Wrestling is a combat sport involving grappling-type techniques such as clinch fighting and takedowns, joint locks and other grappling holds. The sport can either be genuinely competitive. A wrestling bout is a physical competition, between two competitors or sparring partners, who attempt to gain and maintain a superior position. There are a wide range of styles with varying rules with both traditional historic and modern styles. Wrestling techniques have been incorporated into other martial arts as well as military hand-to-hand combat systems; the term wrestling is attested as wræstlunge. Wrestling represents one of the oldest forms of combat; the origins of wrestling go back 15,000 years through cave drawings. Babylonian and Egyptian reliefs show wrestlers using most of the holds known in the present-day sport. Literary references to it occur as early as the ancient Indian Vedas. In the Book of Genesis, the Patriarch Jacob is said to have wrestled with an angel; the Iliad, in which Homer recounts the Trojan War of the 13th or 12th century BC contains mentions of wrestling.
Indian epics Mahabharata contain references to martial arts including wrestling. In ancient Greece wrestling occupied a prominent place in literature; the ancient Romans borrowed from Greek wrestling, but eliminated much of its brutality. During the Middle Ages wrestling remained popular and enjoyed the patronage of many royal families, including those of France and England. Early British settlers in America brought a strong wrestling tradition with them; the settlers found wrestling to be popular among Native Americans. Amateur wrestling flourished throughout the early years of the North American colonies and served as a popular activity at country fairs, holiday celebrations, in military exercises; the first organized national wrestling tournament took place in New York City in 1888. Wrestling has been an event at every modern Olympic Games since the 1904 games in St. Louis, Missouri; the international governing body for the sport, United World Wrestling, was established in 1912 in Antwerp, Belgium as the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles.
The 1st NCAA Wrestling Championships were held in 1912, in Ames, Iowa. USA Wrestling, located in Colorado Springs, became the national governing body of U. S. amateur wrestling in 1983. Some of the earliest references to wrestling can be found in wrestling mythology; the Epic of Gilgamesh: Gilgamesh established his credibility as a leader, after wrestling Enkidu. Greek mythology celebrates the rise of Zeus as ruler of the earth after a wrestling match with his father, Cronus. Both Heracles and Theseus were famous for their wrestling against beast; the Mahabharata describes a malla-dwandwa between the accomplished wrestlers Jarasandha. Rustam of the Shahnameh is regarded by Iranian pahlevans as the greatest wrestler. In Pharaonic Egypt, wrestling has been evidenced by documentation on Egyptian artwork. Greek wrestling was a popular form of martial art, at least in Ancient Greece. Oil wrestling is the national sport of Turkey and it can be traced back to Central Asia. After the Roman conquest of the Greeks, Greek wrestling was absorbed by the Roman culture and became Roman wrestling during the period of the Roman Empire.
Shuai jiao, a wrestling style originating in China, which according to legend, has a reported history of over 4,000 years. Arabic literature depicted Muhammad as a skilled wrestler, defeating a skeptic in a match at one point; the Byzantine emperor Basil I, according to court historians, won in wrestling against a boastful wrestler from Bulgaria in the eighth century. In 1520 at the Field of the Cloth of Gold pageant, Francis I of France threw fellow king Henry VIII of England in a wrestling match; the Lancashire style of folk wrestling may have formed the basis for Catch wrestling known as "catch as catch can." The Scots formed a variant of this style, the Irish developed the "collar-and-elbow" style which found its way into the United States. A Frenchman "is credited with reorganizing European loose wrestling into a professional sport", Greco-Roman wrestling; this style, finalized by the 19th century and by wrestling was featured in many fairs and festivals in Europe. Greco-Roman wrestling and contemporary freestyle wrestling were soon regulated in formal competitions, in part resulting from the rise of gymnasiums and athletic clubs.
