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Pankration : Pangration
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|The ancient Hellenic martial art of Pankration has described in this unique research of Gregory Zorzos from the ancient times until today. It is known in many names today such as: Pangkration, Pancraio, Paradosimos, Pankration, Pancratium, Pangratius, Pankration, Pancrace, Pankratos, Pancrazio, Pagration, Pangration, Sanda etc
Research includes many ancient scripts from ancient texts from many countries and many archeological items from many places. The analysis proved that all modern martial arts of the world have their roots from the ancient Hellas.
Some parts of Pankration consists today’s martial arts such as Grabble Submission, tug-of-war, sumo, kickboxing etc. and the author has wrote some specific books on this parts of Pankration.
Mr. Zorzos was founder of the Pangration Federation and also the President of the Historic Committee. This work has been approved from the Ministry of Culture and the Hellenic Army.
This research has get award: WRITER OF THE YEAR AWARD, Mr. Gregory Zorzos, Historian Author of The Hellenic Martial Arts, Pammachon and Pankration.
Also from SAE: I am pleased to continue to offer the support of «World Council of Hellenes Abroad» (SAE) since your efforts [about Pammachon and Pankration] help to increase appreciation for the Hellenic roots of the martial arts. Andrew Athens, President SAE.
A summary of this book is used as a FM (Fight Manual) for the Army and Police forces.
Some pages from pages bibliography of this book: PANCRATIUM is composed of πάν and κράτος, and accordingly signifies an athletic game, in which all the powers of the fighter were called into action.
The Pancratium was one of the games or gymnastic contests which were exhibited at all the great festivals of Greece; it consisted of boxing and wrestling ( µ and πάλη ), and was reckoned to be one of the heavy or hard exercises ( µ βαρέα or βαρύτερα ), on account of the violent exertions it required, and for this reason it was not much practised in the gymnasia; and where it was practised, it was pro-bably not without
modifications to render it easier for the boys. According to the ancient physicians it had very rarely a beneficial influence upon health (H. Mercurial. De Art. Gymnast, v. 7).
At Sparta the regular Pancratium was forbidden, but the name was there applied to a fierce and irregular fight not controlled by any rules, in which even biting and scratching were not uncommon, and in which, in short, everything was allowed by which one of the parties might hope to overcome the other.
In Homer we neither find the game nor the name of the Pancratium mentioned, and as it was not introduced at the Olympic games until 0 . 33 (Paus. v. 8. § 3), we may presume that the game, though it may have existed long before in a rude state, was not brought to any degree of per-fection until a short time before that event. It is scarcely possible to speak of an inventor of the Pancratium, as it must have gradually arisen out of a rude mode of fighting, which is customary among all uncivilized nations, and which was kept up at Sparta in its original state. But the Greeks re-garded Theseus as
the inventor of the Pancratium, who for want of a sword was said to have used this mode of fighting against the Minotaurus (Scholia ad Pind. Nem. v. 89).
Other legends re-presented Heracles as having been victor in the Pancratium (Paus. v. 8. § 1 , Hygin. Fab. 273), and later writers make other heroes also fight the Pancratium (Lucan, Pharsal., IV, 6 3, etc.); but these are mere fictions.
After the Pancratium was once introduced at Olympia, it soon found its way also into the other great games of Greece, and in the times of the Roman emperors we also find it practised in Italy.
In 0 . 1 45 the Pancratium for boys was introduced at the Olympic games, and the first boy who gained the victory was Phaedimus, a native of a town in Troas (Paus. v. 8, in fin.).
This innovation had been adopted before in others of the national games, and in the 6 st Pythiad (0 . 1 08), we find a Theban boy of the name of Olaides as victor in the Pancratium in the Pythian games. (Paus. x. 7. § 3).
At the Isthmian games the Pancratium for boys is not mentioned till the reign of Domitian (Corsini, Dissert. Agon. p. 1 0 ), but this may be merely accidental, and the game may have been practised long before that time. Philostratus (Imag. ii. 6) says that the Pancratium of men was the most beautiful of all athletic contests; and the combatants must certainly have shown to the spectators a variety of beautiful and exciting spectacles, as all the arts of boxing and wrestling appeared here united. (Aristot. Rhet. L 5, Plut. Sympos. II, p. 638, c).
