Athletics in Ancient Greece Continued.docx
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CLCV 1002 B April 3rd
Athletics in Ancient Greece Continued
Ancient Olympics associated with warfare, but connection questionable
Contests test strength, endurance, basic fitness but not usually skills used in warfare.
Pentathlon: “five competitions”
Athlon= “prize” or “competition”
Modern pentathlon: Running, swimming, riding, fencing, shooting
- Not the same as the ancient pentathlon
Ancient pentathlon: Perform all contests in order. After 3 competitions, if clear winner in all
events, competition ends. If no clear winner, go to next competition.
- Weed out weaker competitors throughout competitions
1) Long Jump: Jump from dead standstill with both feet together.
- Got to jump for a certain amount of time
- Could get roughly 5 jumps in
- Carry weights in their hands (about 2 KG). Swing back and then jump.
- About 16 m covered by a long jump usually
2) Javelin throw: Thong around fingers and javelin; unravels when throw javelin, causing it
to travel longer.
3) Discus throw: Ancient discus heavier and bigger than modern discus.
- Throws much shorter than modern
5) Wrestling match: Between 2 people striving for first place
- Competitors marked on elegance and sty;e in wrestling
- Match ends after 3 throws when pin opponent to floor
- Winner of match declared winner of pentathlon
Wrestling 1 of 3 combat sports that are separate games
1) “On the ground wrestling”: Individual event.
- No weight classes, only distinction between competitors is an age class.
- Matches not timed. Fight till someone surrenders or passes out.
- Not unusual for people to die in combat sports
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CLCV 1002 B April 3rd
- Not murder if kill opponent during combat sport
- All blows at the head
- Wear gloves. Strips of boiled leather, wrapped around forearm, wrist, fingers and
knuckles. Sharp edges to maximize damage to opponent. Over time, gloves get more
elaborate. Lead and iron weight sewn into gloves (above knuckles).
3) Pankration: “all brute force” contest
- Compared to mixed martial arts, UFC cage match
- Modern pankration has all kinds of rules: 3 five minute rounds, referee to stop fight if
need be, weight classes, protective gear. None of this used in ancient times
- Ancient: No gear, no weight classes, no one stops fight
- 2 rules: 1) not allowed to gouge out eyes of competitor 2) No biting opponent
- End when opponent surrenders or passes out.
- Surrender is hugely humiliating. No one wants to surrender. Fight to the end.
Arrachion: Famous pankratist who won Olympic games.
- Won Pankration but died during event
- Opponent had him in a choke hold. Could only grab onto guys foot. So grabbed foot and
started pinching. Opponent surrendered as Arrachion died from choke hold.
- Only guy we know who won and died
Pankration very popular, but equestrian events more popular.
Equestrian events In the Hippodrome (“horse racetrack”)
Hippodrome at Olympia: Found in 2007
- Held over 100, 000 spectators.
- Single race track about 1000 m long, 80 m wide
- Turning posts: Lots of crashes occur at first turning post, fewer at second turning post.
- Start gate: Triangle shape. Line up here in pairs.
Flat races: Jockeys ride horses. No saddles
- Winner not the person who performs sport but owner of horse.
- Slave buys or professionals ride horse (dangerous).
- Race is 2 lengths of the track
Chariot race: Most popular
- 4 horse chariot race. Wealthy people as expensive to get and train 4 horses
- Up to 1 km in distance
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