On continental Europe, prize money was offered in large sums to the winners of Greco-Roman tournaments, freestyle wrestling spread in the United Kingdom and in the United States after the American Civil War. Wrestling professionals soon increased the popularity of Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling, worldwide. Greco-Roman wrestling became an event at the first modern Olympic games, in Athens in 1896. Since 1908, the event has been in every Summer Olympics. Freestyle wrestling became an Olympic event, in 1904. Women's freestyle wrestling was added to the Summer Olympics in 2004. Since 1921, United World Wrestling has regulated amateur wrestling as an athletic discipline, while professional wrestling has become infused with theatrics but still requires athletic ability. Today, various countries send national wrestling teams to the Olympics, including Russi
The Nemean lion was a vicious monster in Greek mythology that lived at Nemea. It was killed by Heracles, it could not be killed with mortals' weapons. Its claws could cut through any armor. Today, lions are not part of the Greek fauna; the Asiatic lion subspecies ranged in southeastern Europe. According to Herodotus, lion populations were extant in Ancient Greece, until around 100 BC when they became extinct; the lion is considered to have been the offspring of Typhon and Echidna. The Nemean lion was sent to Nemea in the Peloponnesus to terrorize the city; the first of Heracles' twelve labours, set by King Eurystheus, was to slay the Nemean lion. Heracles wandered the area. There he met a boy who said that if Heracles slew the Nemean lion and returned alive within 30 days, the town would sacrifice a lion to Zeus. Another version claims that he met Molorchos, a shepherd who had lost his son to the lion, saying that if he came back within 30 days, a ram would be sacrificed to Zeus. If he did not return within 30 days, it would be sacrificed to the dead Heracles as a mourning offering.
While searching for the lion, Heracles fetched some arrows to use against it, not knowing that its golden fur was impenetrable. After some time, Heracles made the lion return to his cave; the cave had two entrances. In those dark and close quarters, Heracles stunned the beast with his club. During the fight the lion bit off one of his fingers, he killed the lion by strangling it with his bare hands. After slaying the lion, he failed, he tried sharpening the knife with a stone and tried with the stone itself. Athena, noticing the hero's plight, told Heracles to use one of the lion's own claws to skin the pelt; when he returned on the thirtieth day carrying the carcass of the lion on his shoulders, King Eurystheus was amazed and terrified. Eurystheus forbade him again to enter the city. Eurystheus warned him that the tasks set for him would become difficult, he sent Heracles off to complete his next quest, to destroy the Lernaean hydra. Heracles wore the Nemean lion's coat after killing it, as it was impervious to the elements and all but the most powerful weapons.
Others say. According to some authors, Heracles was helped in this labour by an Earth-born serpent, which followed him to Thebes and settled down in Aulis, it was identified as the water snake which devoured the sparrows and was turned into stone in the prophecy about the Trojan War. Smith, William. "Heracles or Hercules" Media related to Nemean Lion at Wikimedia Commons
Heracles, born Alcaeus or Alcides was a divine hero in Greek mythology, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, foster son of Amphitryon. He was a half-brother of Perseus, he was the greatest of the Greek heroes, a paragon of masculinity, the ancestor of royal clans who claimed to be Heracleidae, a champion of the Olympian order against chthonic monsters. In Rome and the modern West, he is known as Hercules, with whom the Roman emperors, in particular Commodus and Maximian identified themselves; the Romans adopted the Greek version of his life and works unchanged, but added anecdotal detail of their own, some of it linking the hero with the geography of the Central Mediterranean. Details of his cult were adapted to Rome as well. Many popular stories were told of the most famous being The Twelve Labours of Heracles, his figure, which drew on Near Eastern motifs such as the lion-fight, was known. Heracles was the greatest of Hellenic chthonic heroes, but unlike other Greek heroes, no tomb was identified as his.
