Harpastum

Harpastum, also known as harpustum, was a form of ball game played in the Roman Empire. The Romans also referred to it as the small ball game. The ball used was small (not as large as a follis, paganica, or football-sized ball) and hard, probably about the size and solidity of a softball. The word harpastum is the latinisation of the Greek ἁρπαστόν (harpaston),[1] the neuter of ἁρπαστός (harpastos), "carried away",[2] from the verb ἁρπάζω (harpazo), "to seize, to snatch".[3]

This game was apparently a romanized version of a Greek game called phaininda (Greek: φαινίνδα[4]), or of another Greek game called ἐπίσκυρος (episkyros).[5][6][7][8][9][10] It involved considerable speed, agility and physical exertion.

Little is known about the exact rules of the game, but sources indicate the game was a violent one with players often ending up on the ground. In Greece, a spectator (of the Greek form of the game) once had his leg broken when he got caught in the middle of play.

Harpastum romain
Harpastum, ancient Roman fresco

Writings related to harpastum

Athenaeus[11] writes:

Harpastum, which used to be called phaininda, is the game I like most of all. Great are the exertion and fatigue attendant upon contests of ball-playing, and violent twisting and turning of the neck. Hence Antiphanes, 'Damn it, what a pain in the neck I've got.' He describes the game thus: 'He seized the ball and passed it to a team-mate while dodging another and laughing. He pushed it out of the way of another. Another fellow player he raised to his feet. All the while the crowd resounded with shouts of Out of bounds, Too far, Right beside him, Over his head, On the ground, Up in the air, Too short, Pass it back in the scrum.'

Galen, in On Exercise with the Small Ball,[12] describes harpastum as:

better than wrestling or running because it exercises every part of the body, takes up little time, and costs nothing."; it was "profitable training in strategy", and could be "played with varying degrees of strenuousness." Galen adds, "When, for example, people face each other, vigorously attempting to prevent each other from taking the space between, this exercise is a very heavy, vigorous one, involving much use of the hold by the neck, and many wrestling holds.

An anonymous poet[13] praises the ball skills of Piso:

No less is your nimbleness, if it is your pleasure to return the flying ball, or recover it when falling to the ground, and by a surprising movement get it within bounds again in its flight. To watch such play the populace remains stockstill, and the whole crowd suddenly abandons its own games.

Julius Pollux[14] includes harpastum and phaininda in a list of ball games:

Phaininda takes its name from Phaenides, who first invented it, or from phenakizein (to deceive),[15] 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);[16] and perhaps one would call the game with the soft ball by the same name.

Sidonius Apollinaris describes a ball game in one of his letters:[17]

And now the illustrious Filimatius sturdily flung himself into the squadrons of the players, like Virgil's hero, 'daring to set his hand to the task of youth'; he had been a splendid player himself in his youth. But over and over again, he was forced from his position among the stationary players by the shock of some runner from the middle, and driven into the midfield, where the ball flew past him, or was thrown over his head; and he failed to intercept or parry it. More than once he fell prone, and had to pick himself up from such collapses as best he could; naturally he was the first to withdraw from the stress of the game.

The general impression from these descriptions is of a game quite similar to rugby. Additional descriptions suggest a line was drawn in the dirt, and that the teams would endeavor to keep the ball behind their side of the line and prevent the opponents from reaching it. This seems rather like an "inverted" form of football. If the opponents had the ball on their side of the line, the objective would seem to be to get in and "pass" it to another player, or somehow get it back over the line. The ancient accounts of the game are not precise enough to enable the reconstruction the rules in any detail.

In an epigram, Martial makes reference to the dusty game of harpasta in reference to Atticus' preference for running as exercise:[18] "No hand-ball (pila), no bladder-ball (follis), no feather-stuffed ball (paganica) makes you ready for the warm bath, nor the blunted sword-stroke upon the unarmed stump; nor do you stretch forth squared arms besmeared with oil, nor, darting to and fro, snatch the dusty scrimmage-ball (harpasta), but you run only by the clear Virgin water (the Aqua Virgo aqueduct)."

Monuments

Tombstone of Gaius Laberius.xcf
Tombstone of a boy with Harpastum ball (Sinj, Dalmatia, Croatia)

In the Croatian town of Sinj, a Roman tombstone found in the ruins of the military camp Tilurium, near the modern day Trilj, shows a boy holding a harpastum ball in his hands. The ball that is shown on this monument has hexagonal and pentagonal patterns, similar to a modern-day football (soccer).

