Roman Wrestling - The Pancratium

© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016

NAKED ROMAN WRESTLING & BOXING
   
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   - INTRODUCTION -
ORIGINS

Pankration Wrestlers at the Olympic Games
Tom Lovell - reproduced, with permission, from 'Great Art' - by Peter Crawford
παγκράτιον- (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 techniques from boxing and wrestling but also other types, such as kicking and holds, locks and chokes on the ground.
The only things not acceptable were biting and gouging out the opponent's eyes.
The term comes from the Greek παγκράτιον (paŋkrátion), literally meaning "all of might" from πᾶν (pan-) "all" and κράτος (kratos) "strength, might, power".
The pankration developed in the archaic Greek society of the 7thcentury BC, whereby, as the need for expression in violent sport increased, pankration filled a niche of "total contest" that neither boxing or wrestling could, however, some evidence suggests that pankration, in both its sporting form and its combative form, may have been practiced in Greece already from the second millennium BC.
Pankration, as practiced in historical antiquity (Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome), was an athletic event that combined techniques of both boxing (pygmē/pygmachia – πυγμή/πυγμαχία) and wrestling (palē – πάλη), as well as additional elements, such as the use of strikes with the legs, to create a broad fighting sport very similar to today's mixed martial arts competitions.
There were no weight divisions in the Pankration, although there was a separation between men and boys (see below).
There is evidence that, although knockouts were common, many pankration competitions were decided on the ground where both striking and submission techniques would freely come into play.
In many cases a pankration competition could result in the death of one of the opponents, which was considered a win.

LATER DEVELOPMENTS of the PANKRATION

Boys' Pankration wrestling was added to the Olympic Games in 632 BC.
Of particular note is Αὐτόλυκος; (Autolycus - 5th century BC) who was an Athenian boy athlete of singular beauty, and the object of the affection of Callias.
It is in honor of a victory gained by him (Autolycus) in the pankration, at the Panathenaic Games, that Callias gives the Συμπόσιον (symposium - banquet) described by Xenophon.
By the Imperial Period, the Romans had adopted the Greek Pankration (spelled in Latin as Pancratium) into their Ludi - (Games), however, for the Romans the Pancratium was usually fought 'ad mortis' (to the death), and often contained a strong homoerotic, sexual element, as the contestants (as in the Greek Games) competed nude (unlike gladiators) - and for the Romans, nudity and sexuality were almost synonymous.

At Rome the Pancratium is first mentioned in the Games which the Emperor Caligula gave, and after this time the event appears to have become extremely popular, and the organisers of Ludi had to provide these the Pancratium for the amusement of the people.

ROMAN BOXING 


One of the favorite Roman sports was boxing, which was a popular event during the whole period of the republic as well as of the empire.
As in the Greek Olympic practice, all Roman boxers competed naked.
Boxing 'gloves' were made of raw ox-hide, cut into thin pieces and tied under the hollow or palm of the hand, leaving the fingers uncovered.
The sport of boxing, like most other gymnastic and athletic events, was regulated by certain rules. 
Thus boxers were not allowed to take hold of one another, or to use their feet for the purpose of making one another fall, as was the case in the Pancratium.
Cases of death either during the fight itself or soon after, appear to have occurred frequently.
If both the combatants were tired without wishing to give up the fight they were allowed to pause to recover their strength; and in some cases they are described as resting on their knees.
If the fight lasted too long the boxers agreed not to move, but to stand still and receive the blows without using any means of defence, except a certain position of the hands.
The contest did not end until one of the combatants was compelled by fatigue or wounds to declare himself conquered, which was generally done by lifting up one hand. 
It was then up to the audience, or the organiser of the Games, to decide if the losing fighter should be 'finished- off', usually by a flurry of blows to the head.


© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
Boy Pancratium Fighter
© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
Pindar
Πίνδαρος (Pindar - Latin: Pindarus) (c. 522 – c. 443 BC) was an Ancient Greek lyric poet from Thebes, who is knownfor his victory odes, particularly for boys and youths competing in the Pankration wrestling.

Scholars, both ancient and modern, have turned to Pindar's work – his 'victory odes' – as a source of biographical information: some of the poems touch on historic events, and can be accurately dated.
Lyric verse was conventionally accompanied by music and dance, and Pindar himself wrote the music and choreographed the dances for his victory odes.




© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2015
Boy Pancratium Fighter
There were four  books of  ἐπινίκιον - ('Epinikia' - Victory Odes) - commissioned for, and performed at the celebration of an athletic victory.
The epinikion praised the victorious athlete as an ideal representative of the community.
The epinikion praised the victorious athlete as an ideal representative of the community.
An essential element of Pindar's odes was his fulsome descriptions of the physical beauty of these boy athletes - which was a major factor in the undoubted popularity of boys events in the Olympic Games, and also the Roman Ludi.




Naked Etruscan Pankration Wrestlers
Wall Painting

Naked Etruscan Pankration Wrestlers
Wall Painting

The best evidence for Etruscan athletics comes from some 20 richly painted tombs that include athletic scenes in their decoration.
The scenes depicted in these tombs clearly show that the Etruscans participated in many of the same events as the Creeks: including wrestling, and the Pankration.
Many of the tomb paintings contain banquet scenes, and dancing along with athletics: these may be interpreted as representations of the 'funerary celebrations' held to honor the deceased.
A number of tombs also contained vases, both locally made and Greek imports, depicting athletic competitions.
The Etruscans clearly loved sports and considered them an important aspect of their lives. 

THE PANCRATIUM IN THE ROMAN GAMES

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Pancratium Victor


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Victor of the Boys' Roman Pancratiun
Arena at Capua 65 AD


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Pancratium Wrestler Waiting for his Fight


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Two Against One - Roman Pancratium
(Ball Torture)


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Victor and Vanquished - Roman Pancratium
Arena at Capua 65 AD


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End of the Fight - Roman Pancratium
Arena at Capua 65 AD


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Fucked in the Arena - Roman Pancratium
Arena at Capua 65 AD


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Teenage Pancratium Wrestlers
(Cute and Hard)
Arena at Capua 65 AD


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Roman Pancratium
(Jerk-off in the Arena)
Arena at Capua 65 AD


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Pancratium Wrestlers
(Squashed)
Arena at Capua 65 AD


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Pancratium Wrestlers
(Winner Takes All)
Arena at Capua 65 AD

IMAGES of the PANCRATIUM
from
THE GAMES IN HONOR OF VESPASIAN



held in the 'Amphitheatro Gracchi' in Baiae
in January of the year AD 70

 © Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
Boy's Pancratium Wrestling

for the full story and more images got to
The Story of Gracchus


  © Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
Pancratium Wrestling

for the full story and more images got to
The Story of Gracchus


 © Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
Pancratium Wrestling - Victory Fuck
for the full story and more images got to

The Story of Gracchus
Ludi for Vespasian


IMAGES of the PANCRATIUM
from
 LVDI AD AVSPICARI NOVAM AETATEM

held in the 'Amphitheatro Gracchi' in Baiae
 Summer of the year AD 70

© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
Pancratium Wrestling - Winning Hold

for the full story and more images got to
The Story of Gracchus


© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
Pancratium Wrestling - Winning Hold

for the full story and more images got to
The Story of Gracchus
© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
Dead Pancratium Wrestler

for the full story and more images got to
The Story of Gracchus
Chapter XXXIII - LVDI AD AVSPICARI NOVAM AETATEM



© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
Teenage Pancratium Wrestlers
(Ball Torture)

for the full story and more images got to
The Story of Gracchus
Chapter XXXIII - LVDI AD AVSPICARI NOVAM AETATEM


© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
Boy Pancratium Wrestlers
(Ball Torture)

for the full story and more images got to
The Story of Gracchus
Chapter XXXIII - LVDI AD AVSPICARI NOVAM AETATEM


© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
Boy Pancratium Wrestlers
(Victory Fuck)

for the full story and more images got to
The Story of Gracchus
Chapter XXXIII - LVDI AD AVSPICARI NOVAM AETATEM



IMAGES of the PANCRATIUM
from
 'NOCTEM STELLAS'

held on the roof gardens of the Domus Gracchi
 Summer of the year AD 71

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'Drakon Fucked'
(Victory Fuck)

for the full story and more images got to
The Story of Gracchus
CHAPTER XXXX - NOCTEM STELLAS

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'Drakon Impaled

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The Story of Gracchus
CHAPTER XXXX - NOCTEM STELLAS

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'Drakon Decapitated

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The Story of Gracchus
CHAPTER XXXX - NOCTEM STELLAS



many more images and text to be added very soon.......




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