Heracles was both god, as Pindar says heros theos. The core of the story of Heracles has been identified by Walter Burkert as originating in Neolithic hunter culture and traditions of shamanistic crossings into the netherworld, it is possible that the myths surrounding Heracles were based on the life of a real person or several people whose accomplishments became exaggerated with time. Based on commonalities in the legends of Heracles and Odysseus, author Steven Sora suggested that they were both based on the same historical person, who made his mark prior to recorded history. Heracles' role as a culture hero, whose death could be a subject of mythic telling, was accepted into the Olympian Pantheon during Classical times; this created an awkwardness in the encounter with Odysseus in the episode of Odyssey XI, called the Nekuia, where Odysseus encounters Heracles in Hades: Ancient critics were aware of the problem of the aside that interrupts the vivid and complete description, in which Heracles recognizes Odysseus and hails him, modern critics find good reasons for denying that the verses beginning, in Fagles' translation His ghost I mean... were part of the original composition: "once people knew of Heracles' admission to Olympus, they would not tolerate his presence in the underworld", remarks Friedrich Solmsen, noting that the interpolated verses represent a compromise between conflicting representations of Heracles.
In Christian circles a Euhemerist reading of the widespread Heracles cult was attributed to a historical figure, offered cult status after his death. Thus Eusebius, Preparation of the Gospel, reported that Clement could offer historical dates for Hercules as a king in Argos: "from the reign of Hercules in Argos to the deification of Hercules himself and of Asclepius there are comprised thirty-eight years, according to Apollodorus the chronicler: and from that point to the deification of Castor and Pollux fifty-three years: and somewhere about this time was the capture of Troy." Readers with a literalist bent, following Clement's reasoning, have asserted from this remark that, since Heracles ruled over Tiryns in Argos at the same time that Eurystheus ruled over Mycenae, since at about this time Linus was Heracles' teacher, one can conclude, based on Jerome's date—in his universal history, his Chronicon—given to Linus' notoriety in teaching Heracles in 1264 BCE, that Heracles' death and deification occurred 38 years in 1226 BCE.
The ancient Greeks celebrated the festival of the Heracleia, which commemorated the death of Heracles, on the second day of the month of Metageitnion. What is believed to be an Egyptian Temple of Heracles in the Bahariya Oasis dates to 21 BCE. A reassessment of Ptolemy's descriptions of the island of Malta attempted to link the site at Ras ir-Raħeb with a temple to Heracles, but the arguments are not conclusive. Several ancient cities were named Heraclea in his honor. Although the Athenians were among the first to worship Heracles as a god, there were Greek cities that refused to recognize the hero's divine status. There are several polis that provided two separate sanctuaries for Heracles, one recognizing him as a god, the other only as a hero; this ambiguity helped create the Heracles cult when historians and artists encouraged worship such as the painters during the time of the Peisistratos, who presented Heracles entering Olympus in their works. Some sources explained that the cult of Heracles persisted because of the hero's ascent to heaven and his suffering, which became the basis for festivals, ritual and the organization of mysteries.
There is the observation, for example, that sufferings gave rise to the rituals of grief and mourning, which came before the joy in the mysteries in the sequence of cult rituals. Like the case of Apollo, the cult of Hercules has been sustained through the years by absorbing local cult figures such as those who share the same nature, he was constantly invoked as a patron for men the young ones. For example, he was considered the ideal in warfare so he presided over gymnasiums and the ephebes or those men undergoing military training. There were ancient towns and cities that adopted Hera
A dragon is a large, serpent-like legendary creature that appears in the folklore of many cultures around the world. Beliefs about dragons vary drastically by region, but dragons in western cultures since the High Middle Ages have been depicted as winged, four-legged, capable of breathing fire. Dragons in eastern cultures are depicted as wingless, four-legged, serpentine creatures with above-average intelligence; the earliest attested dragons resemble giant snakes. Dragon-like creatures are first described in the mythologies of the ancient Near East and appear in ancient Mesopotamian art and literature. Stories about storm-gods slaying giant serpents occur throughout nearly all Indo-European and Near Eastern mythologies. Famous prototypical dragons include the mušḫuššu of ancient Mesopotamia; the popular western image of a dragon as winged, four-legged, capable of breathing fire is an invention of the High Middle Ages based on a conflation of earlier dragons from different traditions. In western cultures, dragons are portrayed as monsters to be tamed or overcome by saints or culture heroes, as in the popular legend of Saint George and the Dragon.
