Marble Relief: Greek Hockey-Like Game

Marble Relief of a Greek Hockey-Like Game

Marble Relief of a Greek Hockey-Like Game

license: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
source: Wikimedia Commons
author: Zda

A marble relief depicts two men holding short crooks (each 2–3 feet in length) with which they fight over a ball on the ground. Four men watch from the edges of the relief, two on each side. Three of these men hold crooks themselves.


Artifact: 510–500 BC

Photo: March 2014


This Greek marble relief depicts what appears to be a game that is scarcely covered in ancient literature, if at all. No ancient Greek texts discuss details of any sport that could be likened to hockey, which this game appears to be similar to. Conjecture has been made that the rarely used ancient Greek verb κερητίζειν refers to this sport, however most translators link the verb to horse riding. As of yet, the details of this game depicted in this relief are unknown, making it presumptuous to claim with certainty that the ancient Greeks played hockey.

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Nauright, J. (2012). Sports around the World: History, Culture, and Practice. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO.