What Is One of the Games Originally Played in Ancient Greek Times?

One of the most famous games played in Ancient Greek times was called “Pankration.” It was a brutal combination of boxing and wrestling that often resulted in serious injuries or even death.

What Is Pankration?

Pankration was a popular sport that originated in Ancient Greece. It was a mixed martial art that combined elements of boxing and wrestling.

The name “pankration” comes from the Greek words “pan” meaning all and “kratos” meaning power. This sport allowed participants to use any means necessary to defeat their opponents, including kicks, punches, throws, joint locks, and chokeholds.

History of Pankration

Pankration was first introduced as an Olympic sport in 648 BC. It quickly gained popularity among athletes and spectators alike due to its intense nature. In fact, it was considered one of the most brutal sports of its time, as contestants often suffered serious injuries or even died during matches.

The Rules of Pankration

Despite its violent nature, pankration had some rules that participants had to follow. The only things prohibited were biting and gouging the eyes. However, everything else was fair game – contestants could punch, kick, knee, elbow or grapple their opponents until they submitted or were knocked unconscious.

Famous Pankration Fighters

There were many famous pankration fighters in Ancient Greece. One such fighter was Arrachion who won the Olympic championship three times before dying during his fourth match. Another notable fighter was Polydamas who won four Olympic championships in a row.


In conclusion, pankration was one of the most popular sports played in Ancient Greece. Although it may seem barbaric by modern standards due to its violent nature, it had a significant impact on sports history and paved the way for modern-day mixed martial arts.