Ancient Greek games have only been viewed as a religious festival. The Greek Olympics, which inspired the founding of the modern Olympics in 1896, was supposed to have begun in 776 BC. These games paid homage to the King of Gods, Zeus, and were held in a valley near the town of Elis called the Olympia every four years. The Greek’s integrated guerrilla abilities led to matches like boxing, racing for chariots, running, wrestling, and much more. In ancient Greek, Participation in the games was somewhat different from new games.
The men who could speak Greek could play in many games, except for men from other countries. Crowns or olive leaf wreaths have been awarded for champions. The games were used to prove their rule over competing kingdoms by cities and states as a military tool. The laws were loose at that time, and the players were disgusting. The ancient Greek games were a way to spread the Hellenistic ethos in the Mediterranean region. So here are the ten Games that have led from ancient Greek:
- Chariot Racing
- Discus Throw
- Horse Racing
- Javelin Throwing
- Equestrian Events
10. Equestrian Events
Equestrian games were organized in early Greek cities with competitions on hippodromes for chariots and horses. An outdoor theatre where many significant events and racing games took place was a hippodrome. When the Greeks held equestrian competitions in the early Olympics, the discipline fell somewhere but returned to the summer Olympics of France in 1900. Men and women will engage on equal terms at these activities. Polo, Grand Prix Jumping, and High Jump events are part of Equestrian Events.
The Olympic Games in Ancient Greece date back to equestrian competitions. In times of war, the Greeks would prepare their horses for use. The cart races and horseracing were disputed at the Greek Games in 680BC. The first event to be part of the new Games was Jumping, which was admired by everyone, and that’s why it ranked on ten in our list of top ten ancient Greek games.
9. Javelin Throwing
The Javelin throwing ranked number nine on our list of top ancient Greek games in the ancient Greek Olympic pentathlon with five events. The race was conducted on a running path that brought the competitors a hundred meters to the point of departure and hurled the spear as hard as possible. It was about the height of a man in a wooden weapon.
The distinction between the currant jelly field lift and the ancient procedure is that a leather loop was tied to the spot where the jellyfish was placed. The athlete could stretch the arm length artificially by inserting a finger or two in the ring. It was one of the most interesting Greek games of ancient times.
8. Horse Racing
In ancient Greece, the breeds of horses were prominent and were an unavoidable feature of the festivals. They have been called equestrian competitions during the Olympic Games. The races happened at the race track, where most of the incidents occur at two turning points. The rich people could afford the horses that played in those competitions, and it was the owners that won, not the runners.
It gave women a chance to win racing competitions without participating.
When the Romans took over, the games of horse racing began to get less important. Not all of them could ride with their horses on long distances to different Mediterranean regions, and games began to decrease in Greece. But it was so popular at that time as it ranked number eight among the top ten best ancient Greek games.
Ancient Greek wrestling ranked number seven for being one of the best Greek games of history. It was also known as pale. A wrestler must have gained three points to win. An argument was made when one of the opponents with his hip, back, or shoulder hit the dirt, acknowledged a derogation due to an injury, or was forced from the wrestling field.
The contests followed a disposal tournament format in which the fight proceeded before a winner was crowned. Its field was a full-face or a stremma of the square. The Olympic Games in 708 B.C. added wrestling, and the event was classified as a pentathlon.
These rules were followed in wrestling in ancient Greece:
- It was not allowed to gouge the eye’s orbit.
- It was the appeal of the referee whether or not it was allowed to turn fingers to compel the opponent to grant the default.
- It was not allowed to attack the genitals.
- Once a point had been scored, the competitor had time to climb up until the wrestling began.
In Greece, it is possible to trace running as a game back to 776 BC. Ancient Greeks created fitness systems that helped people participate in Olympic running competitions. The Greeks liked to watch events, and rich and gracious spectators showered precious presents to the winners. The competition was undoubtedly athletic, and various forms of foot racing of different lengths existed.
In a stadium, where one particular stadium was around 185 m, the normal distance was measured. The most prestigious one-story race was supposed to take place in a single breath by the legendary father of the Olympics. The Dolichos and double-stage races were also affairs. The policies were a race of 20 to 24 years. The runners had to turn 180 degrees at each end of the race that lasted more than one stadium. Running is one of the most prestigious sports in ancient Greek, so we ranked it on number six among the top ten ancient Greek games.