See also

Notes

  1. ^ harpastum, Charlton T. Lewis, Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary, on Perseus Digital Library
  2. ^ ἁρπαστός, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  3. ^ ἁρπάζω, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  4. ^ φαινίνδα, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  5. ^ The New Encyclopædia Britannica, 2007 Edition: "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".
  6. ^ ἐπίσκυρος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  7. ^ H. A. Harris, Sport in Greece and Rome, Cornell University Press, on Google books
  8. ^ Nigel M. Kennell, The Gymnasium of Virtue: Education and Culture in Ancient Sparta, The University of North Carolina Press, 1995, on Google books
  9. ^ Origin of Ball Games Archived 2010-03-25 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Nigel B. Crowther, Sport in Ancient Times (Praeger Series on the Ancient World), Praeger Publishers, January 2007
  11. ^ Athenaeus, "Deipnosophists", 1.14-15
  12. ^ P.N.Singer, "Galen: Selected Works" (1997), pages 299-304
  13. ^ Laus Pisonis, verses 185-187 (translated by J.W. & A.M.Duff).
  14. ^ Julius Pollux, "Onomasticon", 9.105
  15. ^ φενακίζω, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  16. ^ ἁρπάζω, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  17. ^ Sidonius Apollinaris, "Letters", 5.17.7 (translated by O. M. Dalton)
  18. ^ Martial, "Epigrams", 7.32

References

  • H. Harris, "Sport in Greece and Rome" (Thames & Hudson, 1972), pages 86–99
  • William Smith (ed.), "Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities", - article on Pila
Apopudobalia

Apopudobalia (Ancient Greek: ἀποπουδοβαλία; ἀπο- + ποδός + ball + -ία) is a fictional sport, which was the subject of a famous fictitious entry (humorous hoax or copyright trap in a reference work). Although no such sport actually existed, the German-language Der neue Pauly Enzyklopaedie der Antike, edited by H. Cancik and H. Schneider, vol. 1 (Stuttgart, 1996, ISBN 3-476-01470-3) gives a description of it as an ancient Greco-Roman sport that anticipates modern soccer. The article goes on to cite suitably sparse documentation for the non-existent sport (this includes a Festschrift to one M. Sammer), and to assert that a Roman form of the game enjoyed a certain popularity amongst the Roman legions, and consequently spread throughout the Empire as far afield as Britain, "where the game enjoyed a revival in the 19th century." (It also notes that the game was frowned upon by some early Christian writers, such as Tertullian.)

In reality, the ancient Romans did play a game resembling rugby called harpastum.

Association football

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

Association football is one of a family of football codes, which emerged from various ball games played worldwide since antiquity. The modern game traces its origins to 1863 when the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association.

Players are not allowed to touch the ball with hands or arms while it is in play, except for the goalkeepers within the penalty area. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may also use any other part of their body except the hands and the arms. The team that scores most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA; French: Fédération Internationale de Football Association), which organises World Cups for both men and women every four years.

Ball

A ball is a round object (usually spherical, but can sometimes be ovoid) with various uses. It is used in ball games, where the play of the game follows the state of the ball as it is hit, kicked or thrown by players. Balls can also be used for simpler activities, such as catch or juggling. Balls made from hard-wearing materials are used in engineering applications to provide very low friction bearings, known as ball bearings. Black-powder weapons use stone and metal balls as projectiles.

Although many types of balls are today made from rubber, this form was unknown outside the Americas until after the voyages of Columbus. The Spanish were the first Europeans to see the bouncing rubber balls (although solid and not inflated) which were employed most notably in the Mesoamerican ballgame. Balls used in various sports in other parts of the world prior to Columbus were made from other materials such as animal bladders or skins, stuffed with various materials.

As balls are one of the most familiar spherical objects to humans, the word "ball" may be used to refer to or describe spherical or near-spherical objects.

"Ball" is used metaphorically sometimes to denote something spherical or spheroid, e.g., armadillos and human beings curl up into a ball, we make a ball with our fist.

Balloon (game)

Balloon, balloon-ball or wind-ball was a game similar to the modern game of volleyball in which a leather ball would be batted by the fist or forearm to prevent it from touching the ground. The game was played in ancient Rome where it was known as follis— the Latin word for a leather bag. Such a ball made of leather was quite heavy and so protection might be used such as a leather gauntlet or wooden bracer.Once rubber became available, modern players in Great Britain played the game with lighter balls of inflated rubber, so that younger children could play too.

Calcio Fiorentino

Calcio fiorentino (also known as calcio storico "historic football") is an early form of football and rugby that originated in 16th-century Italy. Once widely played, the sport is thought to have started in the Piazza Santa Croce in Florence. There it became known as the giuoco del calcio fiorentino ("Florentine kick game") or simply calcio; which is now also the name for association football in the Italian language. The game may have started as a revival of the Roman sport of harpastum.