The combatants in the Pancratium did not use the cestus, or if they did, it was the ι µ µ [cestus], so that the hands remained free, and wounds were not easily inflicted.
The name of these combatants was Pancratiastae (Pollux iii. 30. 5) They fought naked, and had their bodies anointed and covered with sand, by which they were en-abled to take hold of one another. (Philostr. l. c., Aristoph. Pax, 848).
In cases where the contests of the Pancratiastae were not regulated by strict rules, it might, as at Sparta, sometimes happen, that the fighters made use of their teeth and nails (Philostr. l. c.; Lucian, Demonacc, c. 49; Pint. Lac. Apophth. p. 234, d); but such irregularities probably did not occur at any of the great public games.
When two Pancratiastae began their contest, the first object which each of them endeavoured to accomplish, was to gain a favourable posi-tion, each trying to make the other stand so that the sun might shine in his face, or that other inconveniences might prevent his fighting with success.
This struggle ( περί της στάσεως , Aeschin. c. Ciesiph. p. 83, ed. Steph.) was only the introduction to the real contest, though in certain cases this preparatory struggle might terminate the whole game, as one of the parties might wear out the other by a series of stratagems, and compel him to give up further resistance. Sostratus of Sicyon had gained many a victory bjr such tricks. (Paus. vi. 4. § 1 ).
When the real contest began, each of the fighters might commence by boxing or by wrestling, accordingly as he thought he should be more successful in the one than in the other.
The victory was not decided until one of the parties was killed, or lifted up a finger, thereby declaring that he was unable to continue the contest either from pain or fatigue (Faber, Agonist, i. 8). It usually happened that one of the combatants, by some trick or other, made his antagonist fall to the ground, and the wrestling, which then commenced, was called ανακλινοπάλη , and continued until one of the parties declared himself conquered or was strangled, as was the case at Olympia with
Arrhichion or Arrachion of Phigalia, in 0 . 54. (Paus. viii. 40. §l, etc.; Euseb. Chron. p. 1 50, Scalig.). A lively description of a struggle of this kind is given by Philostratus (l. c.).
Sometimes one of the fighters fell down on his back on purpose that he might thus ward off the attacks of his antago-nist more easily, and this is perhaps the trick called υπτιασµός.
The usual mode of making a person fall was to put one foot behind his, and then to push him backward, or to seize him round his body in such a manner that the upper part being the heavier the person lost his balance and fell.
Hence the expressions µ λα µ , µ , µ αιρείν , τα µ έχειν , δια µ σπάν , etc. (Scalig. ad Euseb. Cliron. p. 48).
The annexed woodcut represents two pairs of Pancratiastae; the one on the right hand is an example of the ανακλινοπάλη , and that on the left of the µ . They are taken from Krause's Gymnastik und Agonistik d.
Hellen. Taf. xxi. b. Fig. 35, b. 3 , b., whore they are copied respectively from Grivaud, Rec. d. Mon. Ant. vol. i. pi. 20, 2 , and Krause, Signorum vet. icones tab. 1 0.
At Rome the Pancratium is first mentioned in the games which Caligula gave to the people. (Dion Cass. lix. 1 3) After this time it seems to have become extremely popular, and Justinian (Novell. cv. c. 1 , provided πάγκαρπον be, as some suppose, a mistake for παγκράτιον ) made it one of the seven solemnities ( ) which the consuls had to provide for the amusement of the people.
Several of the Greek Pancratiastae have been immortalised in the epinician odes of Pindar, namely Timodemus of Athens (Nem. ii), Melissus and Strepsiades of Thebes (Isth. iii. and vi), Aristoclides, Oleander and Phylacides of Aegina (Nem. iii., Isth. iv. v. and vi), and a boy Pytheas of Aegina. (Nem. v.) But besides these the names of a great many other victors in the Pancratium are known. (Compare Fellows, Discoveries in Lycia, p.3 3, Lond. 1 84 ). The diet and training of the Pancratiastae was the same as that of other Athletae [athletae].
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