They are said to have ravenous appetites and to live in caves, where they hoard treasure. These dragons appear in western fantasy literature, including The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin; the word "dragon" has come to be applied to the Chinese lung, which are associated with good fortune and are thought to have power over rain. Dragons and their associations with rain are the source of the Chinese customs of dragon dancing and dragon boat racing. Many East Asian deities and demigods have dragons as their personal companions. Dragons were identified with the Emperor of China, during Chinese imperial history, was the only one permitted to have dragons on his house, clothing, or personal articles; the word dragon entered the English language in the early 13th century from Old French dragon, which in turn comes from Latin: draconem meaning "huge serpent, dragon", from Ancient Greek δράκων, drákōn "serpent, giant seafish".
The Greek and Latin term referred to any great serpent, not mythological. The Greek word δράκων is most derived from the Greek verb δέρκομαι meaning "I see", the aorist form of, ἐδρακόμην. Dragon-like creatures appear in all cultures around the globe. Nonetheless, scholars dispute where the idea of a dragon originates from and a wide variety of theories have been proposed. In his book An Instinct for Dragons, anthropologist David E. Jones suggests a hypothesis that humans, just like monkeys, have inherited instinctive reactions to snakes, large cats, birds of prey, he cites a study which found that 39 people in a hundred are afraid of snakes and notes that fear of snakes is prominent in children in areas where snakes are rare. The earliest attested dragons all bear snakelike attributes. Jones therefore concludes that the reason why dragons appear in nearly all cultures is because of humans' innate fear of snakes and other animals that were major predators of humans' primate ancestors. Dragons are said to reside in "dank caves, deep pools, wild mountain reaches, sea bottoms, haunted forests", all places which would have been fraught with danger for early human ancestors.
In her book The First Fossil Hunters: Dinosaurs and Myth in Greek and Roman Times, Adrienne Mayor argues that some stories of dragons may have been inspired by ancient discoveries of fossils belonging to dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals. She argues that the dragon lore of northern India may have been inspired by "observations of oversized, extraordinary bones in the fossilbeds of the Siwalik Hills below the Himalayas" and that ancient Greek artistic depictions of the Monster of Troy may have been influenced by fossils of Samotherium, an extinct species of giraffe whose fossils are common in the Mediterranean region. In China, a region where fossils of large prehistoric animals are common, these remains are identified as "dragon bones" and are used in Chinese traditional medicine. Mayor, however, is careful to point out that not all stories of dragons and giants are inspired by fossils and notes that Scandinavia has many stories of dragons and sea monsters, but has long "been considered barren of large fossils."
In one of her books, she states that "Many dragon images around the world were based on folk knowledge or exaggerations of living reptiles, such as Komodo dragons, Gila monsters, alligators, or, in California, alligator lizards." Ancient peoples across the Near East believed in creatures similar to what modern people call "dragons". These ancient peoples were unaware of the existence of dinosaurs or similar creatures in the distant past. References to dragons of both benevolent and malevolent characters occur throughout ancient Mesopotamian literature. In Sumerian poetry, great kings are compared to the ušumgal, a gigantic, serpentine monster. A dragon-like creature with the foreparts of a lion and the hind-legs and wings of a bird appears in Mesopotamian artwork from the Akkadian Period until the Neo-Babylonian Period; the dragon is shown with its mouth open. It may have been known as the nā’iru, which means "roaring weather beast", may ha
The discus throw is a track and field event in which an athlete throws a heavy disc—called a discus—in an attempt to mark a farther distance than his or her competitors. It is an ancient sport, as demonstrated by Discobolus. Although not part of the modern pentathlon, it was one of the events of the ancient Greek pentathlon, which can be dated back to at least to 708 BC, is part of the modern decathlon; the sport of throwing the discus traces back to it being an event in the original Olympic Games of Ancient Greece. The discus as a sport was resurrected in Magdeburg, Germany, by Christian Georg Kohlrausch and his students in the 1870s. Organized Men's competition was resumed in the late 19th century, has been a part of the modern Summer Olympic Games since the first modern competition, the 1896 Summer Olympics. Images of discus throwers figured prominently in advertising for early modern Games, such as fundraising stamps for the 1896 games, the main posters for the 1920 and 1948 Summer Olympics.