Cornish hurling

Hurling or Hurling the Silver Ball (Cornish: Hurlian), is an outdoor team game played only in Cornwall, United Kingdom. It is played with a small silver ball. Hurling is not to be confused with the Irish game, also known as hurling. There are profound differences between the two sports.

Once played widely in Cornwall, the game has similarities to other traditional football or inter parish 'mob' games, but certain attributes make this version unique to Cornwall. It is considered by many to be Cornwall's national game along with Cornish wrestling. An old saying in the Cornish language goes "hyrlîan yw gen gwaré nyi", which translated into English means "hurling is our sport"In August, 1705, a fatality occurred during a hurling match at Camborne. The parish burials register contains the following entry 'William Trevarthen buried in the church. "Being disstroid to a hurling with Redruth men at the high dounes the 10th day of August". This is the only recorded death of a player during a hurling match.

Although the custom attracts fewer spectators, the annual hurling matches at St Columb Major have the same status in the Cornish calendar as the 'Obby 'Oss festival at Padstow and the Furry Dance at Helston in that all three are unique customs that have survived unchanged and have taken place annually since before records began.

Cuju

Cuju or Ts'u-chü is an ancient Chinese football game. It is a competitive game that involves kicking a ball through an opening into a net. The use of hands is not allowed. Invented in the Han dynasty, it is recognized by FIFA as the earliest form of football for which there is evidence, being first mentioned as an exercise in a Chinese military work from 3rd–2nd century BC. It is also played in Korea, Japan and Vietnam.

Episkyros

Episkyros (Greek: ἐπίσκυρος; also called ἐπίκοινος epikoinos, "commonball") was an ancient Greek ball game. Highly teamwork oriented, the game was played between two teams of usually 12 to 14 players each, with one ball and the rules of the game which allowed using hands. Although it was a ball game, it was violent, at least in Sparta. The teams would try to throw the ball over the heads of the other team. There was a white line called the skuros between the teams and another white line behind each team. Teams would change the ball often until one of the team was 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. It was played primarily by men but women also practiced it. The Greek game of episkyros (or a similar game called φαινίνδα - phaininda, probably meaning "deceiving game", from the verb φενακίζω - phenakizo, "(I) cheat, lie") was later adopted by the Romans, who renamed and transformed it into harpastum, the latinisation of the Greek ἁρπαστόν (harpaston), neuter of ἁρπαστός (harpastos), "carried away", from the verb ἁρπάζω (harpazo), "(I) seize, snatch".A depiction in low relief on the belly of the vase displayed at the National Archaeological Museum, Athens. shows a Greek athlete balancing a ball on his thigh. This image is reproduced on the European Cup football trophy. Other ancient Greek sports with a ball besides phaininda, were: ἀπόῤῥαξις (aporrhaxis) (bouncing ball game), οὐρανία (ourania), "throwing a ball high in air game" and maybe the σφαιρομαχία (sphairomachia), literally "ball-battle", from σφαῖρα (sphaira) "ball, sphere" and μάχη (mache), "battle"., although it has been argued that the σφαιρομαχία is in fact a boxing competition (the "spheres" being in fact a kind of gloves).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.

Football

Football is a family of team sports that involve, to varying degrees, kicking a ball to score a goal. Unqualified, the word football is understood to refer to whichever form of football is the most popular in the regional context in which the word appears. Sports commonly called football in certain places include association football (known as soccer in some countries); gridiron football (specifically American football or Canadian football); Australian rules football; rugby football (either rugby league or rugby union); and Gaelic football. These different variations of football are known as football codes.

There are a number of references to traditional, ancient, or prehistoric ball games played by indigenous peoples in many different parts of the world. Contemporary codes of football can be traced back to the codification of these games at English public schools during the nineteenth century. The expansion of the British Empire allowed these rules of football to spread to areas of British influence outside the directly controlled Empire. By the end of the nineteenth century, distinct regional codes were already developing: Gaelic football, for example, deliberately incorporated the rules of local traditional football games in order to maintain their heritage. In 1888, The Football League was founded in England, becoming the first of many professional football competitions. During the twentieth century, several of the various kinds of football grew to become some of the most popular team sports in the world.

Football in Greece

Football is the most popular sport in Greece, followed by basketball.

Football in Italy

Football (Italian: calcio, [ˈkaltʃo]) is the most popular sport in Italy. The Italian national football team is considered to be one of the best national teams in the world. They have won the FIFA World Cup four times (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006), trailing only Brazil (with 5), runners-up in two finals (1970, 1994) and reaching a third place (1990) and a fourth place (1978). They have also won one European Championship (1968), also appearing in two finals (2000, 2012), finished third at the Confederations Cup (2013), won one Olympic football tournament (1936) and two Central European International Cups (1927–30 and 1933–35).

