pancratium

pancratium

[pan-krey-shee-uhm]
noun, plural pancratia [pan-krey-shee-uh] .
(in ancient Greece) an athletic contest combining wrestling and boxing.

Origin:
1595–1605; < Latin < Greek pankrátion all-power exercise (noun use of neuter adj.), equivalent to pan- pan- + krát(os) strength, mastery + -ion, neuter of -ios adj. suffix

pancratic [pan-krat-ik] , adjective
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pancratium (pænˈkreɪʃɪəm)
 
n , pl -tia
(in ancient Greece) a wrestling and boxing contest
 
[C17: via Latin from Greek pankration, from pan- + kratos strength]
 
pancratic
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
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pancratium

ancient Greek sports event that combined boxing and wrestling, introduced at the Xxxiii Olympiad (648 BC). Simple fisticuffs had been introduced in 688 BC. Particularly popular among Spartans, contests were savage, with hitting, kicking, twisting of limbs, strangling, and struggling on the ground allowed. The only recognized fouls were biting and gouging. A contest ended when one of the fighters acknowledged defeat.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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