Today the sport of discus is a routine part of modern track-and-field meets at all levels, retains a iconic place in the Olympic Games. The first modern athlete to throw the discus while rotating the whole body was František Janda-Suk from Bohemia, he invented this technique. After only one year of developing the technique he earned a silver medal in the 1900 Olympics. Women's competition began in the first decades of the 20th century. Following competition at national and regional levels it was added to the Olympic program for the 1928 games; the men's discus is a heavy lenticular disc with a weight of 2 kilograms and diameter of 22 centimetres, the women's discus has a weight of 1 kilogram and diameter of 18 centimetres. Under IAAF rules, Youth boys throw the 1.6 kilograms discus, the Junior men throw the unique 1.75 kilograms discus, the girls/women of those ages throw the 1 kilogram discus. In international competition, men throw the 2 kg discus through to age 49; the 1.5 kilograms discus is thrown by ages 50–59, men age 60 and beyond throw the 1 kilogram discus.
Women throw the 1 kilogram discus through to age 74. Starting with age 75, women throw; the typical discus has sides made of plastic, fiberglass, carbon fiber or metal with a metal rim and a metal core to attain the weight. The rim must be smooth. A discus with more weight in the rim produces greater angular momentum for any given spin rate, thus more stability, although it is more difficult to throw. However, a higher rim weight, if thrown can lead to a farther throw. A solid rubber discus is sometimes used. To make a throw, the competitor starts in a circle of 2.5 m diameter, recessed in a concrete pad by 20 millimetres. The thrower takes an initial stance facing away from the direction of the throw, he spins anticlockwise around one and a half times through the circle to build momentum releases his throw. The discus must land within a 34.92-degree sector. The rules of competition for discus are identical to those of shot put, except that the circle is larger, a stop board is not used and there are no form rules concerning how the discus is to be thrown.
The basic motion is a forehanded sidearm movement. The discus is spun off the middle finger of the throwing hand. In flight the disc spins clockwise when viewed from above for a right-handed thrower, anticlockwise for a left-handed thrower; as well as achieving maximum momentum in the discus on throwing, the discus' distance is determined by the trajectory the thrower imparts, as well as the aerodynamic behavior of the discus. Throws into a moderate headwind achieve the maximum distance. A faster-spinning discus imparts greater gyroscopic stability; the technique of discus throwing is quite difficult to master and needs lots of experience to get right, thus most top throwers are 30 years old or more. The discus technique can be broken down into phases; the purpose is to transfer from the back to the front of the throwing circle while turning through one and a half circles. The speed of delivery is high, speed is built up during the throw. Correct technique involves the buildup of torque so that maximum force can be applied to the discus on delivery.
During the wind-up, weight is evenly distributed between the feet, which are about shoulder distance and not overly active. The wind-up sets the tone for the entire throw. Focusing on rhythm can bring about the consistency to get in the right positions that many throwers lack. Executing a sound discus throw with solid technique requires perfect balance; this is due to the throw being a linear movement combined with a one and a half rotation and an implement at the end of one arm. Thus, a good discus thrower needs to maintain balance within the circle. For a right handed thrower, the next stage is to move the weight over the left foot. From this position the right foot is raised, the athlete'runs' across the circle. There are various techniques for this stage where the leg swings out to a small or great extent, some athletes turn on their left heel but turning on the ball of the foot is far more common; the aim is to land in the'power position', the right foot should be in the center and the heel should not touch the ground at any point.