Italy's top domestic league, the Serie A, is one of the most popular professional sports leagues in the world and it is often depicted as the most tactical national football league. Italy's club sides have won 48 major European trophies, making them the second most successful nation in European football. Serie A hosts three of the world's most famous clubs as Juventus, Milan and Inter, all founding members of the G-14, a group which represented the largest and most prestigious European football clubs; Serie A was the only league to produce three founding members. Juventus, Milan and Inter, along with Roma, Fiorentina, Lazio and, historically, Parma but now Napoli are known as the Seven Sisters of Italian football. Italian managers are the most successful in European Football, especially in competitions such as the Champions League. More players have won the coveted Ballon d'Or award while playing at a Serie A club than any other league in the world.

Knattleikr

Knattleikr (English: 'ball-game') was an ancient ball game played by the Vikings of Iceland. The term is also applied to a modern sport created by re-enactors, and now played at a few United States institutions as a college club sport, based on what is known about the historical game.

Kī-o-rahi

Kī-o-rahi is a ball sport played in New Zealand with a small round ball called a 'kī'. It is a fast-paced game incorporating skills similar to rugby union, netball and touch. Two teams of seven players play on a circular field divided into zones, and score points by touching the 'pou' (boundary markers) and hitting a central 'tupu' or target. The game is played with varying rules (e.g. number of people, size of field, tag ripping rules etc.) depending on the geographic area it is played in. A process called Tatu, before the game, determines which rules the two teams will use.

In 2005 kī-o-rahi was chosen to represent New Zealand by global fast-food chain McDonald's as part of its 'Passport to Play' programme to teach physical play activities in 31,000 American schools.

The programme will give instruction in 15 ethnic games to seven million primary school children.The New Zealand kī-o-rahi representative organisation, Kī-o-Rahi Akotanga Iho, formed with men's and women's national teams, completed a 14 match tour of Europe in September and October 2010. The men's team included 22-test All Black veteran Wayne Shelford who led the team to a 57–10 test win against Kī-o-Rahi Dieppe Organisation, the French Kī-o-Rahi federation.

Shelford's kī-o-rahi test jersey made him the first kī-o-rahi/rugby double international for NZ. The women's team coached by Andrea Cameron (Head of PE at Tikipunga High School) also won by 33–0. These were the first historic test matches between NZ and France.

List of sports

The following is a list of sports/games, divided by category.

According to the World Sports Encyclopedia (2003), there are 8,000 indigenous sports and sporting games.

Medieval football

"Medieval football" is a modern term used for a wide variety of localised football games which were invented and played in Europe during the Middle Ages. Alternative names include folk football, mob football and Shrovetide football. These games may be regarded as the ancestors of modern codes of football, and by comparison with later forms of football, the medieval matches were chaotic and had few rules.

The Middle Ages saw a rise in popularity of games played annually at Shrovetide throughout Europe, particularly in Great Britain. The games played in England at this time may have arrived with the Roman occupation but there is little evidence to indicate this. Certainly the Romans played ball games, in particular Harpastum. There is also one reference to ball games being played in southern Britain prior to the Norman Conquest. In the ninth century Nennius's Historia Britonum tells that a group of boys were playing at ball (pilae ludus). The origin of this account is either Southern England or Wales. References to a ball game played in northern France known as La Soule or Choule, in which the ball was propelled by hands, feet, and sticks, date from the 12th century.These archaic forms of football, typically classified as mob football, would be played between neighbouring towns and villages, involving an unlimited number of players on opposing teams, who would clash in a heaving mass of people struggling to drag an inflated pig's bladder by any means possible to markers at each end of a town. By some accounts, in some such events any means could be used to move the ball towards the goal, as long as it did not lead to manslaughter or murder. Sometimes instead of markers, the teams would attempt to kick the bladder into the balcony of the opponents' church. A legend that these games in England evolved from a more ancient and bloody ritual of kicking the "Dane's head" is unlikely to be true. These antiquated games went into sharp decline in the 19th century when the Highway Act 1835 was passed banning the playing of football on public highways. In spite of this, games continued to be played in some parts of the United Kingdom and still survive in a number of towns, notably the Ba game played at Christmas and New Year at Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands Scotland, Uppies and Downies over Easter at Workington in Cumbria, and the Royal Shrovetide Football Match on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday at Ashbourne in Derbyshire, England.Few images of medieval football survive. One engraving from the early fourteenth century at Gloucester Cathedral, England, clearly shows two young men running vigorously towards each other with a ball in mid-air between them. There is a hint that the players may be using their hands to strike the ball. A second medieval image in the British Museum, London clearly shows a group of men with a large ball on the ground. The ball clearly has a seam where leather has been sewn together. It is unclear exactly what is happening in this set of three images, although the last image appears to show a man with a broken arm. It is likely that this image highlights the dangers of some medieval football games.Most of the very early references to the game speak simply of "ball play" or "playing at ball". This reinforces the idea that the games played at the time did not necessarily involve a ball being kicked.