Jumping ranked number five on our list of top ten ancient Greek games. The Greek terrain was riddled with ravines, and ancientness was incomparable in leaping over broad distances while fighting. Adapted as games, jumping was used in the ancient Olympics pentathlon. In ancient Greece, competitors had the stone or plumage weights known as brackets on their shoulders instead of modern-day jumps.
Halters were made to help the competitor grab them in the form of a bump or cones with depressions. The pit was 50 meters long (15 meters), and the point of measurement was described as a “bater.” By running and swinging the weights simultaneously, the jumper got speed. It was the most popular game of ancient Greek.
4. Discus Throw
The discus throw dates from 708 BC, which is a part of the ancient Greek pentathlon. The Discus was made from plumage, stone, iron, or bronze in ancient Greece, depending on the metal availability. In a spinning motion, athletes threw the Discus. The distance to the disco relied on the weight and technology of the thrower’s body. This game was, in many respects, a measure of both the skill of the thrower and the precision of the throwing technique.
The discus throw, the Iliad, was referred to by Homer. Myron, a former sculptor, also recorded the game in an athlete’s sculpture, planning to give a talk. The discus’ form and throwing technique today are the same as in ancient times. In addition, the game hasn’t seen any significant improvements and is much the same as it was at the time.
Pankration was one of the favorite sports of ancient Greek audiences. It is one type of martial art that combines wrestling and boxing. It was introduced in the second millennium B.C. and undeniably deemed one of the hardest and most risky matches. It involved from gouging the eyes to strangling. It was also introduced in the 33rd Greek Olympic Games in 648 BC. The creator and the king of Athens are thought to have invented panic for this game.
He supposedly used his special blend to kill the minotaur half-human monster trapped in the labyrinth of Minos. Hercules, who has also won a panic contest in Olympia, has also won a myth. Many Greek vases portray the hero who conquered the Nemean lion employing a heavy lock, a technique used in pancreatic combat.
There were major phases of the games. The first was a “penalty” during which the competitors were fighting correctly. The aim was to take the enemy down using punches, kicks, and deadly strikes. The second stage was ‘Kato pankration’ or lower pankration, which involved the sealing, grappling, and squeezing of the enemy. Their players were allowed by Pankration to create their style. The combatants have also been given nicknames for their special way of beating their opponents. The players first struggled with nude, oiled bodies, bare hands, and strong wrappings to protect their hands and forearms.
2. Chariot Racing
We know that Cart racing began from artistic proof of pottery during the Mycenaean period and that the carriage race is thought to be the sport that began the Olympic Games. According to the ancient Greek poet Pindar, King Oenomaus challenged the deserving followers of his daughter to battle one another. Pelops won the competition, and in celebration of his triumph, these Olympic Games were born. The Iliad of Homer is the first textual documentation of carriage running at the Patroclus funeral match.
There were both four-horse and two-horse cart races at the ancient Olympic Games and the Panhellenic Games. The laws were identical, in addition to the number of horses involved. In the Olympics, in 680 BC, the event was firstly added. The festival was initially held on one day and then stretched to an event of two days.
1. Boxing (Greek Pygmachia)
Ancient Greek boxing started from the 8th Century when an integral aspect of Greek gaming culture was considered. The birth of boxing as an ancient game in Greece is linked to many legends. The first legend who invented Boxing was King Theseus. In his game story, two men stood face-to-face and battered each other to death. With time, the seat configurations shifted, and the boxers began to wear spiked gloves. They struggled nude. Boxing was a means of celebrating the dead in his Iliad.
Boxing is one of the competitions organized to commemorate the death of Achilles during the Trojan War. There were no differences in weights and age, unlike modern-day boxing. The game was not split into rounds but stopped when one contestant gave up or was killed, or when they were all tired and ended in common agreement. In addition, any hit from the hand could split the eyeballs apart. If the fight lasted too long, rivals could swap undeclared blows to speed up the process. Boxing in ancient Greek became more harsh and interesting that we ranked this game number one on our list of top ten Ancient Greek games.
Games were an integral part of society in ancient Greece. The games in Greece were both gaming and spiritual and have been the basis of today’s Olympics. They stem from the talents of the warriors. The Greeks had a very important civilization and had ruled as kings from literature to architecture and even on these games in their ancient times.