The left foot should land quickly after the right. Weight shoul
Hadrian was Roman emperor from 117 to 138. He was born Publius Aelius Hadrianus near Santiponce, Spain into a Hispano-Roman family, his father was a first cousin of Emperor Trajan. He married Trajan's grand-niece Vibia Sabina early in his career, before Trajan became emperor and at the behest of Trajan's wife Pompeia Plotina. Plotina and Trajan's close friend and adviser Lucius Licinius Sura were well disposed towards Hadrian; when Trajan died, his widow claimed that he had nominated Hadrian as emperor before his death. Rome's military and Senate approved Hadrian's succession, but four leading senators were unlawfully put to death soon after, they had opposed Hadrian or seemed to threaten his succession, the senate held him responsible for it and never forgave him. He earned further disapproval among the elite by abandoning Trajan's expansionist policies and territorial gains in Mesopotamia, Assyria and parts of Dacia. Hadrian preferred to invest in the development of stable, defensible borders and the unification of the empire's disparate peoples.
He is known for building Hadrian's Wall. Hadrian energetically pursued personal interests, he visited every province of the Empire, accompanied by an Imperial retinue of specialists and administrators. He encouraged military preparedness and discipline, he fostered, designed, or subsidised various civil and religious institutions and building projects. In Rome itself, he constructed the vast Temple of Venus and Roma. In Egypt, he may have rebuilt the Serapeum of Alexandria, he was an ardent admirer of Greece and sought to make Athens the cultural capital of the Empire, so he ordered the construction of many opulent temples there. His intense relationship with Greek youth Antinous and Antinous' untimely death led Hadrian to establish a widespread cult late in his reign, he suppressed the Bar Kokhba revolt in Judaea. Hadrian's last years were marred by chronic illness, he saw the Bar Kokhba revolt as the failure of his panhellenic ideal. He executed two more senators for their alleged plots against him, this provoked further resentment.
His marriage to Vibia Sabina had been childless. Hadrian died the same year at Baiae, Antoninus had him deified, despite opposition from the Senate. Edward Gibbon includes him among the Empire's "Five good emperors", a "benevolent dictator", he has been described as enigmatic and contradictory, with a capacity for both great personal generosity and extreme cruelty and driven by insatiable curiosity, self-conceit, ambition. Modern interest was revived thanks to Marguerite Yourcenar's novel Mémoires d'Hadrien. Hadrian was born on 24 January 76 in Italica in the Roman province of Hispania Baetica, he was named Publius Aelius Hadrianus. His father was Publius Aelius Hadrianus Afer, a senator of praetorian rank and raised in Italica but paternally linked, through many generations over several centuries, to a family from Hadria, an ancient town in Picenum; the family had settled in Italica soon after its founding by Scipio Africanus. Hadrian's mother was Domitia Paulina, daughter of a distinguished Hispano-Roman senatorial family from Gades.
His only sibling was Aelia Domitia Paulina. Hadrian's great-nephew, Gnaeus Pedanius Fuscus Salinator, from Barcino would become Hadrian's colleague as co-consul in 118; as a senator, Hadrian's father would have spent much of his time in Rome. In terms of his career, Hadrian's most significant family connection was to Trajan, his father's first cousin, of senatorial stock, had been born and raised in Italica. Hadrian and Trajan were both considered to be – in the words of Aurelius Victor – "aliens", people "from the outside". Hadrian's parents died in 86, he and his sister became wards of Publius Acilius Attianus. Hadrian was physically active, enjoyed hunting. Hadrian's enthusiasm for Greek literature and culture earned him the nickname Graeculus. Trajan married Paulina off to the three-times consul Lucius Julius Ursus Servianus. Hadrian's first official post in Rome was as a judge at the Inheritance court, one among many vigintivirate offices at the lowest level of the cursus honorum that could lead to higher office and a senatorial career.