Rugby football

Rugby football refers to the team sports of rugby league and rugby union.Rugby football started about 1845 at Rugby School in Rugby, Warwickshire, England, although forms of football in which the ball was carried and tossed date to medieval times. Rugby split into two sports in 1895, when twenty-one clubs split from the Rugby Football Union to form the Northern Rugby Football Union, renamed the Rugby Football League in 1922, in the George Hotel, Huddersfield, over broken-time payments to players who took time off work to play the sport, thus making rugby league the first code to turn professional and pay players. It was a hundred years later in 1995, following the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa, that rugby union turned fully professional. The respective world governing bodies are World Rugby (rugby union) and the Rugby League International Federation (rugby league).

Rugby football was one of many versions of football played at English public schools in the 19th century. Although rugby league initially used rugby union rules, they are now wholly separate sports. In addition to these two codes, both American and Canadian football evolved from rugby football.

Rugby union in Italy

Rugby union in Italy is governed by the Italian Rugby Federation. Rugby was introduced to Italy in the early 1900s. Two Italian professional teams (Treviso and Zebre) compete in Pro14, a league that also includes sides from Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and Wales. One of the teams is guaranteed a place in the European Rugby Champions Cup; the other normally plays in the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Top12 is the main national club competition. Four Italian clubs from the national championship compete in a qualifying tournament that awards two places in the Challenge Cup. Italy compete in the Six Nations Championship and Rugby World Cup, and are classified as a tier one nation by World Rugby (formerly the International Rugby Board).

Sports before 1001

This article presents a chronology of sporting development and events from time immemorial until the end of the 10th century CE. The major sporting event of the ancient Greek and Roman periods was the original Olympic Games, which were held every four years at Olympia for over a thousand years. Gladiatorial contests and chariot racing were massively popular. Some modern sports such as archery, athletics, boxing, football, horse racing and wrestling can directly trace their origins back to this period while later sports like cricket and golf trace their evolution from basic activities such as hitting a stone with a stick.

Volata

Volata ("flow") is a code of football developed and promoted by Italian fascists for a brief period during the late 1920s and early 1930s, in an attempt to displace sports with non-Italian origins, such as association football (soccer) and rugby union.

Association football was popular in Italy when the fascists came to power in 1921. Rugby union was a new and relatively minor sport, but also growing in popularity.

Although the fascists idealized association football for its contribution to physical fitness, it was also seen at the time as an "English game" (because the rules had been codified by the English Football Association and the first organized matches had taken place in England). The fascists generally distanced themselves from cultural practices with foreign roots.

Conversely, rugby was seen as having links to the extinct Ancient Roman game of harpastum. By 1927, fascist propaganda actively promoted rugby – which it referred to as palla ovale ("oval ball"). However, the Federazione Italiana Rugby proved resistant to manipulation and the fascists quickly ceased their support.

The national secretary of the Fascist Party, Augusto Turati, devised volata. Officially, the rules were based on long-extinct codes of football indigenous to Italy, especially the Roman harpastum and the medieval calcio Fiorentino. Volata was contested by eight-member sides, with rules that were described by a 1929 propaganda newsreel from Istituto Luce as a "synthesis of the essential elements of the games of calcio and rugby" (sintesi di elementi essenziali del giuoco del calcio e del "rugby"). Use of the word "calcio" was ambiguous, as it was the usual name of association football, as well as calcio Fiorentino, which in 1930 was also revived at the fascists' behest.

Promoted by Fascist sporting and cultural organizations, Volata enjoyed a brief phase of popularity. More than 100 Volata clubs and a league were reportedly formed. However, the enduring popularity of association football caused the fascists to change their attitude toward the sport.

In 1933, volata organizations and competitions were officially abandoned. Afterwards the fascists encouraged association football; Italy hosted and won the 1934 World Cup.

The popularity of rugby and its place within Italian sporting culture appear to have been reduced by the changing policies of the fascists, as well as the invention of volata. Nevertheless, rugby survived the fascist period and began to grow when Italy was occupied by British Commonwealth forces during 1943–47.

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