I stumbled across this page about an ancient form of mixed martial arts that was created and spread by the Ancient Greeks, called Pankration. It translates roughly to “total combat” if you go by context, or “all strength” if you want to be more literal, depending on how you want to interpret pan (all, total) and kratos (strength, power). I haven’t had much time to read into it, but it sounds cool.

Incidentally, the reason I found it was because I was reading about Robin Hood and it mentions one of Friar Tuck’s contributions being a sort of mixed martial arts that had been around since ancient times. Somehow, I always come back to Ancient Greece. It’s just sort of a thing, I guess. *shrug*

The style was apparently developed by Heracles and/or Theseus, the former using it to subdue the Nemean Lion, a creature that was impervious to spears and sword (yeah, Heracles wrestled a nigh-indestructible lion), and the latter using it to defeat the minotaur (yeah, Theseus wrestled an anthropomorphic bull).

Anyway, what this does is totally open a path for some of the more exotic fighting styles I’ve wanted to incorporate into the Rumors of War setting. I was already dimly aware of some precedence for Greek wrestling and boxing styles, I just didn’t really know much about them. This should help expand my knowledge in the area.

…On a fascinating but unrelated note, I also found out recently that the Greeks were (still are?) apparently very proud of their water, comparing the quality of water from different springs to one another much like one might compare grapes and wines from different vineyards. It gave me a funny picture of a “water snob,” which I realize already exist in modern media. Californians and their bottled water, for example.