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Form: Games of.
Games of ball were among the commonest and most popular forms of exercise in antiquity, among the young and old alike. Playing went on in public places, such as the Campus Martius at Rome; and in gymnasia and thermoe a room (sphoeristerium, from the Greek sphaira, a ball) was set apart for the purpose, in which a professional attended to give instruction in the art (sphairistike). During the imperial period country-houses often had a sphoeristerium attached to them. The balls (Lat. piloe) were made of hair, feathers, or fig-seeds, covered with leather or many-coloured cloth. The largest (as, for instance, the Roman follis) were filled with air. At this time there were five sorts of ball: the small, the middlesized, the large, the very large, and the inflated ball. In throwing the little ball the rule was that the arm should not rise above the shoulder. There were games for one, two, three, or a larger number of players. In many of these several small balls were used at once. Two of the games with the little ball may be mentioned, called by the Greeks Urania and Aporraxis. In the urania ("sky-high") the player threw the ball as high as possible, to be caught either by himself or his antagonist. In the aporraxis ("bounce-ball") the ball was thrown obliquely to the ground, and its several rebounds were scored up until another player caught it with the flat of his hand and threw it back. In another form of the game the point was to keep tossing the ball up, as long as possible, with the open hand. A very favourite game at Rome was the trigon ("three-corner"), which required special dexterity with the left hand. The game of episkyros, at first peculiar to Sparta, was played by a large number. It took its name from the line (skyron) which separated the two sides. On this line the player took his stand to throw the ball; another line, behind the players, marked the point beyond which you might not go back in catching it. If you failed to catch the ball when standing within this line, you lost the game. Another game played by a large number was the harpastum (Latin) or phaininda (Greek). In this the player made as though he were going to send the ball to a particular man on the other side, and then suddenly threw it in another direction. The korykos was not so much a game as a trial of strength. The korykos was a large leather bag filled with flour, sand, or fig-seeds. It hung from the ceiling so as to reach to about the middle of the player's body. His business was to keep the bag in increasingly violent motion, beating it back with breast and hands.
Type: Standard
gutter splint
gutter splint
gutter splint