World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0024471283
Reproduction Date:

Title: Episkyros  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Association football, History of games, Football, Outline of ancient Greece
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Ancient Greek football player balancing the ball. Depiction on an Attic Lekythos.

Episkyros (Greek: ἐπίσκυρος; also called ἐφηβική ephebike, "adolescence", and ἐπίκοινος epikoinos, "commonball")[1][2] was an ancient Greek ball game. The game was played between two teams of usually 12 to 14 players each, with one ball and the rules of the game allowed using hands. Although it was a ball game, it was violent, at least at Sparta.[3] The teams would try to throw the ball over the heads of the other team. There was a white line between the teams and another white line behind each team. Teams would change the ball often until one of the team is forced behind the line at their end. In Sparta a form of episkyros was played during an annual city festival that included five teams of 14 players.[4][5][6][7][8] It was played primarily by men but women also practiced it. The Greek game of episkyros (or a similar game called φαινίνδα - phaininda,[9] probably meaning "deceiving game", from the verb φενακίζω - phenakizo, "(I) cheat, lie"[10]) was later adopted by the Romans, who renamed and transformed it into harpastum,[11][12] the latinisation of the Greek ἁρπαστόν (harpaston), neuter of ἁρπαστός (harpastos), "carried away",[13] from the verb ἁρπάζω (harpazo), "(I) seize, snatch".[14] A depiction on an Attic lekythos in the Acropolis Museum in Athens, shows a Greek athlete balancing a ball on his thigh. This image is reproduced on the European Cup soccer trophy.[15] Other ancient Greek sports with a ball besides phaininda, were: ἀπόρραξις (aporrhaxis) (bouncing ball game),[16] οὐρανία (ourania), "throwing a ball high in air game"[17][18] and σφαιρομαχία (sphairomachia), literally "ball-battle",[19] from σφαῖρα (sphaira) "ball, sphere"[20] and μάχη (mache), "battle".[21]

Julius Pollux includes Phaininda and Harpastum in a list of ball games:

Phaininda takes its name from Phaenides, who first invented it, or from 'phenakizein' (to deceive), because they show the ball to one man and then throw to another, contrary to expectation. It is likely that this is the same as the game with the small ball, which takes its name from 'harpazein' (to snatch) and perhaps one would call the game with the soft ball by the same name.[22]

See also


  1. ^ ἐπίσκυρος. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project.
  2. ^ ἐπίκοινος in Liddell and Scott.
  3. ^ Miller, Stephen Gaylord (2004). Ancient Greek Athletics. Yale University Press. 
  4. ^ Craig, Steve (2002). Sports and games of the ancients. p. 101.  
  5. ^ Harris, Harold Arthur. Sport in Greece and Rome. Cornell University Press. 
  6. ^ Kennell, Nigel M. (1995). The Gymnasium of Virtue: Education and Culture in Ancient Sparta. The University of North Carolina Press. 
  7. ^ "Origin of Ball Games". 
  8. ^ Crowther, Nigel B. (2007). Sport in Ancient Times. Praeger Series on the Ancient World. Praeger Publishers. 
  9. ^ φαινίνδα in Liddell and Scott.
  10. ^ φενακίζω in Liddell and Scott.
  11. ^ The New Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007. In ancient Greece a game with elements of football, episkuros, or harpaston, was played, and it had migrated to Rome as harpastum by the 2nd century BC. 
  12. ^ harpastum. Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short. A Latin Dictionary on Perseus Project.
  13. ^ ἁρπαστός in Liddell and Scott.
  14. ^ ἁρπάζω in Liddell and Scott.
  15. ^ Wingate, Brian (2007). Soccer: Rules, Tips, Strategy, and Safety. p. 2.  
  16. ^ ἀπόρραξις in Liddell and Scott.
  17. ^ οὐρανία, οὐρανιάζω in Liddell and Scott.
  18. ^ Miller, Stephen Gaylord (2004). Arete: Greek sports from ancient sources. p. 124.  
  19. ^ σφαιρομαχία in Liddell and Scott.
  20. ^ σφαῖρα in Liddell and Scott.
  21. ^ μάχη in Liddell and Scott.
  22. ^ Julius Pollux. "9.105". Onomasticon. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.