He served as a military tribune, first with the Legio II Adiutrix in 95 with the Legio V Macedonica. During Hadrian's second stint as tribune, the frail and aged reigning emperor Nerva adopted Trajan as his heir, he was transferred to Legio XXII Primigenia and a third tribunate. Hadrian's three tribunates gave him some career advantage. Most scions of the older senatorial families might serve one, or at most two military tribunates as a prerequisite to higher office; when Nerva died in 98, Hadrian is said to have hastened to Trajan, to inform him ahead of the official envoy sent by the go
Pankration was a sporting event introduced into the Greek Olympic Games in 648 BC and was an empty-hand submission sport with scarcely any rules. The athletes used boxing and wrestling techniques, but others, such as kicking and holds and chokes on the ground; the only things not acceptable were gouging out the opponent's eyes. The term comes from the Greek παγκράτιον meaning "all of power" from πᾶν "all" and κράτος "strength, power". In Greek mythology, it was said that the heroes Heracles and Theseus invented pankration as a result of using both wrestling and boxing in their confrontations with opponents. Theseus was said to have utilized his extraordinary pankration skills to defeat the dreaded Minotaur in the Labyrinth. Heracles was said to have subdued the Nemean lion using pankration, was depicted in ancient artwork doing that. In this context, pankration was referred to as pammachon or pammachion, meaning "total combat", from πᾶν-, pān-, "all-" or "total", μάχη, machē, "matter"; the term pammachon was older, would become used less than the term pankration.
The mainstream academic view has been that pankration developed in the archaic Greek society of the 7th century BC, whereby, as the need for expression in violent sport increased, pankration filled a niche of "total contest" that neither boxing nor wrestling could. However, some evidence suggests that pankration, in both its sporting form and its combative form, may have been practiced in Greece from the second millennium BC. Pankration, as practiced in historical antiquity, was an athletic event that combined techniques of both boxing and wrestling, as well as additional elements, such as the use of strikes with the legs, to create a broad fighting sport similar to today's mixed martial arts competitions. There is evidence that, although knockouts were common, most pankration competitions were decided on the ground where both striking and submission techniques would come into play. Pankratiasts were skilled grapplers and were effective in applying a variety of takedowns and joint locks. In extreme cases a pankration competition could result in the death of one of the opponents, considered a win.
However, pankration was more than just an event in the athletic competitions of the ancient Greek world. It is said that the Spartans at their immortal stand at Thermopylae fought with their bare hands and teeth once their swords and spears broke. Herodotus mentions that in the battle of Mycale between the Greeks and the Persians in 479 BC, those of the Greeks who fought best were the Athenians, the Athenian who fought best was a distinguished pankratiast, son of Euthynus. Polyaemus describes King Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great, practicing with another pankratiast while his soldiers watched; the feats of the ancient pankratiasts became legendary in the annals of Greek athletics. Stories abound of past champions. Arrhichion, Polydamas of Skotoussa and Theogenes are among the most recognized names, their accomplishments defying the odds were some of the most inspiring of ancient Greek athletics and they served as inspiration to the Hellenic world for centuries, as Pausanias, the ancient traveller and writer indicates when he re-tells these stories in his narrative of his travels around Greece.
Dioxippus was an Athenian who had won the Olympic Games in 336 BC, was serving in Alexander the Great's army in its expedition into Asia. As an admired champion, he became part of the circle of Alexander the Great. In that context, he accepted a challenge from one of Alexander's most skilled soldiers named Coragus to fight in front of Alexander and the troops in armed combat. While Coragus fought with weapons and full armour, Dioxippus showed up armed only with a club and defeated Coragus without killing him, making use of his pankration skills. However, Dioxippus was framed for theft, which led him to commit suicide. In an odd turn of events, a pankration fighter named Arrhichion of Phigalia won the pankration competition at the Olympic Games despite being dead, his opponent had locked him in a chokehold and Arrhichion, desperate to loosen it, broke his opponent's toe. The opponent nearly submitted; as the referee raised Arrhichion's hand, it was discovered. His body was returned to Phigaleia as a hero.
By the Imperial Period, the Romans had adopted the Greek combat sport into their Games. In 393 A. D. the pankration, along with gladiatorial combat and all pagan festivals, was abolished by edict by the Christian Byzantine Emperor Theodosius I. Pankration itself was an event in the Olympic Games for some 1,400 years. There were time limits in pankration competitions. However, there were three age groups in the competitions of antiquity. In the Olympic Games there were only two such age groups: men and boys; the pankration event for boys was established at the Olympic Games in 200 B. C.. In pankration competitions, referees were armed with stout switches to enforce the rules. In fact, there were only two rules biting. Sparta was the only place eye biting was allowed; the contest itself