in the recruitment of his army. 

The Pankration in Mythology Greek mythology appoints illustrious mythological figures as the first pankratiasts. Theseus, the founder-king of Athens, allegedly used techniques from that martial art lớn defeat the Minotaur (the half-human half-bull creature locked in the Labyrinth of Minos). Hercules is said lớn have won in Pankration conchạy thử in Olympia, as well as in another sự kiện organized by the Argonauts (the heroes that went on a quest for the Golden Fleece in Colchis). He reputedly used Pankration skills in one of his twelve sầu labors too. Many Greek vases depict images of the nhân vật defeating the Nemean lion with a specific strong lochồng believed khổng lồ be part of the Pankration fighting methods.

The rules of Pankration 

The sources represent the Pankration as a full-contact combat sport that allows the use of various techniques such as striking, grappling, và wrestling. In fact, Pankration was a combination of boxing, wrestling, and other fighting arts with the only difference that there were virtually no rules. To bite and khổng lồ gouge an opponent"s eyes, nose, or mouth with fingers were the only off-limits once in the ring. Anything else - such as kicking in the belly and the genitals - was permitted và even expected.

Pankration was a combination of boxing, wrestling, và other fighting arts with the only difference that there were virtually no rules. 

The athletic sự kiện started after pulling lots và forming fighting pairs. At the end of every match, the lot drawing was repeated ahy vọng the winners of the previous fights, & so on until one final winner has left. A sparring ended either by submission (the opponent would raise his index finger as a sign of being defeated) or by death. According to lớn one story, the fighter Arrhichion of Phigalia won a Pankration competition at the Olympic Games literally dying in the ring. He was locked in a tight chokehold và had to break the ankle of his opponent in order to lớn loosen the deadly clutch. At the same moment, though, when his competitor raised a finger for submission, Arrichion fell dead. Nevertheless, he was honored as a winner.

The sport had two main phases. During the first, called Ano Pankration (Upper Pankration), contestants had lớn fight upright. As the main goal was to knock down the opponent, punches, kicks & all kind of lethal blows were usually performed. The second phase, known as Kakhổng lồ Pankration (Lower Pankration) started with the first falling on the ground of some of the competitors. Here grappling, joint locking, and even strangulation were used as more effective sầu methods of fighting on the floor.

Pankratiasts had the liberty lớn build their own fighting style. At the beginning of a sparring, some preferred lớn use short hooking blows called krocheirismos. A technique known as klimakismos (ladder trick) was often used to climb on an opponent"s bachồng, to lớn loông xã legs tightly around his body and to lớn strangle hyên ổn from behind. That was probably the one that turned lethal for Arrhichion of Phigalia. 

Very often the Pankration fighters got nicknames according lớn their preferred technique of defeating opponents. One pankratiast from the thành phố of Sikyon was called “Fingertips” because of his habit to break his adversary"s fingers at the start of a bout. Special local features also existed. The Spartans, for example, were famous for their heavy foot sweeps used lớn knoông chồng down their rivals. The Eleans, on the other hand, were quichồng on strangleholds.

Initially, the pankratiasts fought nude, with oiled bodies và bare hands. Later, they wore thong wrappings around their hands và forearms. When Pankration was adopted in Rome, fighters covered their genitals with loincloths and were even equipped with battle gloves (caesti) made with leather strips and filled with iron plates, blades, or spikes. 

Remove sầu AdsAdvertisement


Agias, Son of Aknonios
by James Lloyd (CC BY-NC-SA)

a training for the Spartans và army of Alexander

Developed out of an existing combat system, Pankration was part of the army training of many Greek city-states. It was the core of the military instruction of the hoplites (the famous Greek infantry). The Spartans were particularly well-trained & excelled in that art. In their last stand at Thermopylae, they allegedly used Pankration skills as their final weapon. Once the 300 lost their armaments, they fought with bare hands, feet, & teeth, relying on their abilities to lớn use unarmed fighting techniques.

Xem thêm: Hướng Dẫn Mẹ Cách Chế Biến Rau Cho Bé Ăn Dặm Cho Bé Hợp Lý, Hướng Dẫn Cách Chế Biến Rau Củ Cho Bé Mới Ăn Dặm

Alexander the Great also highly appreciated such military proficiency. He often sought lớn attract pankratiasts in his famous Macedonian Phalanxes as he regarded soldiers trained in Pankration as a valuable army asset. One Athenian Pankration champion from the Olympic Games in 336 BCE was quite popular amuốn the Macedonian army where he was on a service. His name was Dioxippus, & the historian Curtius Rufus in his “Histories of Alexander the Great” informs us that one day he was challenged to a one-to-one combat. His adversary was one of Alexander"s best soldiers, known as Coragus. The Macedonian ruler appointed a match between them in one of his banquets organized in Persia. In the bout, Dioxippus showed up naked and armed only with a club. Coragus presented himself in full armor. After а short fight, the Athenian champion defeated his armed và skilled opponent using only Pankration techniques. He could have killed hlặng if it had not been for Alexander"s intercession.

Support our Non-Profit Organization

With your help we create không tính phí nội dung that helps millions of people learn history all around the world.

Become a Member

The Macedonian Phalanxes reportedly contributed to the spreading of Pankration lớn the East. It is suggested that following Alexander"s conquests over Europe & Persia, the Greek unarmed fighting system eventually reached the Indus Valley. Some researchers even speculate that by practising their military art along their route, Macedonian soldiers influenced the Indian combative art “Vajra Musti” &, ultimately, had an impact on the martial arts in Trung Quốc. According to Eastern tradition, the Chinese fighting systems evolved from Indian Buddhist doctrines that taught early Indian combative sầu arts.

Editorial ReviewThis article has been reviewed for accuracy, reliability and adherence to academic standards prior lớn publication.

Xem thêm: Cách Chiên Da Heo Giòn Không Cần Phơi Nắng, 3 Cách Làm Da Heo Chiên Giòn Ngon


Arvanitis, J. Pankration: The Traditional Greek Combat Sport & Modern Mixed Martial Art. Paladin Press, 2003Georgiou, A.V. Pankration: An Olympic Combat Sport, Vol. I. Xlibris Corporation, 2005Liddell, H.G. và Scott, R. A Greek-English Lexicon. Oxford. Clarendon Press, 1940Quintus Curtius Rufus. Life and Exploits of Alexander the Great. Thành Phố New York, London, D. Appleton và company, 1860Smith, William, D.C.L., LL.D. A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, “Pancratium”. John Murray, London,, 1875, pp. 857 - 858.
We want people all over the world khổng lồ learn about history. Help us and translate this definition inlớn another language!

I have a degree in Classics và Ph.D. in History. I have taught Latin và Greek at university for five years. Every subject of the Greek & Roman civilizations passionates me, and I write a blog about that on www.michael-shanks.comworldalive sầ

Chuyên mục: ĐỊNH NGHĨA