Brutal Sports in Antiquity

Sports between Life and Death

The Maya practiced «Pok Ta Pok», a ball game in which players used only their hips and knees to pass the ball through a hoop. The captain of the losing team had to present his head to the winning captain, who would then behead him. Sometimes the whole team would be sacrificed to appease the gods.

The Vikings had their own version of the rope game, in which two teams would pull animal skins over a fire pit. The losers would obviously fall into the fire, while the winners walked away with the spoils of the village they had just plundered, which for them, mainly involved women.

The Egyptians played on the banks of the Nile River. Two players in a boat would row towards each other at full speed and try to hit their opponent with oars in an attempt to throw them into the water. Meanwhile, crocodiles in the river were entering the scene, which meant that losing was not an option.

The Romans were famous for gladiatorial games, where combatants fought to the death for the entertainment of the crowds. Wild and hungry animals were unleashed to further increase the excitement and risk.

Short Myths



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