First of all, I’m sure that most people in this broad and seducing web are sports fan. When in the morning we read the newspaper – we look for the sports results. When we go to some news site – we are sure to have a look at the sports page. But have you ever thought of what was before we got the whole sporting world as we have it now?
Actually, I got interested in the prehistory of modern kinds of sport and found some deliciously interesting and at some points even extreme sports of our ancient predecessors.
This game originally appeared in ancient Mexico. In some sources it’s defined as mesoamerican game with the ball; in general it resembled modern volleyball (though the rules of this entertaining event are still quite vague) and the ball itself weighed about 4 kilos being made of a kind of rubber.
The score number came out of the attacking the wall of the rival and the points were put off if the ball touched the ground twice. Anyway, both teams could win, if the ball was thrown through a round stone gate, stack to the wall at the unbelievable height. Now in Mexico there is a kind of modern variant of Pitz called Ulama and it’s surely much more civilized)
We all know the old tug-of-war game and we exactly know the rules. But no one has ever thought of playing tug-of war above the fire pit. Nobody, except ancient vikings. Instead of the rope they used animal skin and we still don’t know hat was the destiny of the losing party.
“Corrida” with animals.
This game was introduced in Rome in the 54th century AD. The player was to fight with mysterious “Carthageanimals” – that’s how the elephants were called. The chance to stay alive for the playing slave (yes, this game was using slaves) was not higher than 2%. This kind of corrida was so popular in Rome that North African elephants stood at the edge of extinction.
Even ultimate fighting at last has some rules. Ancient Greek Pankration didn’t. The game didn’t have any scores, breaks and rules. The main aim was to come closer to the rival and get full control over him using punches, holds inducing the rival to give up. There was a period when Pankration entered the official schedule of the ancient Olympic Games and lots of techniques and skills were invented.
This is an Egyptian folly. The rules were the following.: 8 guys were to get in a boat and start a trip along Nile. Then they started a fight between each other in the middle of the river. Of course it all ended with serious injuries or falling out of the boat. Unlike modern fishermen, those ancient Egyptians couldn’t swim, so often falling out of the boat the sportsman sank. Animals (alligators and very hungry hippos) were only adding adrenaline when feeling the blood in the water they came to take any person, who was unluckily in the water at that moment.
This was an ancient Rome sea battle. But with real boats. And with real people. They built amphitheaters with water in the center and the whole affair was a real sea fight with all the consequences. It was really difficult to find about 2000 volunteer participants, so, I guess, they used the slaves as well as in gladiator fights.
The logic of this initiative is doubtful. Considering the number of wars and fights in their lives, why did they need to have a rest looking at the same stuff?